Closing the CHT Facebook group?

Hi all,

I am a community facilitator (moderator and admin) of this forum, but I do not have a Facebook account. Therefore I have no visibility into the discussions and activity of participants over there, and their usefulness. But what I’ve heard from other members the tone of discussion is less open and friendly and quality of contributions is lower.

I would say that having a ‘separate community’ on Facebook - a social network that is one of the most problematic wrt humane technology, and a walled garden as well - detracts from participation on this forum. IMHO, it fragments the community as a whole (note: this is my personal opinion, not necessarily that of the CHT organization).

We have plans to reorganize this forum and make it much more accessible and insightful, so I would love to hear your opinion on this proposal: To close the Facebook group altogether (in a #deletefacebook action, so to say)…



Yes, let’s delete the FB group. While it does draw people together and give them the opportunity to share, it has some of the disadvantages of FB. I saw one “friend” insult another without just provocation, and this dismayed me, being in violation of the humane principles CHT espouses.


Agreed that it doesn’t seem like the right place for this community to convene + it doesn’t make sense to fragment this community + conversation.

How about we spend the next week or two getting this forum in shape… then, once it is better structured & friendlier to newcomers, we post to the Facebook saying we’re moving all community engagement over here. Does that make sense?


I think it is important that CHT make this forum more attractive, inclusive(all communities ), user friendly,easier to participate, simple and plain particularly topic that concern ordinary folks.Tech people can continue to talk their language that concern them and help explain to ordinary people about tech terms. Moderation should be more friendlier and considerate considering the intention of the post. Until we can see more and stable participation in this forum it is wise not yet closing the facebook forum where CHT can continue attract people to change forum and give people outlet of their concern about tech.


Agreed- @aschrijver however we could have a dead end page just so people might see it- people who are on Facebook too much might bump into CHT and discover a new world!!


You are right on this @anon22019695, and we have exactly such plans. Please see @Mamie’s post here: Topic categories that reflect core Humane Tech themes

Yeah, @healthyswimmer, a dead-end page pointing to this forum would be best to avoid interested people gtting lost.


Here are screenshots of parts of the FB page.

A bunch of ifs:

  1. If I were to base my recommendation on these images alone, I would say we should keep the FB page.

  2. If we were to deactivate the group, I wonder how many of these people would come over to the forum…

  3. if we could make the forum as colorful and inviting as the FB page.

Advantages of FB: color, energy, vitality, spontaneity.

Advantages of forum: discussions are less spontaneous while being more thoughtful; moderators and admins provide more guidance, thus strengthening structure.


“Also, I recently created a Facebook group for all of us who live in the Bay Area. As much as I love this forum, it’s a lot of work to message everyone individually. Until further improvements are made, using Facebook (for now) will make it easier for us to invite more people into our community, connect with more like-minded folks, and to organize our meetups more efficiently in the near future:”

I agree @ferj posted at San Francisco Chapter / Meetings

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It’s a bit of a catch 22, we’re all here because we see problems with technology, and specifically a platform like Facebook that takes up so much of people’s time, attention (and data), but then again most people (including us?) are still on Facebook, and use / open it regularly (way more often than opening this forum, for me anyway).

Would there be a way to publish read only content from this forum to the Facebook group, for the people who are on there, and for newcomers, but then to be able read full threads, and to get involved by contributing to the conversations, you would need to follow a link to this forum?

That could be a way that we still get the content and conversations out to more people on Facebook, but to really join the conversation and participate, people are directed here.


There is a Share button that allows you to post content to Facebook. I just tried it, posting this thread to my page. Works fine.


Here are further thoughts. As a FB user (but one who is hoping to leave soon) and former member of the TWS group, I want to comment on the extensiveness of the FB network.

On Sunday, I participated in a panel at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival. Three panelists have posted images and written about their experiences on FB, thus potentially reaching over a thousand friends. The sharing, commenting, and loving (yes, there is lots of love) that goes on can’t be replicated at the forum, in my opinion.

FB is sort of like high school. You belong to a high school connected to hundreds across the country. You get introduced to new friends through old friends, and through sharing and commenting you bond.

The forum is sort of like university. You leave your high school and neighborhood to go somewhere where most people cannot follow you. Your fellow participants are strangers to whom you have to introduce yourself. Everything takes place through conversation, discourse, and everyone has a university attitude. What binds us is a kind of idealism, a mission.

All of this is to say that the two experiences are very different, and I think we have to let those who prefer one over the other have their preference. So, for now anyway, I am reversing my position on this question.


I’m on both but use Facebook for business only (booking ads). I love the CHT email updates each month. It’s a good model.

If the actual goal is to educate people then we must go to where they are - FB, twitter, snap, IG, etc. They won’t come here if they don’t know where we are.

People can still be an advocate for CHT even though not in this forum. The quality of their advocacy may be poor but it is something. When an scale point is reached, (eg X amount of users) we can shut down external pages on FB, iG whatever (after notification period)

If we shut down on external forums/spaces to early we go into the realm of radical fundamentalists. we need a big group to implement cognitive social change.

On Facebook some people are getting stoked on the greyscale home-screen concept. That is a win.

This forum is home base, everything else are satellite groups. I believe the heart of the movement stays here.

Can we mak a request to improve the typography in the forum? Line spacing, line widhts, scaling, vertical rhythm. i would suggest focussing on design of the forum if its possible.

is there a git we can make suggestions to?


I agree with you on this, but a good social media strategy is needed to make this work. You already name 4 major networks and an etcetera, to which I would add LinkedIn (what I use instead of FB). If we have high value discussion and ideas arising in all these media it will be a huge PITA to bring it all together to this forum and/or the tools we use to follow them up (e.g. github, wiki, etc.).

The problem is that then we have N networks over which the CHT community is spread, we get people missing out, and duplicate discussions and content.

Not impossible to overcome, but requires much community effort to bring it all together again. Would work if all social media channels conducted traffic efficiently to this forum and follow-up tools.

Yes! I previously described this forum as a first-stage body of raw information to be followed-up with more appropriate tools, but maybe it should be considered 2nd-stage and the social media channels be the first-stage, targeted to community outsiders, and these channels be conductors of information to this forum, attractors of new community members.

Yes, this should be part of the solution. Maybe close the thread in that channel, if it was picked up and continued on the forum.

Yes, @ferj, @anon22019695, @patm and @Mamie , I strongly agree with you that we can only make significant changes to the other channels (or even closing them) can only occur once this forum is improved.

Like @Mamie said we are working on a plan to improve the Discourse forum, and this includes visual changes. Discourse has a feature that allows custom themes (using CSS files). We’ll provide a means for any member to participate in this, and we are thinking to provide Github issue lists to cooperate efficiently.

More info will follow. Until that time you can add suggestions to Suggestions for improvement to the community forum


A post was merged into an existing topic: Suggestions for improvement to the community forum

I do not believe there is any great value of having a Facebook group as well as this forum, so yes my vote would be to close the Facebook group and invite them to sign-up to this forum instead. This forum allows for focussed discussion, no opportunity for distraction and no opportunity to disappear into the rabbit hole called Facebook. If there was a way to vote for suggestions inside this forum that would be useful. Thanks for asking the question @aschrijver, you are doing a great job for us all and we appreciate you.


Thank you @john! I was thinking of extending an earlier idea I posted to allow it to become a powerful activism and social media tool. Just didn’t take the time yet to do it, but it involves adapting this for use with CHT: Idea - Turning the weapon around, raising awareness!

I propose we create a bridge between the forum and the FB group and that communication and access be made as easy as possible. For example, the contest to create T-shirts and other products can be advertised on the FB page, creating interest in the forum, showing that it has action plans, and enlarging the number of possible participants.

The discourse app allows you to post to FB, but while I can do this to my own FB page, I can’t seem to do it to the Friends of TWS page. Let’s try to fix this and break down the wall between us.


Sorry to be a party crashes but I get that feeling I don’t want my posts on FB though-,it gives me that creepy privacy invasive feeling…


Yes, of course. Sorry to suggest that people’s posts and comments would be shared on FB without their permisson.

I know that @aschrijver et al. are working on alternative social media. My aim in saying what I did was to focus on a way to reach people on FB without closing down the group.

If the people there wanted to close down the forum, we would be upset, right? But suppose they said, “We want to communicate with those of you on the forum”? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Wouldn’t we want a bridge?

I agree with those commenters it is not yet the right time to close the FB forum. There are 2 billions of souls out there. Just think if you were able to attract just 5% of that number it is equavalent to 100 millions souls. Potential recruits have so many friends too. I mean the opportunity to mine and weaponized( pardon the word by I am talking about positive weaponization ) FB for our cause are so great to miss. What we need is the best ways to market CHT on FB forum. So far our message to attract this forum on FB is to plain and neutral. It lacks in my view life. We need to market this forum more effectively. And one of the important ways to easily get the interest of millions of users or perhaps billions we make sure that our product being offered to them are appealing, welcoming, inclusive, user friendly, easy to understand to lay people ( majority of fb users ) generate excitement and the will to participate, vitality, full of life etc. A good and user friendly product is an effective marketing by itself. To broaden our appeal we need to have an effective marketing tool on FB. Words of mouth from satisfied users aside from being a good marketing tool is a sort of validation that there is something useful out there that aligned with their interest. ( CHT forum I mean ) We need to seize the present opportunity we have in FB. Spread and disseminate the good news!

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