Wikipedia co-founder wants two-day social media strike to highlight privacy concerns

Wikipedia co-founder wants two-day social media strike to highlight privacy concerns
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Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger is calling for a two-day social media strike over privacy concerns.

Users with “serious grievances against social media … will go on strike” on Thursday and Friday, Sanger wrote on his website

"We're going to flex our collective muscles and demand that giant, manipulative corporations give us back control over our data, privacy, and user experience," he said.

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He added that strikers will be able to post notices about the action during those two days. 

Sanger also wrote a “Declaration of Digital Independence” that advocates for decentralizing social media and allow individual users to “publish our data freely” and “declare that we legally own our own data,” among other principles.

“The executives of the corporations must be familiar with these common complaints; but they acknowledge them publicly only rarely and grudgingly,” he wrote. "The ill treatment continues, showing that most of such executives are not fit stewards of the public trust.”

Sanger is encouraging those who strike to also sign on to his declaration.

"This is how social media should have been developed from the beginning, rather than walled off in separate, competing networks," he said.

A Change.org petition for the strike posted last week had garnered 1,800 signatures as of Wednesday morning.

Tech companies have been under increased scrutiny for how they use and protect user data. Facebook has come under fire for concerns surrounding its handling of user data and privacy, and the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether it violated an agreement with the agency to ramp up its security practices.

Twitter received backlash in March when it inadvertently collected and shared the location data of users with a “trusted partner.”