Facebook and linking is a big deal
Sunday, January 3, 2016 by Dave Winer

Linking was the big innovation of the web. I hope we don't end up having to try to explain linking to future generations who have no recollection of an electronic writing environment where words could take you to a whole other place. But I suspect we're going there. Unless somehow we can get Facebook to relent and make it easy to link from words in Facebook posts to other places on the web. 

Imagine there are parks all around Facebook where people get to do all they want. That's the web. Inside Facebook is heavily policed, there are severe limits on what you can do, so it's safe. That's what they're going for, and it's not a bad idea. Both ideas have a place, and there should be entry points between the two. That's what links are, a border crossing between ControlLand and the democratic space.

The fact that Facebook does not support linking in their posts is really hurting the rest of the web. It's made people choose between writing exclusively on Facebook or mixing it up between FB and their blog, and other services. If you want to do the latter you have to base your writing outside of Facebook because they do not support linking.

  • Facebook by itself is hurting the web by enforcing the Silo structure. Things can get in, but they cannot get out. That's why Facebook doesn't allow links either, it's not in their interest to have people go somewhere else. It's why we have many initiatives like the #indieweb movement where people are creating social connectivity in a more open way without the need for any silo's.