Unfriended: Six Million Americans Fled Facebook Last Month

As the third world adopts the U.S.'s biggest social networking site, Americans are leaving it by the millions.

I told you last month why I thought everyone should get off Facebook, and it turns out people listened. Though the social networking behemoth continues creeping toward 700 million global users, six million Americans quit the site in the month of May. That's the first time Facebook has lost U.S. users in over a year. The site also posted losses in Canada, the U.K., Norway, and Russia, while most of its gains came in countries in the developing world, including Mexico and India.

What explains the stunted growth? Several things, the first of which is a growing concern about privacy amongst Facebook users. It was inevitable that a social site that turned its users into a commodity for advertisers would eventually be a turnoff for some, and that looks to be happening at Facebook en masse. Beyond that, competing sites like Twitter, which demand less engagement and information from users, are also siphoning away some former Facebook loyalists.

One also can't underestimate the value of cool when talking about Facebook's decline. In March a study showed that most Americans are now on Facebook, a development the site Facebook Insider says has consistently been a harbinger of slow times ahead: "By the time Facebook reaches around 50 percent of the total population in a given country (plus or minus, depending on internet access rates in that country), growth generally slows to a halt." What Facebook initially had going for it was exclusivity—it was for young Ivy Leaguers. Now that moms and grandmas are on it, it's lost some of that early cachet.

Then again, maybe it was just my essay.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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