I am leaving Facebook – forever. I will exit some other dodgy sites in due course and let you know about it.
If you do not mind having your identity stolen, your computer hacked and sending out viruses to your contact list, your bank account cleaned out, your house burgled, going to court for expensive purchases which you never made and having children stalked by pedophiles through tracking their cell phone location then you do not need to read further.
When it comes to protecting your privacy you probably shrug and unthinkingly declare that you have nothing to hide. If that were true then you do not have a life, even homeless people have something to protect.
I am leaving Facebook and invite you to do so. You will probably postpone – I did. Some of you will procrastinate so long that you will be dead, Facebook will inherit your living memory in the form of your data: words, photos, videos and correspondence but more importantly your daily habits, preferences and choices. Facebook knows you better than you know your self. You cannot yet see it.
If you want your Facebook data then you cannot have it – unless you are European. You cannot insist that Facebook delete your data from their servers, unless you are European, but even Europeans cannot be sure that Facebook will comply. Your absolute privacy has never been protected by Facebook, it breaks their business model. You are an unwitting cog in huge marketing and advertising machine which will chew you up and spit you out because you are not the real customer, data-miners are. Data about you are is sold to businesses, governments and unethical enterprises and ultimately ends up in the hands of highly organized criminal gangs.
You are not safe today nor tomorrow. Years later, Facebook might sell photos of your naked party romps, or your birth, without your permission to just about anyone. You will never get a penny of Facebook’s billions.
When Facebook is not selling your data it is giving it away through Facebook Apps, deliberately poor privacy controls which are hard to understand and bad code which can be hacked and used to distribute viruses.
Your intimate communications and media can easily be all over the Net, bait for budding stalkers to archive, share and index, and then pick off your friends and family at their leisure with the handy geographical and cell phone tracking information which Facebook slurps up into its huge database.
Like tobacco smokers who refuse to believe their health is in danger, some of you tell yourself that Facebook’s motto is “do no evil” – which of course it is not. That dubious motto was designed by Google for itself. Being hopelessly naïve is a membership requirement of the masses. Only individuals think, and think independently.
An incomplete list complaints against Facebook:
- Your data is owned by Facebook
- Your data is not secure
- Your data is sold
- You have not been alerted to the various uses of your data
- You data is not portable. It is locked into Facebook’s structure
- If Facebook changes its policy, mission or goes bankrupt then you lose your friend network and data
- You are being data-mined
- Your FB presence creates a naïve impression that Facebook is innocent and harmless – and lulls your friends into a false sense of security
- Facebook’s mission is to get everyone in the world onto Facebook and provide an identity passport to all other sites. Facebook would have access to your other sites. Facebook Apps would have access to your identity which means they could access your accounts on other sites
- Facebook, like Google, tracks your surfing across innumerable websites and Facebook uses Google CAPTCHA
- Facebook insists on knowing who you are. Anonymity is not allowed. The new rules to open a Facebook account are that your must supply your cell phone number or, failing that, your government ID, photo and address.
- If Facebook cannot know who you are then you are excluded.
- Dissidents, those who protest against tyrannical or unfair regimes, have no protection on Facebook and risk having their network rounded up and executed. By being on Facebook you are helping to do the dirty work. No innocent bystanders and all that.
- Facebook requests your email account passwords so that they can spam your contact list. They should delete these passwords but hackers who cracked their insecure servers liberated the passwords and spread them on the internet. Is your email password now in the possession of internet scammers?
The Solution to not getting shafted by Facebook
The solution is to remove your data from internet giants such as Facebook and Google and move it to decentralised, privately owned servers. This can be done in stages.
Delete all your data first and leave a dummy photo behind. Remove all tags to you, private messages, wall posts, events, likes, fan pages, forum discussions, connect logins. There are apps that do that but they would risk your friend’s privacy, so delete as much as you can manually.
If you are in Europe there is a Facebook button to request a file of all remaining data which Facebook has. Check that nothing has been left behind.
If you use Facebook Connect (which I have not) then delete Facebook’s access to your accounts on other sites and find alternative credentials.
When all data is gone, and you have communicated with your friends about where they can find you, then you can delete your account. Deactivating your account is not the same as deleting it. Nothing guarantees that your data it is not in some psycho’s underground bunker waiting to deployed at the end of the world, F-Day!
I am leaving Facebook in stages. I have no need for Facebook. I might keep my account open only to tell others to leave Facebook. I will state that friend invites will not be accepted.
I resisted joining Facebook for several years. An account was made for me. I asked for it to be deleted. I joined Facebook to take a look and stayed. An omen, as I was joining Facebook, someone who I knew was leaving Facebook – forever. I wanted to leave, my “friends” wanted me to stay. Facebook is not for rats, they know when to leave a sinking ship, but for sheep who cower together wanting to be culled.
I had been told that Facebook was good for networking events. I disagree. Facebook is full of unavoidable clutter and useless spam which wastes valuable time to wade through and sort. Event promotion on Facebook is unproductive, and, for me, unnecessary. My own site list is infinitely better at getting targeted information to people who actually want it. I do not need a daily overdose of plagiarised poetry, schmaltzy pop-art, naïve app surveys and game scores. Facebook has no focus . The latest Facebook outrage is that you anyone can join you to a group which contains nothing but spam which will then fill up your email inbox.
Conclusion: Facebook is a waste of valuable time unless you like looking at photos. Whilst Twitter is the on a lower run of internet spam hell, Facebook is only fraction above it.
You can find me on my own site. A domain which I own. My site will not track you, serve adverts nor implant hidden beacons or virtually impossible to remove EverCookies on your computer. It is simply wrong that companies monitor your surfing habits. You would not like a stranger watching you, so why allow a company to do it?
In the future, we will all have our own sites. We will have our own decentralized social network when we choose to link and syndicate – the architecture already exists. You will not place your data in the hands of unethical and unscrupulous operators who will sell you and your grandmother’s grandmother down the river.
You can read endless complaints about Facebook – you should learn them if you know someone who uses Facebook – like you. Facebook keeps changing its policies and architecture. Seek updated advice if you want to ensure proper and full deletion of your Facebook data and account.
Facebook does makes account deletion neither easy nor obvious. This was found on a website, not Facebook:
“To actually delete your account you have to visit this link after you log into your FB account.
Remember: True friendship is getting your friends out of the infernal, incendiary tower of Facebook Babel before they get charred alive.
The first article below, “10 Reasons To Delete Your Facebook Account” is an absolute must-read. Well-argued, quick to read and the comprehensive:
Finally a word from my sponsor Michael Jackson: i always feel like somebody’s watching me