I’m just writing to announce that I am planning to close down my Facebook account. I also believe you should be doing the same, or at least consider it.
I shall list some reasons for doing so. The major factor is really just how dangerously scary Facebook really think of your “privacy”.
Many times we’ve read the news about Facebook making changes to your privacy settings - perhaps adding a new “improvement” which actually just sell out more of your information.
The most recent example at time of writing this was how Facebook decided to give out your address and telephone number to 3rd party Facebook apps. 3rd party apps refer to stuff like Farmville, or even the more silly nonsense such as “This is what your friend think of you…” and so on.
In short, Facebook propose to give out some of your most important contact details to all 3rd party apps, many which aren’t exactly safe in the first place. This obviously help Facebook make money, but at what cost to our privacy?
I read somewhere that reminded me of a very good point. Does anyone remember Google Buzz? When they first launched it, there was an outcry over privacy (what Google did was to implement Buzz, then add friends to your list automatically based on who you mailed the most. There was a lawsuit even.
Yes a LAWSUIT. To sue Google for a privacy issue. Yet Facebook sells your contact information to advertisers and no-one blinks. My email address never got any spams. It was like this for over a year and half since it was created. Once it went into Facebook. I now get hundreds of spams.
I am not saying that Facebook sell to spammers. They sell to “trustworthy” companies but then what happen to your information after this? A vast increase in spam soon after it’s in Facebook suggest one thing.
Yet no-one’s making much of a noise about this let alone any sort of a lawsuit.
Recently Goldman Sachs is investing in Facebook. And getting people to invest. They are investing $1,500,000,000 (1.5 billion) into Facebook. Bear in mind that number - one point five billion dollars. It’s sure as hell not for Farmville. It’s for your private data.
So to keep my data private, my profile over time have been locked down to the point that all permissions have been set to “Me Only”. What happened? No-one noticed really. I also removed Facebook Chat from my instant messenger app. No-one noticed (when I’m online, I get chats, but when offline for a long period, no-one notice).
It’s nothing to do with being popular. There’s so much shouting and “me me me me” going on in Facebook with hundreds if not thousands of friends to check up on that it’s very easy for one person to slip under the radar.
Going back to the point that I made about not posting personal information to Facebook and you’ll be fine. OK. Let’s suppose I do this. I don’t get in touch with my contacts, I don’t post my new mobile number, I don’t post my email address or other private information that I would like to give my friends and family. I don’t post photos or video of myself and my kids.
But as I stated…I joined Facebook to keep in touch, but if I can’t post my personal information then what is the point of Facebook? Seriously? It’s not for getting more cows for Farmville that’s for sure.
600 millions users might disagree. That’s fine. Up to them.
However I find it ironic that Facebook give YOUR private information to corporations for money. Mark Zuckerberg is the Time’s Man of the Year but Wikileaks give free private info from corporations/govs. Julian Assange is branded a criminal for that. I ask you. What’s wrong with that picture?
Mark Zuckerberg have in the past called Facebook users “dumb fucks” in giving up all their information on Facebook. But that’s OK, he’s the Time’s Man of the Year remember? And people go on about sending the CIA to “take out” Julian Assange.
I asked myself - what do I *really* get out of Facebook? And I don’t have an answer. None whatsoever. It bring me no benefit at all and it cost me my privacy? The price is too high.
I also asked myself why am I just making this public? Why not just delete the account and be done with it. Simply because no-one will notice. I want people to read this and think. Are you really that interested in what everyone else is saying, or are you just using the social site as a gaming platform? Is the cost to your privacy really worth it?
I don’t care if you don’t delete your account like I am doing but I do hope you do think about the cost that you are unknowingly paying.
I don’t yet know when I will actually delete my account, I would like to know what my brother is doing in Thailand, but given that he only post on Facebook, I’ll need to get him to notice that he have an email account and that he can email me. But it will be soon regardless of that.
*Edit - a dear friend, Alison, pointed out to me that she noticed so I can’t say no-one noticed :D OK…at least those close friends (and Alison notice EVERYTHING, the woman doesn’t sleep! ;-))