Facebook 2 Strikes

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Facebook 2 Strikes: a reader asks…

Is it time to give up on Facebook? It is helpful to be able to see info about relatives and friends, but fewer and fewer are posting these days. I noticed you’re no longer posting your articles on Facebook either (not since July 2018). And I keep reading about issues with Facebook, including the latest security breach. What do you think?

It’s always been the case that if you’re not paying directly for something, you’re paying indirectly. And Facebook doesn’t charge you for your account, nor for letting you post status updates and read others’ status updates. I think Facebook has always been a sort of mind/time sink, that sucks you in, and suddenly you realize an hour has gone by and you’ve been mindlessly looking at cat videos or other inane content that Facebook throws onto your news feed.

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Yes, you pay indirectly for Facebook, in that you give up control over parts of your digital life (and tons of info about your personal life), and you really have no recourse to complain. All you or anyone can do is stop using Facebook. Many of my relatives, friends and colleagues have done just that. While Facebook has struggled with protecting your privacy, they’ve mostly just paid lip service imo. I haven’t yet quit Facebook totally, but now limit myself to just scrolling through my feed every other week or so. I’ll still occasionally ‘like’ something, may wish someone happy birthday, and might even leave a comment. But that’s it.
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Yes, I’ve stopped posting my articles to Facebook. In early August, Facebook changed their rules on auto-posting, and I’ve been using an auto-posting tool so I need only focus on writing good articles. That auto-posting utility no longer works due to Facebook’s changes. The new rules and procedures are much more complicated, and I’m not willing to spend the effort to re-establish a way to auto-post to Facebook. Most of my readers come to my website either directly, through Twitter (@PosiTek), through a Google search, or by signing up for my email digest.

3-strikes

I generally go by a 3 strikes system, and the latest security breach (and what Facebook is doing about it) isn’t yet (but may become) my 3rd strike against Facebook. The first strike was when I saw that they were allowing so many fake accounts and fake news and information to percolate through peoples’ feeds. At that point I started to dial back my use of Facebook. The second strike came when watching how Facebook responds to complaints – and they don’t do a very good job of that imo. At that point, I gave up on using Facebook as a platform for getting to my readers. I’m not sure if the latest security breach is egregious enough to call the third strike and quit Facebook altogether, but I’m considering it.

As to what you should do? I think if your friends and relatives are still posting on Facebook and you want to use that to keep up with their doings, by all means keep doing so. You don’t have to post anything about yourself, and I would certainly suggest you go through your profile and scrub out any personal information you don’t want casually handed out. But recognize that everything you’ve ever posted on Facebook or anywhere online is most likely already out there. If you find that you’re really not getting anything of value out of Facebook, by all means quit. That’s easy:

  1. Tap the drop-down menu on the top right of your Facebook page and select settings.
  2. Tap the General button. Select “Manage Account” Tap “Deactivate your account”

You’ll go through some steps to confirm that you really want to quit, warnings that not all your posts will be deleted, and see that Facebook will take its sweet time actually deleting your account (in case you change your mind). Plow through all that and then stop visiting Faceook. It’s that simple.

2 Comments

  1. Scrubbing doesn’t work. I had a Facebook account and in 2016 I scrubbed years worth of posts from my wall, removed comments on other’s walls, and removed my thumbs up on other’s posts. From that point I would keep a post on my wall for a few weeks, then delete it. I followed this scrubbing for two years.

    In 2018, when I heard about Cambridge Analytica, I decided to leave Facebook for good. I knew that I could rescind my departure in 30 days from initiation. So, I followed the instructions and hemmed and hawed about whether I should remain. But then I got the download of all my content, expecting there to be nothing much but a few posts that were still on my wall, and guess what? All my years of posts were in the FB download. Gah! I was livid, and that was the tipping point.

    I left FB and have not looked back. I miss checking in with family and friends, but I can still do that via email and text messaging. No lost relationships, and a whole lot of regained time in my day.

    • Hi L, thanks for your comment! Looking through the various forums, it appears that when you remove posts or other content from your account, you are merely archiving them, even though the link says “Delete”. I guess that’s Facebook’s way of ensuring that you can change your mind and restore content to your account. Archiving the data removes it from your timeline but it remains in your account and is part of the content you downloaded.

      I also read about quite a few folks complaining they’ve deleted items from their posts and check back later to find they’ve been ‘undeleted’. I’m guessing that’s more a factor of Facebook restoring backups after a security breach, and possibly some user error in there too.

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