“Facebook cannot be trusted,” wrote John Edwards.
“They are morally bankrupt pathological liars who enable genocide (Myanmar), facilitate foreign undermining of democratic institutions.
“[They] allow the live streaming of suicides, rapes, and murders, continue to host and publish the mosque attack video, allow advertisers to target ‘Jew haters’ and other hateful market segments, and refuse to accept any responsibility for any content or harm.
I am sure there must have been some highs from using you, something akin to witnessing an actual wedding or road trip or birth or sunset or a new poem taking shape or a really great poem by a friend. It’s just that I only remember the lows. My general feeling of inadequacy, lack of beauty, and wit, all fueled by endless and instant comparison with others in the broad daylight of numbers of likes and comments. So, in secret, I unfollowed every single one of my friends, and kept only the newsfeeds of the papers and blogs and websites I felt I could trust to give me an honest account of what was happening in the world.
If you’re still on Facebook after everything has happened this year, you need to ask yourself why. Is the value you get from the platform really worth giving up all your data for? More broadly, are you comfortable being part of the reason that Facebook is becoming so dangerously powerful? Are you comfortable being on a platform that has, among other things, helped incite genocide in Myanmar?
Time and time again Facebook has made it abundantly clear that it is a morally bankrupt company that is never going to change unless it is forced to. What’s more, Facebook has made it very clear that it thinks it can get away with anything because its users are idiots.
One of the main reasons Yahoo declined is because it lost out to a powerful rival, Google, in online search; Marissa Mayer, its boss from 2012 until its sale to Verizon last year, was unable to restore advertisers’ or employees’ confidence as users left. Today there is no company that truly competes with Facebook’s suite of apps, partly because it has hoovered up competitors such as Instagram, the wildly successful photo app that is at the centre of its future plans.
But people who watched Yahoo’s collapse see ominous similarities. Executive turnover was a leading indicator of its decline; before Ms Mayer was hired it went through four chief executives in three years. Mr Zuckerberg, who controls the majority of Facebook’s voting shares, is not leaving, but many top executives are.
I left Facebook on 1 January 2012. Never used Instagram and stopped using WhatsApp on 30 April 2017. I haven’t missed it for a second. Some people asked me why I don’t have Facebook / WhatsApp anymore. I have a few answers for them:
It became clear that Facebook broke it’s promise. It promised it would not connect Facebook and WhatsApp. And would not use any WhatsApp data to improve their advertisement platform.
I spent too much time in WhatsApp, it became unhealthy.
I absolutely hated the group conversations, and you are kind of mandatory to be part of it and be responsive.
Maybe the fact that I use Facebook to share my blog posts is a tiny tiny reason why others are still using it. It’s like I’m still visiting friends in the smoking area, even though I don’t smoke. Maybe if I quit going entirely, it will help my friends quit, too.
So I snapped out of the silly fear that people won’t find me if I’m not there. If they care at all, they’ll find me.
So, yeah. That decided it. I deleted all three accounts with 15,000 “friends”.