After nearly seven years on the platform, I deleted my Facebook account yesterday.
I’d had enough of Facebook’s screwups: security breaches; sharing personal data with third parties without user consent; allowing Russian troll farms to run rampant and interfere with our elections; creepy opposition research into anti-Facebook activists; commercials in which Facebook apologizes for doing shitty things only to continue doing shitty things; crushing good and honest digital publishers who spent years cultivating followers only to be undone by one algorithm change after another.
Facebook is not good for the world. It says its goal is to connect people, which it has done in both positive and negative ways. But more than connect people, we’ve always known the main goal was to deliver you and me to companies who want to sell us stuff, which is fine because there’s nothing wrong with making money. The problem is we didn’t know the insidious lengths Facebook would go to do it.
I fear what the future of capitalism looks like. If the biggest companies in the world believe, correctly or not, that to truly get gain an edge in business they need to psychologically profile as many people as possible, then we are in deep trouble because there will be no end to the invasive ways they seek to achieve this.
So I’m out. I’m not just deactivating my account. I’m deleting it for good, even though Facebook and the companies it’s shared information with will retain the data they have on me for the foreseeable future. But that’s the last of it. Barring some major changes at Facebook, which at a minimum would involve a complete house-cleaning of the company’s C-Suite executives including Mark Zuckerberg himself, as well as giving users total control over which third parties get to see their data in clear, transparent language that will help them make informed decisions, I won’t be coming back.