Truthfully, I had been considering closing my Facebook account long before the recent news about Facebook’s attempt to hide their contribution of millions of user profiles to Cambridge Analytica, Steve Bannon, and the Trump campaign. I had grown weary of the algorithmic feed and the weird, dislocating user experience. I enjoy seeing photos of friends and vicariously enjoying their joys, or sometimes sharing a moment of grief, but the engineers and data scientists at Facebook have tweaked the feed in ways that made me hate the way things worked.
So last night I posted a note reflecting on my decision to delete my account:
I Googled and found the hidden link that one clicks to delete (and not just deactivate) my account. Facebook really tries to convince you not to delete (and throws a Captcha in the flow just to make it a little extra annoying), but I plunged ahead and deleted:
They make you wait 14 days before they actually delete your account, and they make sure you know that you can login anytime to cancel the deletion.
I’m sad to lose the connection with friends, but it feels good to be out. I’m aware the fact that Facebook still has ways of collecting data on me, and that advertisers, politicians, and others have already received my data from Facebook (and other web platforms). I know this is a symbolic gesture, but maybe it will convince one or two others to follow suit. And if there are enough of us who delete accounts, maybe something will change and the platform will become a little safer for those who keep their accounts.
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