It is almost impossible to find an individual who has no Facebook account, the issue on whether or not he is actually active in using it or his account was simply made for him by his friends is immaterial. The fact is Facebook has become a common household name and everyone is at least aware of existence. While the social culture somehow dictates that having a Facebook account is imperative in our society especially in the age in which we now live. Technology has become a part of one’s life and it becomes hard to detach one’s self from his digital identity.
Nevertheless, there are various reasons that should be pondered and considered why an individual should quit Facebook. Some of these may be on the negative psychological effects brought upon the patronage of the social networking site while others may be on the negative effects on the lifestyle of the user, especially on his productivity. Indeed there are many reasons but more than the effects experienced by individuals on a personal level which may be affected by other factors other than those presented by Facebook and its company, the top 10 reasons why one should quit Facebook rely heavily on the technicalities and personalities involved in the company. The following are the top 10 reasons:
10. Facebook’s Terms of Service are completely one-sided
The Terms of Service of Facebook provide that every data you provide them will be owned by them as stated in Section 2.1 of the said terms. Moreover, you are mandated to keep the data in your profile accurate and updated as stated in Section 4.6 and failure to do so can lead to the termination of your account as stated in Section 14. It may be argued that such terms are implemented only for the safety and interest of Facebook and that these terms are merely theoretical and not strictly enforced in practice. This defense, however, is weak as the company may very well use the data gathered and obtained for selling them to third parties such as advertising and marketing agencies especially since they practically own the data you supply them.
9. Facebook’s CEO has a documented history of unethical behavior
The very founding and establishment of Facebook has already been tainted with questions on Zuckerberg’s work ethics. It is reported by BusinessInsider.com that Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the company, uses the Facebook user data in guessing email passwords and reading personal emails for the purpose of discrediting his rivals. Although these allegations are old and remain unproven, there are still reasons to question the ethics of the world’s largest social network’s CEO. The fact that Facebook chose to spend $65M to settle a lawsuit involving Zuckerberg in an alleged stealing of the idea used in creating Facebook just amplifies the uncertainties in Zuckerberg’s ethics.
8. Facebook has flat out declared war on privacy
With Facebook’s privacy changes, it becomes evident that the company is against keeping personal data of the users a private matter. Mark Zuckerberg argues that the age of privacy is over and that given a chance to create Facebook again, he would have set the default setting of user data and posts as public. It is true that it becomes harder to keep a private line in the advent of social media, however, there is a thin line between having a reasonable expectation of privacy and having none at all. While it is also true that any data posted online may be deemed available to the public, there is a big difference between exerting effort to at least keep some things private and all out giving away the data to the public.
7. Facebook is pulling a classic bait-and-switch
Facebook is directing their developers to access the data of the users with new APIs but the implications of this, however, is not properly explained to the members of the social networking site. This is essentially a bait-and-switch whereby Facebook compels an individual to give his information and eventually makes the data available to the public. Certainly, Facebook gets their revenues from advertisements and this bait-and-switch is just like tricking the users into giving their personal information for advertising purposes thus gaining profit from their users’ data. This is the very reason why the Federal Trade Commission has been getting involved with their affairs and also why people are suing the company.
6. Facebook is a bully
Facebook sued Pete Warden when he demonstrated how the bait-and-switch contemplated in the preceding number actually works. He revealed that all the data from Facebook’s privacy settings have become public. The lawsuit was filed even before Facebook announced the Open Graph API stating that the default is “now social”. If this is the case, why would there still be a need to sue a software developer when Facebook actually intends to do the same? The only answer that can be contemplated is that Facebook does not want their users to know how much data is actually available for public consumption.
5. Even your private data is shared with applications
All the personal data given by the user to Facebook is automatically shared with the applications that a user may install. This implies that a user does not only trust Facebook itself but the developers of the applications as well. Most of these developers, however, are not that concerned in keeping the personal data of the user protected. For all we know, some of them may be more unethical than Facebook itself. At this point, it becomes obvious that all the personal information of the user is virtually available to the public unless he does not install any applications at all.
4. Facebook is not technically competent enough to be trusted
Even without the ethical issues involved in the Facebook policies and its officers, it is still hard to trust the competence of Facebook in making sure that personal data of the users cannot be hacked. For instance, it becomes easier for spammers to use the “Like” button in gaining access to the user’s feed and spamming a person’s profile. There are also reports about committing mistakes, hence making users’ profiles completely available for the public as well as the cross-site scripting error that took over too weeks to fix. These instances show that Facebook either does not care too much about the profile safety of the users or does not have competent engineers. Either way suffices the notion of not trusting Facebook’s technical competencies.
3. Facebook makes it incredibly difficult to truly delete your account
It comes in the life of a digital native that he decides that he has enough of all the drama that Facebook brings hence wanting to completely get rid of his Facebook profile. While there is an option to deactivate one’s account there are no promises that the company will also delete all the data of the user. The developers of every application the member has ever used may also keep these data as well. Deactivating one’s account does not necessarily equate to the deletion of the account, especially since one may still be tagged in photos or posts even when the account is deactivated. There is not much difference actually except that one can’t get to access the account for a while.
2. Facebook doesn’t (really) support the Open Web
The Open Graph API is not actually open for everyone. This Open Graph API is not truly open in the sense that one must still be on Facebook in order to use this feature. A real open feature should work with whichever social network an individual prefers and chooses. The idea here is basically to collect more data about the user, which the public has generally no idea about, and owning the data given by the user. Facebook only implements just enough OpenID in order to claim that they support the open web and at the same time promote Facebook content.
1. The Facebook application itself sucks
In general, the Facebook application provides no real redemption. With the bombardment of various game requests from people one does not even know, the numerous privacy settings, the irritating advertisements and millions of useless applications, Facebook as a whole has become impractical and more annoying than anything else. The navigations on the site are terrible and there are few ways to customize one’s profile. While it can be argued that Facebook provides leisure and entertainment, the cons in using the site weighs too heavily that the risks implied therein becomes impossible to ignore. If given the choice, one must be strongly advised to walk out on Facebook especially since there is little to gain in utilizing such a site.