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Fuck Face­book

Take your places, choose your sins, Everyone loses, no one wins, I have seen the future and this is how it begins.
2 min read

I’m done with the self mas­tur­ba­to­ry of social media, with the likes of Face­book, the loves of Insta­gram and the rest of that ilk. It’s a mas­sive dis­trac­tion of FOMO, pop­u­lar­i­ty con­tests and ego stroking. These plat­forms active­ly encour­age such behav­iour in order to keep users with­in their sites and apps for longer to increase adver­tis­ing rev­enues and extract more data out of each individual.

Your data is a gold mine and these plat­forms are the prospectors.

I delet­ed my Face­book account today. I’ve been here before, back in 2013 short­ly after Edward Snow­den leaked that trove of NSA doc­u­ments. How­ev­er, over time I was con­tact­ed by sev­er­al friends ask­ing me to get back on. Say­ing I was wear­ing a tin­foil hat and far too para­noid for my own good. With a lit­tle resent­ment I signed back up. I nev­er real­ly engaged on the plat­form after that. Nev­er added any­thing of much inter­est and would only log on via a sep­a­rate brows­er. I found Face­book of lit­tle inter­est as a plat­form and fig­ured if I’m not feed­ing any data into the sys­tem, then there was lit­tle harm in keep­ing an account.

Dur­ing the ensu­ing years though, my resent­ment grew towards these types of plat­forms. I start­ed to find them insid­i­ous, inva­sive and hos­tile towards my right to pri­va­cy. The qual­i­ty of the com­mu­ni­ties dimin­ished great­ly, now it’s more about push­ing thin­ly veiled adver­tise­ments through ​“influ­encers” and get­ting the most likes.

Fast for­ward to March 2018 and the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca deba­cle. For me this was the straw that broke the camels back, I’ve sim­ply had enough of this shit. I post­ed to my Face­book time­line that I was delet­ing my account with­in 24 hours, then ran a script that went back through my time­line and delet­ed all my posts. Once that was com­plete I went to this rather well hid­den help page and hit ​“Delete”.

I received one email — com­pared to 2013 when I received many more — ask­ing me to keep the account just for com­mu­ni­ca­tion pur­pos­es. Which is OK in the­o­ry but then I’m still sup­port­ing a plat­form that I despise, a plat­form that is a sur­veil­lance tool. One that is hos­tile towards it’s users pri­va­cy and rights. While I can con­trol what I post — or not — to Face­book, I can­not con­trol what oth­ers post of me and my fam­i­ly. I want to raise my girls with knowl­edge of what the pri­va­cy impli­ca­tions are of using these tools. How the data they pro­vide to these pri­vate com­pa­nies can and will be used against them. What they choose to do with that knowl­edge from there is up to them, that’s the beau­ty of freewill.

It’s not that I’m leav­ing to lurk in the shad­ows, I have a very pub­lic web­site where I pub­lish my thoughts, pho­tog­ra­phy and design (you’re look­ing at it). All of this infor­ma­tion will be ingest­ed, dis­sem­i­nat­ed and archived by var­i­ous machines. Chances are it will long out­live me.

No, this is more or less my lit­tle way of say­ing ​“fuck it, I’m not play­ing any­more” and tak­ing a staunch stance on what plat­forms and sys­tems I choose to use in the future.