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It's time to say goodbye to Facebook

It's time to say goodbye to Facebook

Facebook seems to be finished. Fake news, echo chambers, unchecked agitation and demonstrable attacks on democracy have tainted the network once described as social and upset many of its approximate two billion users. The handling of our user data was questionable right from the start. But the recent scandals about political manipulation with Cambridge Analytica and the recording of our call and messaging logs has gotten out of hand. For the first time, people are seriously moving on from the network. In this article we'll explain to you why they're right about this, and what this could entail.

It’s sad that it came to this. Completely unregulated, data giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook were able to expand and collect more and more intimate details about people all over the world. These details were analyzed and exploited in various ways. If personalized advertising was the extent of it, probably nobody would’ve really gotten upset.

But echo chambers in which people are confronted with one-sided reporting and data analyses that specifically supply these chambers with fake news and manipulate masses of people have revealed a new kind of big data conspiracy. It had been clear for a while that we would have to pay for these "free" web services somehow if they weren't asking for our money upfront. But few could have guessed that it would cost us our freedom.

As early as 2011, Avaaz and Upworthy founder Eli Pariser warned of the filter bubbles in his TED talk and predicted that they would distort our view of the world. This year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal proved him to be correct.

What is the Cambridge Analytica scandal?

The extremely brief summary of the scandal is that a British professor named Aleksandr Kogan collected the data of 57 million Facebook users via an inconspicuous survey. He passed these on to Cambridge Analytica, which used them to influence those users in the 2016 US presidential elections in favor of Donald Trump. Investigations into this story are still underway, but any further findings from it will surely be a nightmare.

Facebook's handling of the crisis hasn’t been any better. Jean-Louis Gassée, entrepreneur and former Apple employee, is convinced that Zuckerberg considers us ‘idiots’. After Steve Jobs said, "You're holding the iPhone wrong," and Sun CEO Scott McNealy said, "Get over it, you have no privacy," Zuckerberg's ambiguous "Your privacy is important to us," is the boldest statement we’ve heard in a long time. Gassée says:

“Yes, of course, our privacy is important to you; you made billions by surveilling and mining our private lives. One wonders how aware Zuckerberg is of the double entendre.”

He also criticizes Zuckerberg's claim to have acted quickly against Cambridge Analytica's abuse. Because…

  • Facebook has always shared too much user data with third parties.
  • Facebook was warned in 2011 against misusing app permissions.
  • Declarations of consent for the use of Facebook apps are, without exception, too complicated for the average user.
  • Facebook had obviously been aware of the abuse for a long time and had done nothing.

Of course Facebook didn't do anything. In the end, political campaigns are diligently financed and Facebook has been able to secure large parts of the generous campaign budget in the form of sponsored posts. So the question is: how many Cambridge Analytica type scandals have we not discovered yet?

Facebook, chat logs, and permissions

A small proportion of users will be surprised to discover when extracting their Facebook data that chat logs have also been recorded, i.e. the meta-information about who you talked to for how long. While this only happened on Android devices with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and was fixed by restructuring the rights management with API level 16, this feature clearly shows how Facebook ticks.

Facebook also handled our movement and location data in a really lax manner. Until it was specifically told to do otherwise, Facebook would reveal your location to your chat partners. In the future you will have to enable this feature.

The mood has long since changed

Not only users, politicians and regulators are losing faith in Facebook. As the FTC launches a non-public investigation into Facebook's privacy practices, investors are beginning to lose faith in the company. In the meantime, the share price fell to a one-year low after having risen almost continuously over the past five years.

In other social media channels, but also in some news media headlines, the hashtag #DeleteFacebook appears again and again, and has even become a catchphrase on Twitter. Elon Musk deleted the Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX. Edward Snowden spoke out and declared it our moral duty to oppose data monopolists like Facebook if we want to keep our freedom.

The next steps

Since we don’t expect Facebook to undergo any kind of moral change under Mark Zuckerberg and suddenly become good, we as users are forced to act. The requirement to use your real name will disappear, that much has been decided in court. Anonymous use will become easier. We can also stop giving Facebook so much of ourselves: we don’t need to optimize face recognition by tagging every photo, inform Facebook about every step we take, or rate every event.

It doesn't all have to happen on Facebook. It wasn't like that before Facebook either. The network was decentralized, a place for many. Its inventor Tim Bernes-Lee has chosen more dramatic words and says that Facebook and Google are turning the web into a weapon.

Facebook offered us convenience because everything is in one place or in one app. But now it has finally become apparent that we have paid for this with a complete digital image of our personality on the net. We are also paying to be informed and are potentially used more and more unilaterally. The only appropriate answer is a clear no.

Exiting Facebook or even Google is complicated. Our dependence on their services has become enormous. It is only inconvenient for individual users. For companies, even for AndroidPIT, it would be associated with a direct financial loss; after all, we are acquiring a considerable proportion of our readership via online services.

Leaving must therefore be wisely planned and patiently implemented. Our separate article goes into this in greater detail and outlines the Facebook deletion/deactivation process step-by-step.

What do you think? If you already have your finger on the "Delete Facebook account" button or if you're keeping your account for a good reason, please feel free to leave a comment below!

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48 comments

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  • I didn't find anything bad on facebook yet. Bad or Good is fully depends on your usage.


  • I do not find Facebook bad, scary or dangerous. To get so much: news, communication with loved ones and acquaintances, and watching their lives, playing, winning, expressing ourselves ... in today's world we have to pay. And we get everything for free. We do not need to delete your Facebook. Just filter the information and restrict access to the intimate part of your life. And if we had to pay for Facebook?


  • Dave Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

    You know what else is funny? Android Pit asks for my Facebook password to leave a comment while they tell me to delete Facebook. Lol


  •   24
    Deactivated Account Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

    never liked facebook to be honest. In the beginning it was ok but it became narcissistic where everyone started to kiss each other's behinds for likes and comments. Just my opinion maybe I have the wrong people on my profile who knows?


  •   24
    Deactivated Account Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

    Totally agree but twitter is just as bad just in other ways.


  • Alex Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

    I don't think discontinuing it now does any good as people have been using it for ages!

    Deactivated Account


    • Not me. I've been telling people for years that in social media; you and your data ARE the product. They are both monetizing and weaponizing your data. Funny thing is, people couldn't wait to tell them all kinds of stuff. Who their family and friend are. Their favorite color, food, etc.... I don't need social engineering for password recovery. They gave it all away!


    •   24
      Deactivated Account Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

      Totally agree Alex the damage has been done.


  • this is a valid point, facebook is now global and if our data can be compromised, then I'm really disappointed in Mark for not taking this seriously, I joined facebook in October 2007 and I have come a long way with facebook for this to be happening now, I am slowly drifting away from facebook , as I seldom use the app.


  • I find it rather amusing that nobody cared when Obama did the same thing.


  • The recent CA fuss was not about facebook selling data but rather about a third party quiz app distributed through it. Playing these quizzes is like playing games with the data going to the app or game creator. Information from these quizzes is not stored by facebook but by the third party company that advertised it. I would like to see less advertising and promotion on Fb but have no idea how that could be without charging users and any company doing that would lose my subscription right away.


  • One word...Intent. Facebook mines data to sell it off as opposed to Google or Amazon who use it in house


  • D. L. Mar 28, 2018 Link to comment

    It's not just Cambridge Anilytica that did this, Obama's campaign did the same thing back bin 2012, with FB permission, after they found out, and lots more groups have been scraping data for years. So, yes, time to leave the surveillance company. Interested in more analysis?
    ht tps://www.youtube.com
    /watch?v=_mXW7-0ebK0 copy link and
    Remove space between ht tps://
    guess I'm still too new to post links?


    • It's as if you get all your news from Fox, and it's all a lie.

      Obama asked for people's data, Trump stole it.


  • The CA scandal gave me the last push to delete my FB account and remove the app + messenger from my phone. I'm at ease now.


  • Ok so you can't say V1sa or MeesterCard


  • It's Facebook FFS - not the Wall Street Journal or well known credit card companies who regularly get hacked along with your banks etc... Closed all your bank accounts recently - cut all your credit cards up... Maybe we need to ban all advertising too as it is just trying to get you to vote for this toothpaste or that tampon or airline - Americans and other juveniles all over the world need to grow the fu3k up and use their underdeveloped brains a bit... No wonder the other font of all knowledge 'The National Enquirer' does so well...


  • It's Facebook FFS - not the Wall Street Journal or well known credit card companies


  • Errors have occured! Your contribution contains unapproved content. Huh??!!


  • It's Facebook guys


  • Jon Mar 28, 2018 Link to comment

    We also need to address the collusion between services like Facebook and the device manufacturers.

    Companies like Samsung hardwire Facebook into their devices with no option to remove them. Even if you delete your account and disable the Facebook application it isn't unusual to find the Facebook processes running.

    There is a dirty deal between companies to force themselves onto the persons mobile device to harvest yet more data.

    Mobile phone manufacturers have to start taking our privacy seriously and give the consumers of their products the ability to pick and choose what applications they have on those devices.

    Deactivated AccountMark


  • Ellett Mar 28, 2018 Link to comment

    The implied equivalencies between FB and Google are misleading. Yes, Google collects a lot of information on us (probably even more than Facebook), but Google does NOT sell that information or otherwise make personal information available to third parties. Google's business is targeting ads better than anyone else, so if they supplied their trove of personal information to anyone else, it would be like killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.

    Apple is primarily a hardware vendor, not making money off of personal data collection. They can't afford any scandals that would hurt their sales, so we're relatively safe with Apple.

    Microsoft's terms and conditions are so murky that no one can understand what they can and can't do, so to be safe, keep Cortana and Bing off your machines (if you're one of the two people in the world who actually use them).

    In terms of danger of selling your personal information, I'd rank the "big four" like this:
    Facebook
    Microsoft
    Apple
    Google


  • Sorin Mar 28, 2018 Link to comment

    It is good to be careful about what you post on the "Network of Networks" because it is (very) possible that the messages do not just reach who you want to reach. If you want to tell everybody something, then you can say it. If you have nothing to hide, here you can see that everyone can see everything. For fun and for an open virtual world, it is a perfect place to know your ideas and where to see what ideas others have, because it is a very widespread network.
    But if you want a degree of anonymity, then it's good to choose another solution. And if you have sensitive data or very important data, then NO in this way is advisable to distribute them, there are other and other possibilities to do it in complete safety.
    The choice belongs to you!


  • Interesting that you can log into this via Facebook - Haha. I think that the 2 billion people who are registered with Facebook and use it, giving it the power to abuse them and immorally misuse and sell their personal details should have learned a lesson. Outfits like Facebook are scum and it's amazing that so many people have trusted an online data collector of any kind is unbelievable. Anti-social media is as much used for nastiness between people as for good. Also remember that children of 13 and often less use this rubbish and are also targets for these scumbags to misuse their details Zuker-burger is morally bereft and Facebook should be shut down along with any other outfits like that. It's about time our government grew some balls and clamped down hard. Like with a plastic bottle tax - what is that but a governmental money earner. Find some guts and ban plastic bottles, plastic straws and unethical businesses. Fine the supermarkets, insist on big corporates paying the tax they owe, etc . . . . I give up!


  • I have always had nothing but comtempt for social media and personally thought the users of them were sad individuals. I don't care if it is Pooface, Twatter, instagroan or any of the others. They are ultimately pointless and a complete waste of time - and that's before you even think about security issues. I will stick with Whatsapp and email thanks.


  • the ability to sign into other (unimportant) sites like this one is for me one of the great features of Fb and saves having to have separate logins for every site where I want to post a comment


    • Just remember, that whenever you actually use that login option, FB will track your every move. In case of our website that's not that important or scary (there's normally not much data of you flying around on our website), but there are many others that I would never connect to my FB account.


  • I have not considered for a long time that anything I do online is private and the biggest issue about what to do about facebook, is what to replace it with. You can argue of course that we do not need the service it provides and that we survived without it before. However before we lived our lives in a much smaller bubble where our information about friends and relations was based on a limited amount of direct contact much of which cost substantial amounts of money and/or time. For some people facebook was the first time that they made friends outside their immediate sphere and for most was the first time that they got to see what their friends and family were doing on a daily basis - I for one do not want to lose the important benefits of facebook. I flirted for a while with google plus but found that few others did. The fact that Google + has not even slightly dented Fb is indication of its popularity.
    The answer for me is to manage permissions for apps more carefully but I have always accepted that the price of facebook is giving away limited personal data and I would rather this than pay any kind of subscription.


    • The people you "make" friends with on FB aren't really your friends. You can still keep in touch with friends via email and text and what the heck, a phone call!


      • Actually I restrict my facebook friends list to family and people I either know well or worked with before I retired. I find it nice to see what they are doing, where they go and see the photos and videos they post. People will upload their pictures to social media but are unlikely to attach them to emails unless they think they would be of specific interest to me. Over the years I have lost touch with people I knew pre-internet but that isn't going to happen with my current friends. I of course think it is daft to accept friend requests from people you don't know, except where you may be people with common interests - I have a small number of such people who have similar health conditions to me who I would never normally come into contact with. I am not obsessed with Fb perhaps visiting it 3-4 times a week and do think that people should be more careful when posting but that is not a reason enough for me to ditch it.

        Deactivated Accountremyj


    • And what about the children who don't understand they are being misled and taken advantage of by a sociopathic team of power chasers.


  • Mark
    • Admin
    Mar 28, 2018 Link to comment

    I have never singed up for Facebook or any of the new social media. I once had a Friendster account briefly until I saw all the trolling behavior and quick dropped out of it. Social media is the cancer of todays society I just hope it isn't incurable and we stand a chance at recovery. I think Facebook is already to ingrained for it just to end even though I wish it would along with the rest of them.


  • I have long refused to become a part of the Farcebook culture (or any other social media for that matter) for precisely this reason.
    Farcebook has for a long time been high on my list of applications that I class as 'dangerous' at least in part for the way it can be used in a similar way to the old lynch mobs where the masses decide on a person's guilt without real facts and partly for the way it has the ability to garner vast dossiers on you and your friends and family.

    This scandal was just waiting to happen. It was always a case of when not if.


    • I think Facebook should be shut down I know it has to much data on people and able to hack into whatever they want


  • Ironically, to log in to post a comment, I could have signed in with Facebook (the other option being Google)..... Anyway, I've decided to have a break from FB. Deactivated my account, uninstalled it from my phone, deleted Messenger, cleared cache and cookies and all that jazz. I imagine that not only will my battery life be better, but probably my ACTUAL life will be better, not staring at the stupid blue and white screen every time it pings at me.

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