You can leave Facebook now, so says I

Chris Burns - Mar 22, 2019, 3:53 pm CDT
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You can leave Facebook now, so says I

It’s time to quit Facebook, in my opinion. I have a number of reasons why, and today we’re going to go through them, one by one. This should be a quick sort of pros and cons session about leaving the social network, but mostly without the pros. Other than the fact that you’re already there, and it’s easier just to stay than to prepare to go.

On January 25th, it was tipped that Facebook CEO and top brass had been discussing integrating Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp with a single, cross-platform message system. On January 29th it was revealed that Facebook was running a activity-tracking VPN that payed users in exchange for capture of activity data. January was also the month in which it was discovered that the hardware called Facebook Portal had its Amazon reviews artificially boosted by Facebook employees.

A study was published by researchers at Stanford University and New York University on January 27th, 2019 called “The Welfare Effects of Social Media.” This study focused on Facebook, and concluded the following. “We find that four weeks without Facebook improves subjective well-being and substantially reduces post-experiment demand, suggesting that forces such as addiction and projection bias may cause people to use Facebook more than they otherwise would.”

In February, Facebook was revealed to be keeping lists of and tracking users it considered to be threats. In early March, it was shown that phone numbers submitted to Facebook for 2FA (2-factor authentication) could be used by 3rd-parties to search for and find you.

On March 8th we reported Privacy International and MobilSicher’s ongoing lists of apps which send information to Facebook without their user’s consent. On March 13th, Facebook’s servers went down, putting Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Facebook proper out of commission for several hours. Facebook suggested on March 14th that they’d just been enacting a “server configuration change.”

On March 14th, 2019, two of Facebook’s most powerful executives quit the company. Or they’ve “decided to leave the company” according to Facebook PR. These departures put fewer people between developers at Facebook (and their subsidiaries) and Mark Zuckerberg. Where these execs managed sections of Facebook’s services, in-between workers and Zuckerberg, now only Zuckerberg remains to run them.

On March 21st, Facebook was revealed to have accidentally left unprotected the passwords for “hundreds of millions” of users, in plain text, for a potential of “years.” These passwords, stored as plain text, were likely available for employees to read non-encrypted, for years. Facebook suggested that there was no need for alarm, and that there was also no need for anyone to change their password at this time.

Every news bit mentioned above was reported by SlashGear – and we by no means cover every single newsworthy Facebook event at all times. The events written about above all happened since January of 2019. We’re not even done with March yet.

Is there really a reason good enough to stick with Facebook and its varied services at this point, beyond convenience? If there is, I’d love to have a chat about it.


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