Why I'm Quitting Facebook

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17 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    That's odd. Usually you'd post a link to this sort of thing on Facebook.

  2. yoshi says:

    Deleting your account is an overreaction. The answer is simple – remove all information outside of your name and picture and don't subscribe to any applications. That's what I do and so do most of my peers (we all work in information security) – you get the function of being able to connect with people without having to manage your privacy settings.

    I also find it fascinating that only now people are getting annoyed with personalized advertisements. Amazon has been doing it for more than a decade (I worked for the company that initially provided it) and google has been doing it for almost as long. But only when facebook started to do it – did people freak out. Interesting.

  3. Kathy H. says:

    See today's NY Times: http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/techtonicshifts/archive/2010/05/13/as-facebook-takes-a-beating-a-brutal-movie-is-set-to-make-things-much-worse.aspx

    I'll stay on Facebook. I don't want to give up how much it enhances my relationship with family and friends. But, I check my privacy settings every week now.

  4. piperTom says:

    There is an open source alternative, Disapora. I haven't tried it, but it sounds good.

  5. Mike says:

    Yeah, Diaspora could be the first real Facebook alternative to come along. Hopefully it will gain enough traction to live up to its potential. Sadly, it doesn't actually exist yet.

  6. Al says:

    I'm hoping for a Facebook alternative that my entire frigging family won't jump onto.

  7. Rob says:

    Thanks Ken. I just linked to this post on FB. I then realized that since my company is working on a FB offering and I have co-workers added as friends – I probably shouldn't be talking about it in a negative light. Another reason why I should delete my profile I guess.

  8. eddie says:

    Facebook can balance “simplicity and granularity” by having both a convoluted privacy control panel and a single, simple button you can push to set all of those complicated settings at once to maximum privacy.

    Maximum privacy is almost certainly not what anyone wants, and not what you want, either. Maximum privacy would be to not share any of your information with anyone. If that's what you want, why did you put any of your information on Facebook in the first place?

    What you really want, rather than what you just said you want, is a simple button that sets all of the privacy controls to exactly the amount of sharing that you, Ken, would like to have and no more. Now, maybe you think it's obvious where that should be – after all, it's what any right-thinking person would want, right?

    Turns out people have lots of different ideas about what the "obviously correct amount of sharing" is.

    For example, the largest target audience of Facebook doesn't give a rat's ass about any of this Facebook privacy hoo-ha that's sprung up on the Internets. They like publicity. They want all of their friends AND EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD to know that they really really like Twilight and that they need help feeding their ducks in Farmville. Interestingly enough, one of the things that they really want to keep private is whose profiles they've been looking at. And Facebook happily accommodates that right out of the box.

    Quitting Facebook is a reasonable proposition for someone who's too old to have the social environment of a sixteen-to-twentysix-year-old, too busy to keep up with the necessary privacy settings, and too dumb to just take down all the info you wouldn't want public in the first place.

  9. Ken says:

    Yep, that's me. Old and dumb.

  10. Kathy H. says:

    If you weren't on Facebook, I wouldn't have gotten to know more about you and Katrina. I've been glad to get to know you better. Don't leave!

  11. Madrocketscientist says:

    You can also try this


  12. Austin says:

    The biggest problem for me is the Opt-out policy. Might as well have no policy if they can change it at any time and automagically opt you in without your consent. If you're not paying attention you could wind up sharing anything and everything according to FB's whims.

  13. Mark W says:

    Wow – that's exactly why I quit Star Wars Galaxies as well; it was nothing more than a job, and yet I was paying for the privilege of working. Not fun.

  14. Kevin says:

    I never included a lot of private information on my Facebook page, but finally decided I just didn't want to be listed, and it was, as you put it, their obvious "disdain for the very concept of privacy" that finally got me to quit and delete my account entirely. I do want to have a page for my website, though, but as it turns out you can't use many of those functions unless (surprise) you also have a personal account. Why should that be required? Seems like another example of the overall corporate attitude they have. Still on the fence about using it for a business site, but if I do sign back up, it will be the most bare-bones account ever — if they let me do that. If they demand that I flesh it out, forget it.

  15. Ken says:

    With respect to whether a one-button-keep-it-private approach is feasible, or old and stupid, here's Facebook's CEO after some bad press:

    If a user would rather that Facebook not share her personal information with other services unknowingly, then there should be a simple switch that turns off Facebook's ability to do that. This was the message delivered by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in an op-ed piece published in Sunday's Washington Post.

  1. May 18, 2010

    […] Facebook users continue to lose more and more control over privacy settings. How many will quit? […]