The dilemma of #DeleteFacebook and why we're trapped
Nov 4, 2014
I’ve deactivated my Facebook at least 15 times since its inception. (I could look at the exact number since Facebook tracks all that, but the key fact is that I went through the trouble of deactivating my account in the first place.) Yet, even though I wish it was completely nonexistent in my life, Mark Zuckerberg’s grip entraps me now more than ever. I’d like to delete Facebook.
Unwillingly trapped in their ecosystem
Rather than being part of the #DeleteFacebook movement, I reluctantly remain one of the many daily users. I wish it was as easy as just clicking “Delete Account,” but it’s a little more complicated than that. (Besides, clicking that deletion button is far from the permanent removal of your presence of Facebook.)
Firstly, your Activity Log has every single thing you’ve done since you opened your Facebook account. So for you to go back and unlike everything you’ve liked, delete comments, tags, and literally every little interaction… Well, you can do the math in terms of how much time that would take.
If you use Google Chrome, there are several extensions that claim to automate these tedious actions. But be careful-make sure to read what sorts of information those extensions collect. Naturally, many extensions require certain permissions that might not fit your personal threat model. So just be cautious and make sure to do your research before jumping into a pool of extensions.
They're the gatekeepers, and we're forced to play their game
Either way, here is the bottom line: If you are a digital marketer, page administrator, or require Facebook for your business (or your clients’), you’re stuck. Why? Because Facebook and Instagram are where today’s attention is. Facebook and Google dominate targeted advertising. Sure, there’s a time and place for Twitter/Snapchat/LinkedIn ads, but nowhere on those platforms will you get the same reach or engagement that your Facebook ads will.
Don’t get me wrong-anyone can learn how to use their own favorite respective platform most effectively. Buyable Pins from Pinterest would probably work most effectively if you sell dresses. Or at least, could be. But in general, the Facebook ad space remains one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business or brand.
In the wake of #DeleteFacebook, friends at GitHub have conveniently posted a script that blocks Facebook from your computer entirely. In case you weren’t aware, Facebook has the ability to track you beyond the Facebook domain. That's right — Facebook can reach you on other sites where it tracks your activities on that site. They do this to “round you out” as a person so that your data can be sold to companies paying cold hard cash.
So if you really want your computer to block as much of Facebook as possible, including Facebook functionality on other pages, this is the way to go. Before doing this, you might also want to consider poisoning your data so that no one can make sense of it.
Vero was a perfect example of what the social media market is itching for—the good ol’ days of a chronological feed and less of an echo chamber. Too bad the app ended up losing traction after a few days. Perhaps it had to do with the questionable ownership and privacy concerns it too brought along.
Maybe one day we’ll get back to a day where we in the digital marketing space can have sensible control over our privacy online. For now, we’ll have to work with what we have and continue to play where the attention is.
If you have any other thoughts around deleting Facebook, or just want to discuss social media, privacy, or ethics, reach out: