Why You Should Probably Quit Facebook this Year

Tuesday, Jan 1, 2019

Marlboro

Article in the NYT yesterday: In Screening for Suicide Risk, Facebook Takes On Tricky Public Health Role

Given the revelations of Facebook's abuse of personal information, does anyone think this is even a remotely good idea?

From an historical standpoint I think it's very interesting: At what point in history has something that was suspected of doing bad things, later proved to be doing bad things, things which are potentially bad for 99% of its participants, existed where 100% of the participation is entirely voluntary?

Ok, maybe smoking.

I still use it. I have ~50 friends. I volunteer no information beyond my name. Can they still learn a lot about me? Sure, but I'm in a position in my life where FB wouldn't pose a threat to me in their darkest hour.

I still vape nicotine too. I call it danger lite. There's still some danger but I've minimized my risk surface.

Should Facebook die in a fire? Should the leadership face criminal charges? Yes and most likely yes.

Just like smoking, pretty much everyone should quit or at least cut down to a 'few at a party' levels.

To extend the analogy, Facebook is decidedly a social cancer. Nothing good can come from it, at least not anything that can't be replaced by another, healthier option. (Time to start blogging again!) But lots of bad things can come from it. No reason to subject yourself to those risks.

In hindsight, it was profoundly stupid of us to hand over that much personal information to a for-profit, opaque organization. The intersection of new wealth, idealism and previously unknown levels of information access (beyond the intelligence community) is fertile ground for abuse of power, regardless of the motivation.

The current trend of "deplatforming" has shown how far social media and payment processors are willing to go to silence viewpoints they don't agree with. Does anyone want the same ideologically-driven group deciding who is sane and who is not?

Chilling, and maybe far fetched, but it's really not that far from here to there. People need to be vigilant and take responsibilty for themselves now more than ever.

If Facebook disturbs you at all, delete your account today.