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On my departing from Facebook...

Several weeks ago, I abruptly departed from Facebook.  I didn't have a single reason for leaving, rather I had a whole bunch of half-reasons.  I'll get into them shortly.

First, I want to mention that it has been painful to do without the daily interaction with all of my friends.  I truly love you.  You make my life better and I hope that I had a hand in making yours better as well.  Now, I feel very lonely, but it's a self-imposed loneliness, and what's more, it's a similar level of interaction that I had before I started using Facebook regularly about a year ago, so it's possibly an artificial loneliness stemming from the addiction of being surrounded by my friends.

Anyway, here are the reasons I left Facebook:
  1. Facebook's User Experience sucks.  Changes are forced onto users rather than providing users with options so they can choose how they experience Facebook.
  2. Some of Facebook's forced changes forced me to fundamentally change how I used Facebook.  I didn't use Facebook the way most people did because I'd configured it to prioritize certain types of messages and to not show me other types.  One day, that all disappeared.
  3. Facebook wasn't reliably showing me all of my friends' feeds.  I started to notice that one or two entries got dropped from here and there, which was enough for me to miss things that my friends thought were important.
  4. Facebook lost my trust.  With the forced UI changes came some privacy changes which defaulted certain things to become publicly viewable.  I became concerned that Facebook might change anything at any time without considering my desire for privacy.
  5. Facebook lost my trust.  I read articles about how they had implemented a global password that, if entered, would grant access to any account.  The reasons that such a thing would exist are limited and none of them are trustworthy.
  6. Facebook lost my trust.  I was allowed to see certain status changes of people who weren't my friend, merely because I had invited them to become a friend and they had ignored my request.
  7. Facebook lost my trust.  Though it happened after I left, the fact that Facebook misdirected over 100 private messages to a reporter helps me justify my belief that Facebook is untrustworthy.
  8. Facebook seems to be run by someone lacking ethics or respect for his users.  This has permeated through Facebook's culture.
Now, all of these things combine to give me enough of a reason to part ways with Facebook.

But I have some ideas that I will share on what would make an ideal social networking site.  In my next post.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
I have always felt very iffy about Facebook... well, actually I think Facebook is terrible, but it's hard to do without. It's the only way I've been able to keep in touch with some people.

I was unhappy when the changed all my settings so I couldn't prioritize messages as well, but I hadn't heard of any of those privacy violations except the making photos public. I think you're right -- Facebook is completely untrustworthy. That is not good.
Mar. 9th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
it is terrible, but okay for finding out if there is a decent party to attend somewhere. however, i suspect the same info could be had with only slightly more work elsewhere...
Mar. 10th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
Speaking of which... looking forward to this weekend. :)
Mar. 11th, 2010 09:07 am (UTC)
It is horrible. One of my classmates from Italy had her finace denied entry to the US based on his FB and messages he wrote saying he was coming to the US to get married. Apparently he was turned away AT the border based upon these messages. They didn't feel he was coming here for "sincere reasons".
Mar. 11th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
Wow. That sure seems pretty arbitrary and capricious! It makes me wonder... how to the customs and immigration officer discover the FB account? And were the FB statuses regarding the marriage public?
Mar. 11th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
When you're coming into the US as a non-US national your name is searched. Apparently they have a backdoor into places like FB, Myspace, etc they can read messages, they let him know as much. They determined that he was coming here to get married for the purpose of a green card only (my classmate has citizenship), so they turned him away AT the border. They could have at least turned him away before he got on a plane, sheesh. Word to the wise, use a fake name and fake email address on FB if you're foreign! At least make it harder for immigration to search your name.
Mar. 11th, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
Hrmmm. That sounds awfully fishy, though. Are you sure your friend didn't just make up a tale to cover for some other reason?
Mar. 12th, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
I don't have any reason to disbelieve what she's said. Her finace is still in Italy and she goes to see him on breaks. He can't come to the US for I believe 5 years (not even as a tourist). She's going to graduate and just move to Italy.

One of the BIG reasons Chicago didn't get the Olympic bid was that it is much harder to get into the US in the last few years than any years previously. People being turned away at the border is a reality.

I have an other friend who's been working for TWO years to get her finacee into the US so they can marry, applying for the 'bring your fiancee to the US visa'. He's from Nigeria.

Borders. Such silliness.
Mar. 11th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
i dislike facebook and yet use it because LJ is a ghost town these days.

i think of you and yours often.
Mar. 11th, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
And where it isn't a ghost town, it's being invaded by Russian spam. LJ's days are numbered, I think. I'll send you an invitation to try out my own Social Network Connector when it's created.
Feb. 15th, 2011 11:37 am (UTC)
Really informative blog post here my friend. I just wanted to comment & say keep up the quality work. I’ve bookmarked your blog just now and I’ll be back to read more in the future my friend! Also well-chosen colors on the theme it goes well with the blog in my modest opinion :)
Mar. 20th, 2011 12:27 pm (UTC)
You’d believe together with the multi gazillion cash of investment that wikipedia could acquire some much more servers.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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