Deleting Facebook

Sunday 9 May 2010 - Filed under Default

I deleted my Facebook account a few days ago. It’s not really an earth-shattering event for me: I spent less than 15 minutes a month on the site. What was really interesting about my account there was just how many of my friends and relatives were my “Friends” on the site. I never sought out a single one of them. Just having my name listed in their database meant that I got request after request. I accepted 29 requests by the end.

As I debated deleting the account, I was amazed by how much time it took to actually make the decision. For a site that I spent nearly no time on, I felt forced to weigh the social implications. In the end, I know my relations on facebook can always look me up. A simple google search will find me.

From a privacy standpoint, the picture was a whole lot clearer. Facebook doesn’t care about my privacy so long as I don’t delete my account. It might seem ironic that I’m concerned about privacy and yet I have a blog but of course privacy comes in many forms, the most important of which being my list of friends and relatives. Facebook had amassed the most such information of any system I’m aware of and no longer let me hide it easily. If it did let me limit it, I had no confidence that they wouldn’t flip a switch someday and expose every piece of information I had entrusted to them.

My account on Facebook is deleted. That’s not to say I’ve disappeared. I just disagree with their business model and furthermore, I am looking forward to a future where we can each run or choose a competitive host of our own Facebook-like web application. For now, this is my blog. You can comment on it to contact me or subscribe to the RSS feed to get updates in your feed reader.


2010-05-09  »  David Sterry