Years ago many of us joined FB not just because it was the coolest tool available but because it was one of the fastest growing impersonal networking technology that had an incredibly vast pool of new people one could connect to around the world.
Regardless of it starting at the level of a large college campus social network it become a tool many flooded to once it was opened up to the world around 2007/8 where it grew even faster than it previously had.
I've used FB to not only rediscover old friends from my childhood but also to find my 'lost' siblings around the world. Some of these childhood friends were much easier to find than my siblings which after meandering between so many different social platforms eventually they landed on FB and joined the groups we had built to bring us all back together, those who wanted to join of course.
Not many people remembers Hi5 which surprisingly still exists so clearly some people on this planet are still on it but it was a hip platform well before Myspace came into existence and knocked it out of popularity because of a flood of apps that would auto play along with all kinds of flashing homepage designs that would sometimes crash my computer when i loaded some friend's pages.
It was a fun mess to be honest but not my my favorite place to waste time everyday. Facebook has become an interesting place for me. I have been using it more since I left platforms from Opera blogs, geocities [dead], reddit, Digg, Pownce [died 2008], and other bookmarking tools i used all which have gone through significant changes to get where they are today.
FB is an oddity to me when they make changes to their profile settings and change/update security features and you have to manually reset your defaults. Sometimes moving or removing functionalities which make it easy to keep focused on protecting your account for leaking information or changing how posting features are used. Last night i was helping a friend figure out how to set rules for FB friend lists to restrict who can post on their wall and it happened because of a discussion about why i was leaving the platform. So when the complaint about settings being changed came up we realised it was a function which had be changed that was the issue not that the account had been tampered with. When a post audience is changed it also impacts future posts on all platforms from the desktop to the mobile devices. The explicit permissions given tp new apps to invite friends and send messages are thing most users never read and as a result place their friends at risk of also joining platforms with no concerns for their security and extended social network accounts that are linked. While it is possible set go into your account to specify who can see all aspects of your accounts not many users bother with their security settings simply because they don't understand all the functions of the platforms they are using and how much information they are leaving in addition when they link it as a login tool for websites.
Following the CA revelation several shows have been telling people how to check how many apps are linked to their FB profile and how to delete them and create a normal login with different passwords to stay safer, many users will default back to a common password unless told first how to use apps to manage their passwords and the next app breach through a site or app exploit.
But back to leaving FB why now? Well simply because it is cheaper now to host your own blog website if you know what you are doing and then link it to your social media platform and regulate access to it. It may mean setting up accounts for those you wish to give access (like with google Photo albums) either with a private link or a login sent to them or to even set up Oauth for them to use their own email account which supports it.
I'm leaving because i know how to take care of my information and those who want help can ask for help to manage those migrations but i will no longer be a part of these platforms that make it so easy to not take any responsibility for data mining of identities and personas online, turning users into cheap marketing targets or using it to create online profiles to be used to skew discussions online and in the real world.
We should not live as though not doing something about the way information is being moved or leaked and left unsecured is no big deal period.
These high tech companies are behaving like they're ahead of all the necessary issues to protect users' information while we have seen ever higher volumes of personal information being leaked or stolen in the last 5 years from databases in government institutions and corporate institutions.
At the end of the day the end users (YOU) are being intentionally deluded into thinking the security\publicity settings are secure.
Good luck to those of you who choose to stay there,if you've ever lost a job because of stuff you had posted online and forgot about watch out as fake posts get good people to loose their jobs as AR editing takes on planting false information online.
Going forward i'm going to be managing my own data and taking everything i share a lot more seriously, moving back to email where applicable.
I strongly advise you all to do the same.
If you need help ask and listen to implement, not react.
13 May 2018
More signs the end is close for a lot of these data mining platforms and their cookie tracking tools become something users are more aware of and proactively trying to block or delete.
Visit the EFF's "Clear History"? Why not #DeleteFacebook instead"
Though they want you to believe they care about protecting your privacy, unless Facebook decides to completely overhaul itself using exclusively free software and decentralize, allowing people to run federated nodes of that software on their own computers, nobody should expect to go untracked."
Eventually users will begin to educate their children early on about tracking policies and this might make some real difference on the value of these businesses that depend on the data that users had become so willing to previously give away consensually without thinking. (Jumping to the "I have read and agree" button does not indicate consent, most users do not read the agreements they are signing up to be tracked across sites and with persistent tools or that they give permission to have the data traded without further notice)