I mentioned in passing last night that I’m thinking of closing my Facebook account. Since then, a handful of people I interact with have asked me why I would consider doing that. It boils down to privacy and Facebook’s lack of respect for its users. Combine the two, and the cost/benefit ratio of using Facebook isn’t that compelling. It’s morphed from a nice way to keep in touch with people into an attention sink run by a company that has decided that what I want as a user is less important than maximizing the value of my profile to their business partners. Rather than rewrite a lot of stuff that has already been written (probably better) by others, I give you links:
The EFF on Facebook’s privacy changes in December. I had always been a little skeptical of Facebook, but had previously decided it offered enough value for the potential reduction of privacy required to use it. This set of changes got me really wondering just how trustworthy they were. I’ve been slowly mulling that over since then.
Then Zuckerberg (Facebook’s head honcho) came out with this little gem. This made it clear that his (and by extension, Facebook’s) view of privacy is a far cry from my own. More fuel to the “can I trust them?” fire.
Finally this week, I found this Wired article and this really interesting visualization. The trends here are clear, and I agree with the Wired author Ryan Singel that there must be a better way to do the things that I use Facebook for, and that I’d rather be part of that movement than add to the inertia of the 1800-lb gorilla.
Anyway, that’s why I’m considering it. I probably won’t do it any time soon, but I expect it will happen.