10 Reasons You Should Delete Your Facebook Account
Facebook™ Terms Of Service Are Invasive And One-Sided

10. Facebook€™s Terms Of Service Are Invasive And One-Sided

When you sign up to the website, you agree to a whole set of terms and conditions at a length and complexity that would embarrass a credit card provider. We guarantee that 99% of you reading this article haven€™t read the full Facebook Terms Of Service, and the 1% of you that have read them probably don€™t need to read this article at all (and are probably lawyers, privacy obsessives or both). Facebook claim that these terms and conditions of use are primarily to protect them from casual litigation and to allow them a license to publish your stuff to the internet on your behalf €“ effectively, to make the site actually fit for purpose. They reckon that this kind of small print is increasingly common in this day and age. Where Facebook are different to many of the other sites with similar Terms Of Service, of course, is that they€™ll use your information to sell you stuff, and will loan your information to advertisers who€™ll market their wares directly to targeted demographics based on what Facebook users €˜like€™, and not just on the site itself. In 2014, Facebook €˜like€™ buttons litter the internet. They€™re all over the place €“ as are sites that allow you to log into their services using your Facebook login details. Comments on thousands of news and magazine style websites (including this one) can be activated using your Facebook profile. Couple that with the fact that the young billionaire founder of the company is a man who€™s had allegations of unethical behaviour made against him since Facebook first appeared on the scene (including one that he stole the idea in the first place, a lawsuit that he settled). It€™s disquieting, to say the least. Now, the most common argument used against this one is that Facebook is free to use, and that this means that we get to vote with our feet, but with nothing else: that we have no right to demand changes to a free service that we choose to use. That€™s fine. Let€™s do that. After all, we got on just fine without Facebook for years. The company doesn€™t own us, or our data, no matter what terms and conditions they insist upon.

9. They€™ve Added The 'Buy' Button Despite Promising Not To

In a move to begin competing directly with online shopping giants like Amazon, Facebook are trialing the incorporation of a €˜buy€™ button on newsfeed advertisements as of this month. That€™s despite their COO promising they€™d never do so, as recently as a conference call in January. Previously, Facebook tried something a little similar with use of a site-specific currency for purchasing products advertised through them, but this was abandoned a little while ago after users failed to take them up on it. Well, 'Facebook Credits' does sound a little bit like something out of a bad dystopian sci-fi novel. The latest part of a long-running plan to make the social media behemoth more attractive to paid advertisers (who, let€™s not forget, Facebook provides with your data), the €˜buy€™ button is set to bring direct purchase to your Facebook experience alongside the targeted advertising that already corrupts your newsfeeds and timelines. Essentially, what this means is that all of those really irritating invasions of privacy, sold data and target marketing on this €˜social media€™ website just became properly monetised for the first time. You don€™t even need to leave Facebook to buy the products that it pushes to you. It reminds us of that moment when we realised that half the south coast of England had a London dialling code. It's everywherrre.

8. Their Reporting Guidelines Are Draconian And Tyrannical

With billions of posts to the site every day, not all of which are appropriate or even legal, Facebook clearly requires a strong process for users to report content they see on their newsfeeds and timelines that they don€™t wish to see. However, this process is horribly flawed and badly applied. Facebook outsources its post reporting teams overseas and leaves it entirely up to those workers to determine whether a post violates either a) the law or b) the site€™s own Terms Of Service, and if it does, what action should be taken. However, these teams seem often to ignore very real concerns (like, for example, the multiple reporting of groups advocating racism, encouraging animal cruelty, or posting images of abuse), while censoring things like images of homosexual couples kissing, sculptures representing implied nudity, etc. That's right... far right organisations are allowed to peddle their hate, but a link to an art exhibition's website containing a still image of a modest sculpture of a naked pensioner can be reported and the poster banned for a month. Not that we're still bitter about that. These issues mean that stalkers and trolls are fully capable of reporting innocent Facebook users and having their accounts limited temporarily, banned or even deleted. And of course there€™s almost never any right of reply when you are reported by someone for something that should be utterly irreproachable, because€

7. They Have The World€™s Worst Customer Service

One of the most common complaints you€™ll ever hear when someone has a problem with Facebook €“ whether it€™s the site€™s functionality, a reporting issue, a concern about privacy, questions about how something works, why something works or a complaint about something utterly failing to work €“ is that Facebook has failed to listen. By that, we don€™t mean that Facebook is taking ages to reply, or has replied disagreeing with our complaint or concern. No, we mean that our issues have spun away into the aether like leaves in the wind, never to be seen again. We mean that Facebook doesn€™t care whether we have issues of any kind with the site, and simply doesn€™t bother responding. Why should they? They believe that they have a stranglehold on us, as users of their service, so there€™s no percentage for them in altering their practices to make things easier for us. And if challenged, there€™s always the fallback argument that no one€™s forcing us to use the site. After all, it€™s free. Still, there€™s something cavalier and insulting about a company so large that it doesn€™t feel the need to apply basic principles of customer service to the user base that it boasts of so proudly.

6. Our €˜Friends€™ Aren€™t Really Our Friends

How many friends do you have on Facebook? Are you one of those people who adds anyone who seems interesting, or are you someone who limits your friends list to those people you€™ve actually met in real life? Do you accept any friend request you€™re sent, or do you ignore friend requests from strangers? How about work colleagues, your boss or subordinates? Teachers, what about your pupils? What about people you haven€™t seen or spoken to in years? Do you cull your friends list every so often to remove people you no longer speak to, or are they still hanging on in there, years later? It€™s time to face a cold, hard truth here. Not all of your 'friends' are friends of yours. Even if you€™re a private individual who only adds people you know and regularly culls their friends list of any lurking hangers on, the chances are that the majority of the people you€™re connected with on Facebook are just acquaintances. Perhaps they€™re drinking buddies, or people you worked with in your last job. People you went to school with, or studied with at university. But they€™re not your friends. Real friendship is a close bond formed by actual personal interrelationship, and it€™s governed by a social contract. A Facebook €˜friendship€™ is just a two-way online connection whereby a virtual stranger can see what you post and snoop through your photos as easily as your twin sister can. There€™s a reason we used to lose touch with people before the advent of social media. It€™s because that€™s the way life works. People are friends for a reason, and friends for a season. But Facebook provides an artificial sense of closeness with people, a closeness that doesn€™t actually exist in real life. And one of the problems with that is€

5. We Have The Illusion Of Maintaining Contact With People

Troybed Handshake GifWith its myriad photo updates, location updates, status updates, work and relationship updates, not to mention a chat function and the capacity to carry on miniature conversations with people online €“ Facebook provides us with so many ways to keep people updated. And that€™s the operating word, right there €“ updated. It€™s the equivalent of posting a note on the fridge telling people where you€™re off to. Yet it makes us feel as though we€™re keeping track of people€ people that, if it weren€™t for Facebook, we€™d probably not bother keeping track of at all. People we€™d lose touch with, as naturally as forgetting to return a phone call. Quite apart from giving us the illusion of intimacy with people that are barely acquaintances, it makes us terrible friends with those people that we actually do have a real relationship with. How many times have we wished someone you genuinely know and like a €˜happy birthday€™ on Facebook and then neglected to buy them a present, give them a call or even reply to a party invitation - and how many times have we clicked 'attending' to an event invitation, and then not bothered showing up? How many times have we clicked €˜like€™, or commented on a status or photo, and formed the impression that we€™ve engaged with that person, actually communicated something? It€™s not real engagement. In fact, €˜engagement€™ is another word co-opted by social media gurus the world over. We€™ve become lazy and shallow friends.

4. We Think Of Everything In Terms Of Facebook

Facebook2Not everything needs to be recorded. Not everything needs to be photographed and posted to Facebook, or anywhere else. Nowadays, with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, we can update from anywhere in the world, at any time. Facebook owns Instagram now, and so pictures of our meals and horrifying videos of our nights out litter Facebook newsfeeds as well. We can €˜check in€™ to any location with a marker on Facebook, and create that marker if it doesn€™t already exist. People have created their homes, their beds, even their bathrooms as separate locations on Facebook. When you think of everything in terms of Facebook posts, you run the risk of thinking Facebook is life, and that something hasn€™t happened until you€™ve posted it to Facebook. We€™re already seeing that a little with the phrase €˜Facebook official€™ about romantic relationships €“ it€™s not a real relationship, after all, until you both feel able to post it to Facebook. And that leads to€

3. We Share Too Much, Too Easily

This is the 21st century, and you can share any part of your life online with anything from a selected handful of friends, to several thousand complete strangers, depending on your own predilection for privacy. And everyone loves hearing about the ridiculous stories about oversharing: the criminals who were caught because they posted a photo of themselves at the crime scene, or the father who memorably lost an $80,000 legal settlement because his daughter violated a confidentiality agreement and blabbed about it on Facebook. Don€™t forget as well €“ your boss is watching you. Post pictures of your fun day off when you€™ve called in sick, and you could come back to work to find yourself suddenly unemployed. More than that, there's plenty of evidence that prospective employers could be checking your Facebook timeline along with your CV to see whether you€™re a good fit for their company. Those tequila-fueled photographs and poor life decisions you blurted all over the internet suddenly don€™t seem like such a good idea, do they? Then there€™s the brand new concept of FOMO €“ Fear Of Missing Out. Because some people only post the best stuff that happens to them, some other people can actually develop neuroses and inferiority complexes based upon this. Yes, this is actually a thing. People are hating themselves and their lives based on what you post to Facebook. No, we don€™t quite believe it either.

2. We€™re Ignoring Our Lives In Favour Of Facebook

There are only twenty-four hours in the day, and at least a few of them have to be spent asleep €“ even if you€™re like us, dedicated to the selfless pursuit of knowledge, truth and beauty. It follows that the more time you spend online talking about your life, the less time you€™re spending actually living your life. This isn€™t some old-fashioned, grumpy soundbite about how €˜Facebook is taking over our lives€™. This is simply maths. Time spent on Facebook talking about your real life is time taken away from your real life. The more €˜Facebook time€™, the less €˜real life time€™. It€™s a finite resource. Don€™t waste it.

1. We Can€™t Actually Quit Facebook

Quit FacebookOr rather, we can, but they really don€™t want you to. Facebook will offer any alternative to us to avoid us removing our account and all the valuable, valuable information we€™ve given them free of charge over the years. Their favourite is to allow us to deactivate our accounts€ which means that we stop using them and other people can€™t interact with them, but that Facebook still has access to them, and all of that information. Even if, by some small miracle, you were to ferret out the hidden link to the page that allows actual, genuine deletion of your Facebook account, along with all of the information, photos and connections you€™ve made over the years, Facebook will hold off permanent deletion for two weeks, during which time any access of Facebook or any of its affiliated sites will automatically remove the deletion request completely. That means no taking a picture and sending it to Instagram, you know. Like a jilted lover, Facebook will take the slightest hint that you€™ve changed your mind to mean that you still love them, and that you never really wanted to go. But you probably didn€™t really want to leave anyway, did you? Because that€™s the other thing, the final problem. The thing that gets in the way. We won€™t delete Facebook€ because all of our mates are on it. Which leads us right back to where we came in.

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