I should stop knocking Facebook, but …

I’ve already made it abundantly clear how I feel about Facebook, its invasions of and disregard for privacy, its myriad hazards, and the ultimate silliness of it all. I’m probably a minority of one in thinking this, since I’m a cranky senior citizen/hermit with no particular liking of social networks of any kind.

Anyway, considering how large Facebook has become — 500 million active users — I suppose now I should just think of it as an electronic duplication of our society, with all the good stuff and all the bad. On Facebook, as in life, you hang with your friends, ignore those you don’t like or care about, promote your business, advance your career, etc. But also, as in real life, you should be aware of and protect yourself from the evils that exist.

I’ve warned before about posting children’s’ pictures on the Internet and revealing too much personal information. So take for what it’s worth the story of an international child porn syndicate that operated on Facebook — and FB’s knowledge of its existence and failure to report it to police.

Facebook is not yet an exact duplication of our society. It is a virtual fishbowl owned and operated by Facebook with FB’s bottom line — not your well-being — its top priority.

13 thoughts on “I should stop knocking Facebook, but …

  1. Ditto me. I’ve got a FB account because of my kids and the what appears to be some sort of mass compulsion to take family communications worldwide. But… the last time I accessed my account, everything was halted unless I clicked on a button labeled “Agree” to invite some form of access to my information… some form of access that wasn’t exactly clear. So I repeatedly clicked the “Cancel” button only to be re-invited by the same invitation. I just clicked the little “X” in the browser tab FB occupied. If I thought I could cancel my FB account in a 5 minute process, I might log back on. Being grumpy about something like FB isn’t anything to be ashamed of.

    1. A while back I wrote about canceling your Facebook account vs just deactivating it. It’s quick and easy if you know how; FB, of course, doesn’t make the instructions easy to find. As I recall though, when I canceled my account, FB said that for a couple of months it could still be reactivated simply by accessing it.. So you must cancel and then forget the account ever existed in order to make sure it’s dead. In the weeks after that you will get various emails from FB that entail accessing your account again, which of course would reactivate it. And even after all that, you’ll have no way of knowing and no reason to believe they really deleted all your information.

  2. That whole privacy issue that played out shortly before I made my blog’s Facebook really just proved my general web standpoint. No matter what system your running off, or how secure it might be, its still on the web, and if there is something there to be stolen, it will be.

    That and I recall the same thing happening with Myspace security, yet it seems nobody learned that lesson either.

    I more or less share the general view that most social media platforms like this are more plague than real service. Only begrudgingly joining up on recommendation that it would be a simple route to advertising my blog. After a few months at it I’m still not entirely sure of the results, but I continue to work at it in a purely business standpoint. Although avoiding the ‘temptation’ isn’t all that hard. The mini games they claim suck you in are all terrible, and otherwise so long as you don’t put anything out there, the social aspect keeps its distance all on its own.

    I do know that before I created the account I had run a club profile off the same email, and had to delete the previous account before I could start one for my blog. That took a couple of weeks of inactivity, specifically stating I wanted it deleted, for it to get taken care of. I haven’t seen any evidence that any of that profile’s info was retained, but I wouldn’t stake anything on that. Since then I read a few bits of articles detailing a revised deletion process, one that’s quicker and more thorough, but didn’t read a whole lot into it. I simply don’t share anything that would come back to bite me, so if something is kept, oh well.

    1. I take every precaution for web security and privacy and with my developer son’s tutelage, probably know somewhat more about it than a lot of average folks. I don’t trust anybody or anything on the web. The risks are numerous and some are serious. True privacy does not exist. And looking at Facebook, it seems no one cares.

  3. Yep. I totally agree with you.
    My kids whine about wanting a face book account.
    “But so and so has an account!”
    “But I want to play the games on there.”
    “But I want to talk with my friends.”
    Text them, call them, have a conversation in person.
    “But, but, but…”

    1. One day they’ll appreciate what you’re all about. You’ll probably be dead and gone by then, of course, but they’ll have good memories of you and say things like, “Because that’s what my Dad told me.” Parenting is the world’s most thankless job — except for those moments when it’s the greatest.

... and that's my two cents