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It's time to say goodbye to Facebook

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Facebook seems to be finished. Fake news, echo chambers, unchecked agitation and demonstrable attacks on democracy have tainted the network once described as social and upset many of its approximate two billion users. The handling of our user data was questionable right from the start. But the recent scandals about political manipulation with Cambridge Analytica and the recording of our call and messaging logs has gotten out of hand. For the first time, people are seriously moving on from the network. In this article we'll explain to you why they're right about this, and what this could entail.

It’s sad that it came to this. Completely unregulated, data giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook were able to expand and collect more and more intimate details about people all over the world. These details were analyzed and exploited in various ways. If personalized advertising was the extent of it, probably nobody would’ve really gotten upset.

But echo chambers in which people are confronted with one-sided reporting and data analyses that specifically supply these chambers with fake news and manipulate masses of people have revealed a new kind of big data conspiracy. It had been clear for a while that we would have to pay for these "free" web services somehow if they weren't asking for our money upfront. But few could have guessed that it would cost us our freedom.

As early as 2011, Avaaz and Upworthy founder Eli Pariser warned of the filter bubbles in his TED talk and predicted that they would distort our view of the world. This year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal proved him to be correct.

What is the Cambridge Analytica scandal?

The extremely brief summary of the scandal is that a British professor named Aleksandr Kogan collected the data of 57 million Facebook users via an inconspicuous survey. He passed these on to Cambridge Analytica, which used them to influence those users in the 2016 US presidential elections in favor of Donald Trump. Investigations into this story are still underway, but any further findings from it will surely be a nightmare.

Facebook's handling of the crisis hasn’t been any better. Jean-Louis Gassée, entrepreneur and former Apple employee, is convinced that Zuckerberg considers us ‘idiots’. After Steve Jobs said, "You're holding the iPhone wrong," and Sun CEO Scott McNealy said, "Get over it, you have no privacy," Zuckerberg's ambiguous "Your privacy is important to us," is the boldest statement we’ve heard in a long time. Gassée says:

“Yes, of course, our privacy is important to you; you made billions by surveilling and mining our private lives. One wonders how aware Zuckerberg is of the double entendre.”

He also criticizes Zuckerberg's claim to have acted quickly against Cambridge Analytica's abuse. Because…

  • Facebook has always shared too much user data with third parties.
  • Facebook was warned in 2011 against misusing app permissions.
  • Declarations of consent for the use of Facebook apps are, without exception, too complicated for the average user.
  • Facebook had obviously been aware of the abuse for a long time and had done nothing.

Of course Facebook didn't do anything. In the end, political campaigns are diligently financed and Facebook has been able to secure large parts of the generous campaign budget in the form of sponsored posts. So the question is: how many Cambridge Analytica type scandals have we not discovered yet?

Facebook, chat logs, and permissions

A small proportion of users will be surprised to discover when extracting their Facebook data that chat logs have also been recorded, i.e. the meta-information about who you talked to for how long. While this only happened on Android devices with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and was fixed by restructuring the rights management with API level 16, this feature clearly shows how Facebook ticks.

Facebook also handled our movement and location data in a really lax manner. Until it was specifically told to do otherwise, Facebook would reveal your location to your chat partners. In the future you will have to enable this feature.

The mood has long since changed

Not only users, politicians and regulators are losing faith in Facebook. As the FTC launches a non-public investigation into Facebook's privacy practices, investors are beginning to lose faith in the company. In the meantime, the share price fell to a one-year low after having risen almost continuously over the past five years.

In other social media channels, but also in some news media headlines, the hashtag #DeleteFacebook appears again and again, and has even become a catchphrase on Twitter. Elon Musk deleted the Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX. Edward Snowden spoke out and declared it our moral duty to oppose data monopolists like Facebook if we want to keep our freedom.

The next steps

Since we don’t expect Facebook to undergo any kind of moral change under Mark Zuckerberg and suddenly become good, we as users are forced to act. The requirement to use your real name will disappear, that much has been decided in court. Anonymous use will become easier. We can also stop giving Facebook so much of ourselves: we don’t need to optimize face recognition by tagging every photo, inform Facebook about every step we take, or rate every event.

It doesn't all have to happen on Facebook. It wasn't like that before Facebook either. The network was decentralized, a place for many. Its inventor Tim Bernes-Lee has chosen more dramatic words and says that Facebook and Google are turning the web into a weapon.

Facebook offered us convenience because everything is in one place or in one app. But now it has finally become apparent that we have paid for this with a complete digital image of our personality on the net. We are also paying to be informed and are potentially used more and more unilaterally. The only appropriate answer is a clear no.

Exiting Facebook or even Google is complicated. Our dependence on their services has become enormous. It is only inconvenient for individual users. For companies, even for AndroidPIT, it would be associated with a direct financial loss; after all, we are acquiring a considerable proportion of our readership via online services.

Leaving must therefore be wisely planned and patiently implemented. Our separate article goes into this in greater detail and outlines the Facebook deletion/deactivation process step-by-step.

What do you think? If you already have your finger on the "Delete Facebook account" button or if you're keeping your account for a good reason, please feel free to leave a comment below!

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Eric Ferrari-Herrmann

Eric Ferrari-Herrmann
Senior Editor

Eric has been with AndroidPIT since 2014. He’s writing articles and reviews for the German website. Topics are mostly privacy and new technology but there's also the occasional piece on environmental sustainability.

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  • 3
    Mobile Storey Apr 2, 2018 Link to comment

    I didn't find anything bad on facebook yet. Bad or Good is fully depends on your usage.

  • vagabonti 9
    vagabonti Mar 31, 2018 Link to comment

    I do not find Facebook bad, scary or dangerous. To get so much: news, communication with loved ones and acquaintances, and watching their lives, playing, winning, expressing ourselves ... in today's world we have to pay. And we get everything for free. We do not need to delete your Facebook. Just filter the information and restrict access to the intimate part of your life. And if we had to pay for Facebook?

    • 28
      itprolonden Apr 4, 2018 Link to comment

      Haha!! You said news!!

  • Dave 4
    Dave Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

    You know what else is funny? Android Pit asks for my Facebook password to leave a comment while they tell me to delete Facebook. Lol

    Deactivated Account

  • 24
    Deactivated Account Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

    never liked facebook to be honest. In the beginning it was ok but it became narcissistic where everyone started to kiss each other's behinds for likes and comments. Just my opinion maybe I have the wrong people on my profile who knows?

    Deactivated AccountDwarfer66

  • 24
    Deactivated Account Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

    Totally agree but twitter is just as bad just in other ways.

  • Alex 17
    Alex Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

    I don't think discontinuing it now does any good as people have been using it for ages!

    Deactivated Account

    • 15
      Kent Shephard Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

      Not me. I've been telling people for years that in social media; you and your data ARE the product. They are both monetizing and weaponizing your data. Funny thing is, people couldn't wait to tell them all kinds of stuff. Who their family and friend are. Their favorite color, food, etc.... I don't need social engineering for password recovery. They gave it all away!

      AlexDwarfer66Deactivated Account

    • 24
      Deactivated Account Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

      Totally agree Alex the damage has been done.

  • Kunle Falodun 1
    Kunle Falodun Mar 29, 2018 Link to comment

    this is a valid point, facebook is now global and if our data can be compromised, then I'm really disappointed in Mark for not taking this seriously, I joined facebook in October 2007 and I have come a long way with facebook for this to be happening now, I am slowly drifting away from facebook , as I seldom use the app.

  • 3
    Perrie Campbell Mar 29, 2018 Link to comment

    I find it rather amusing that nobody cared when Obama did the same thing.

    Deactivated AccountDeactivated AccountMike

    • Jerry's W. 20
      Jerry's W. Mar 29, 2018 Link to comment

      That's because Obama was never a threat for peace in the world, nor was Obama a complete insane idiot and Trump is just all of that.

      nightflyer2131Aaron BlueLance G.

    • 1
      Lance G. Mar 29, 2018 Link to comment

      As it's been explained many times, Obama asked for people's data, Trump stole it.

      Take your fake outrage and shove it.

      • Dave 4
        Dave Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

        It's not stealing when it's legal. But keep eating the crap the fake media is feeding ya.

  • 8
    Clive Richards Mar 29, 2018 Link to comment

    The recent CA fuss was not about facebook selling data but rather about a third party quiz app distributed through it. Playing these quizzes is like playing games with the data going to the app or game creator. Information from these quizzes is not stored by facebook but by the third party company that advertised it. I would like to see less advertising and promotion on Fb but have no idea how that could be without charging users and any company doing that would lose my subscription right away.

  • 28
    itprolonden Mar 28, 2018 Link to comment

    One word...Intent. Facebook mines data to sell it off as opposed to Google or Amazon who use it in house

    redAaron BlueDeactivated Account

    • Aaron Blue 5
      Aaron Blue Mar 29, 2018 Link to comment


    • 24
      Deactivated Account Mar 30, 2018 Link to comment

      who knows maybe they do it too they just haven't been caught yet. Google has it's own agendas I might add.

      Deactivated Account

  • D. L. 8
    D. L. Mar 28, 2018 Link to comment

    It's not just Cambridge Anilytica that did this, Obama's campaign did the same thing back bin 2012, with FB permission, after they found out, and lots more groups have been scraping data for years. So, yes, time to leave the surveillance company. Interested in more analysis?
    ht tps://
    /watch?v=_mXW7-0ebK0 copy link and
    Remove space between ht tps://
    guess I'm still too new to post links?

    DaveredDeactivated AccountPerrie CampbellDeactivated Accountitprolonden

    • 1
      Lance G. Mar 29, 2018 Link to comment

      It's as if you get all your news from Fox, and it's all a lie.

      Obama asked for people's data, Trump stole it.

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