Saturday, February 16, 2013

Five Common Sense Reasons to Quit Facebook

There are a lot of new and upcoming social media platforms that are garnering huge increases in user follow-ship. Social media was once dominated by Myspace. The new trend has been largely Facebook over the past two years, but now with some poor policies instituted by Facebook, networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are quickly expanding. These are ten reasons you may want to leave Facebook and create accounts on other social network websites.

1. Users being Blocked from Sending Friend Requests - That's right. At the beginning of Facebook you could send friend requests to anyone you like, and they had the choice to either accept or deny the request. Unfortunately in the past year Facebook created a new function. This function allows for a user, after denying a friend request to select "yes" or "no" as to if they know that person. if they select "No" the user who sent the friend request is warned by Facebook to not send unsolicited friend requests. If this happens multiple times the user is blocked from sending friend requests, and their current pending requests are cancelled. The block time increases steadily from 24 hours to one month. If it persists the user is warned that they will be permanently blocked from sending friend requests.

Now maybe I'm way off base here, but I assumed that social networking was ABOUT connecting with new people. This problem is causing Facebook users to become increasingly isolated.

2. Less than 15% of your Friends see your Posted Updates - As a way to increase funds Facebook added the "promote" feature. At the same time they scaled back how many people see posts by users and pages to around 10 to 20 percent. They took away a feature and decided to charge for it. I've personally noticed that less and less are seeing and commenting on my updates. So if you don't comment or like posts regularly by old friends or relatives, you stop seeing their posts and they stop seeing your posts.

This new policy more than anything else is rapidly turning Facebook into a ghost town. There are hundreds of millions of users now disconnected from each other, having to work much harder to see simple updates from their own friends and family. A governing point of social media is the ability to outreach to untold hundreds and even thousands! With this new feature, unless you're a medium or large business you're not going to have the extra money to "promote" posts. This creates an ugly situation, allowing the wealthy to hit thousands at their leisure, while making it harder for smaller less well-funded organizations to get the word out. Dangerous is the word I'd use. And simply poor policy.

3.Repeated Privacy Violations
- Facebook's privacy policy states that "We may also share information when we have a good faith belief it is necessary to prevent fraud or other illegal activity, to prevent imminent bodily harm, or to protect ourselves and you from people violating our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. This may include sharing information with other companies, lawyers, courts or other government entities." In fact Facebook's abuses of user privacy are so numerous and incredible that I don't even have the space necessary to list all the cases and problems. They've been fined multiple times by the FTC and are now required to submit to outside audits for the next 20 years.

Some of the major concerns have been: Facebook tracking users as they surf the web, Facebook mobile App caught spying on text messages sent from phones, overtly deceptive privacy claims, sharing personal information with advertisers, tracking users physical location, sharing information with law enforcement regardless of subpoena, and many others.

4. Censorship - It has been reported that Facebook pays workers to go through and delete certain items on Facebook, such as holocaust denial groups and other offensive content. However, there are some things being deleted, such as Palestinian resistance groups that are raising concerns. There has been notable censorship of search terms in the Facebook search function. Political figures like Ron Paul were often targeted for censorship on FB as well. Notable outspoken political critics have had their accounts mysteriously deleted. Confirmed include: former diplomat Emeritus Peter Dale Scott, 9/11 Truther Richard Gage, Michael Rivero, CNN reporter Amber Lyon, Natural New's account, William Rodriguez, radio host Anthony J. Hilder, William Lewis, Wacboston, Michael Murphy, Packy Savvenas, Sean Wright, Katherine Albrect, and several writers.

Many regular users have reported from time to time controversial posts being deleted. There have also been reports of users receiving strange messages like "Are you sure you want to post this?" and "This post has been deleted for violating Facebook Terms of Rights & Responsibilities."

5. Poor for Psychological Health - Facebook has been shown to cause anxiety, envy, and unhappiness. Suicide has been a problem, with some users posting suicide notes on their accounts. states that the envy created by social networks can lead to self-loathing, resentment, feelings of inferiority, and severe depression. Facebook addiction is a growing problem, especially for young people.

Another concern is bullying, especially for young people. Although Facebook requires a minimum age of 13 to sign up (this is quite young anyway) all the user has to do is input a fake age. Mark Zuckerberg the owner of Facebook has spoken out about removing the minimum age for the sake of "education." I wouldn't want my children having access to that kind of unregulated information, though I am all for transparency and freedom of information. Facebook doesn't have a good track record on either of these concerns anyway!

Leaving Facebook, especially if you're an entrenched user is a big decision. It would mean cutting ties with a lot of close friends, but the information is out there, black and white, why Facebook is a poor choice. Consider creating accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, LiveJournal, Word Press, Tumblr, or many of the other social networks out there. That way you can gradually switch to other networks, and bring your friends with you! You can deactivate your Facebook easily enough, but then it's as easy as signing back in and it's all right there! I recommend permanently deleting your account, you can do so here.