Why I Closed My Facebook Account

I originally got onto Facebook for two reasons: my son had gone to Italy and posted photos of his trip and my publisher for Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather wanted me on Facebook to help build the book’s “platform.”

In the first couple of years I enjoyed it. Family members were sharing photographs and other information, even though I worried a bit about making all of this private information available to Facebook itself and to Facebook “friends.” Still, the benefit of that social interaction seemed to outweigh the negative of privacy concerns.

Over the past few years, however, I enjoyed Facebook much, much less. The family and friends’ photos decreased relative to the political discussions. I thought about getting off Facebook more and more. Those thoughts became action Saturday when I learned about news reports pertaining to Facebook making attempts to illegally collect medical information. I posted a notice and left it there for about an hour and then closed the account and requested* it be deleted.

I have no regrets at all about closing the account. However, in retrospect, I probably should have left the notice up longer. I apologize to my friends who didn't see it. 

The best way to rein in corporate bad behavior is not to buy their product any more. Facebook’s product is us. Do we trust them with our lives?

*One cannot delete their account. You can only request it be deleted.  


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