No doubt you are thinking to yourself “…oh here we go again…Alex is deleting his Facebook account.” Well, I’m going to make the process open for comment so if you are not at all concerned by Facebook’s invasion of your privacy please close this tab now.
“..Facebook knows so much about you they can make you believe they’re listening to your personal conversations. They have so much data about you they can send you ads that have an uncanny relevance to what is going on in the real world.” - Nat Eliason - Available at https://medium.com/s/story/yes-you-should-delete-facebook-heres-why-bc623a3b4625
For those of you who are interested, read on.
This post is a running (updated) record of the convoluted and criminally complicit account of how Facebook has turned my private sharing and interaction with others as a ‘service’ into a manifest of everything about me for their own consumption breaching my own accords of PRIVACY. There are countless cases of stolen identity, cyber bullying, appropriation of personal information, skimming, scamming and a trillion plus points of data theft that FACEBOOK is stealing from you.
Here is an account of what it will take you to escape this largely automated encapsulation of your YOU, you life pattern, your emotional selves….your spiritual archetype as a digital personae and how they control you through this channel.
I am now choosing NOT to participate in Facebook’s algorithm (after ten years of Facebook use) which creates anxiety in it’s socially sorted users, promotes violence in its proximal adware, fosters fake ‘news’, generates an addiction to checking-rechecking (I found myself looking at the screen every 55 seconds) which is a disaster for human circadian clock and ability to interact, plan or organise anything with others using terms other than ‘…in Facebook.‘
My decision to leave Facebook I understand will be mediated by others who are trapped within its confines and is subject to my own facial recognition and profile which has already been used against me - now and into the future. Their product is ME (and YOU) and I object to this use of me for their own commercial, municipal, judicial and military purpose.
The systematic abuse of their service over my whereabouts, my contacts, interests, keystrokes and even their co-design of purposeful misspellings and repeat designed grammar failures (which I have to manually correct to generate a ‘post-change-log’) I consider abhorrent. So, here is the step I took to reduce (never eliminate as they keep a record of everything I posted and did anyway) this death blue star of a racket where their product is ME.
As of 24 Thursday, January 2019 Facebook provides via your account settings the ability to ‘download your information’ and unbelievably (because I do not believe it) the ‘Delete your account and information - permanently delete your Facebook account and information’ option. Given I’ve tried this before ( read this post - I will need to do so after I’ve worked out what it is they have stored on my account of me through time, so, knowing my account is huge (I’ve had it since Facebook was dreamed up nine years ago and released) I will have to do so after backing up their bot ridden JSON data onto my Facebook specific drive I’ve used for this purpose.
Download Your Information - Range and Type
Not surprisingly Facebook provides the option per ‘type’ as a HTML or JSON file which ambiguously ‘you have a few days to download’ so knowing I’m not likely to trawl through 9 years of data and review every post I’ll be taking the JSON option and will use a compiler (not a browser) to view the data if I ever need to in the future.
Well….that’s the plan anyway, so let’s see how that goes. Afterall, it will join my already immense online digital me and facebook created the monster it wanted in us all - unthinking, addicted, consumer focussed USERS.
Your File Is Being Processed
As you will note above I selected the ‘posts’ only option in JSON format at high quality yet when I clicked ‘create file’ it defaulted the result back to ‘all of my data’ in ‘HTML’ format and ‘medium’ quality. Then, as you will note below that file which is correctly labelled will now be made available ‘well let you know when its complete and you can download it to your preferred device’. Of course this means I need to log back into Facebook and check it wont I?? Their vain hope is that I’ll abandon the process and of course the file I created will auto expire and their will be no visible request that I made that request nor will the access to the file be registered as a log I can access. * Note To Facebook Developers - this is a purposeful and deceitful manner in which to conduct business with ‘users’ when the data you have collected is my personal information and not yours - hint, make the file immediately download accessible and do so without restriction…and don’t give me any bullshit about your servers cant cope with loads when I know a 4 MB photo uploads to your server in 0.001 of a microsecond.
Well 16 minutes later I received a notification by email that the data I had requested was available for download via ZIP file but to access that file I would need to log back into my account using my current password which I have stored in a password vault and wait for it…..surprise, surprise that very same current password ‘was incorrect and I would need further verification’.
Then it dawned on me that there is yet another verification service linked in to Facebook that I haven’t yet cut the umbilical service for. Yet another string of tasks you will need to do to cut the bind-tie on this lot….de-authenticate every known application and service that you have used with a Facebook log-through.
Ten minutes of stuffing around and a new password later I was able to access the file and it was downloaded. So that brings me to the file downloaded.
Export All Data
So here I am an hour later considering downloading using the 'select all’ function and wondering whether this will work at all but willing to give it a try. After all, now that I’ve been prompted to authenticate by password FOR THE THIRD TIME whilst I am already logged in anyway…so it’s a goer and I have eight gigabytes in total (they say) that I’ve got stashed across the blue poisonous web.
So look below and marvel at the myriad of what they collect on me, market elsewhere of me and create me in a likeness of the me they think they wanted me to be.
Eight Gigabytes And More
To be exact, eight point six two gigabytes of data and more. It beggars belief how many hours I wasted scrolling through pointless rubbish trying to find something worth reading, finding myself ‘liking’ those nuggets amongst the quagmire of rants, raves and rubbish piled high. Seeing the screaming imbeciles and pointless and mindless trolls who thought that their keyboard warrior status would surmount their inept and useless lives. Those asshats that run ‘private’ and ‘members only’ groups who didnt think I could see in the back end of their devils advocate. Mindless spinning GIFs and countless fucking dinner plate photos, here’s-me-looking-good selfies and so the list goes on.
We were all promised so much and yet it delivered so little. Oh…and yes there was a great deal of good that it delivered too but this will be the true test.
Which of you are actually my friend? Given this isn’t an egotistical exercise rather an exercise of free will and expression of malcontent, which one of you reading this post in my own personal website might actually make contact with me after I’ve disappeared from your ‘feed’ and your ‘notifications’ and ‘nudges’ and ‘bumps’ and all manner of other nasty anti-social cues that Facebook had us test on each other!!
The Data Is All Mine(d)
So there it is above, the dirty data all lined up as far as Facebook would claim to have harvested it. True be told they haven’t included all of THEIR DATA that they mined and what they did with it, nor am I provided with anything that they onsold or benefitted from, nor have I profited from nor received any benefits financially or otherwise from what they have done with this 8.62 GBs of ME.
I set about removing myself from groups and have selected the ‘prevent others from re-adding me to groups’ feature which should never have been integral to group functioning in the first place. This coercive and dishonest feature set is tantamount to the analogy that I could be subscribed to a fascist Nazi party by an unknown random of which I have to ‘decline the invitation’ in order to maintain my dignity and integrity. What a malicious mindset this platform has been designed with.
No. I don’t at all feel like I am missing out on my inclusion in these Facebook communities as what I’ve discovered is that they are ‘cluster-bubbles of myopia’ predominantly which largely do not factor highly in what effects change in society, nor my absolute reality. Nior do I want to be part of Facebook’s grasp on power of ‘reporting’ others for their trolling or bad behaviour…that’s not Facebook’s role in society and this whole ‘social credit’ model that it is following is unethical, malicious and degenerative.
So as I retracted from all the varied groups that I was enmeshed with I noted that a whole series of notifications began appearing on historical photos I thought I’d buried long ago. Even though I’ve never followed NITV because I dont agree with their copyright clauses on cultural material, their tendency to expire content weeks after releasing it and their Government funded make-everything-look-good only mandate I was sent notifications…
Just as I was switching between ‘settings’ and 'noting that the delete groups would only occur in 14 days after my instigation to rid them I saw a new category in the settings area labelled ‘Running Advertisements Related To Politics or Issues of National Importance’ so I decided to see what it entailed. Oh no…of course not….even though I am damned well logged in already they want me to log in yet again. Fail.
Double trouble authentications when you already have my device type, IP address, location and my secure password and you want it again ? Forget it.
Running Advertisements Related To Politics or Issues of National Importance
So here we go with how Facebook is now mediating anyones free will and their ability to make anything of any matter which might run foul of the (i)moral police state that we descending into. The steps to confirm identity include everything short of providing a urine sample although I’m sure in the future that will be mandatory too!
Given Facebook has seeded all known public surveillance programs with my visual identity, turning off location tracking you would think is a complete waste of time and you are right. Click on the location history tab and not only have they tracked you locally but they have tracked you all round the world. For what reason? My personal safety? In case of national emergency? More like in likelihood of Facebook’s quest to know everything of me and everything I am in contact with.
By default you don’t get any opportunity to stop advertisements in Facebook EVER and yet here they go and give you the idea that by switching this on and thet on that ADVERTISEMENTS ARE GOING TO BE GOOD FOR YOU! What a croc of crap. That’s all this algorithm is about - controlling through a channel of what you see, what you do and ultimately what you think!!
Unfriend Your ‘FRIENDS’
Well, here is the most controversial and gut wrenching (not) element that Facebook preys on entirely to suck you back into itself, even if you want to escape it’s clutches. Heaven forbid! Unfriend your friends! OMG the whole world is going to collapse. What is going to become of my social life? How will I ever know what is going on in the world? What will my Family think? How will I connect with my children? Help!!!!! I cant get out of here. My friends and all my fake friends will know I have unfriended them all. Oh what a calamity!! The horror of it all!!!
Send me an email. Call me direct. You know the drill. be a REAL friend yeh?
Unfollow The Followers
So they took all that effort to click ‘follow’ and suddenly I felt amazing because I had ‘followers’! It stroked my ego (not) and made me feel important (not) and suddenly my Facebook bubble of 330+ ‘friends’ and fake friends all thought my world would collapse if in my unfollowing their follow wouldn’t appear in their follow list ….gah….the whole premise is baseless and benign.
Facebook, this is not how the world works and your crazy asshat manner in which you DESTROY CONFIDENCE of the manner in which we do value each other. This whole concept of ‘follower’ is like a surveillance by association and again I reinforce, it’s baseless and simply automating what we once used to value in what each other actually used to say!
So there I am thinking that I’ve finally managed to tame the beast of return when all of a sudden I am presented with yet another piece of digital candy trying to lure me back into ‘using’ Facebook as the ‘user’. Here I am supposed to click on ‘Claim your $30 offer’ and apply it to advertisements within its own platform!
Having deleted every single person from my friend list I was then given a new ‘fake’ friend. Isn’t it interesting how ‘friends’ have been used as a accomplices to a platform that keeps baiting its users with a false sense of security, a convenient filter bubble that keeps on sucking its users back in for more ‘likes’ and every other wink and nudge point.
Well here I am two weeks later trying to delete the groups I’ve created in Facebook because I cannot delete my own profile until I have first deleted my groups….and on top of that I cant delete the groups for a further four days after being informed firstly it was a two week period. I’ve now got a ‘cancel deletion’ prompt now appearing below the ‘Claim your $30 Offer’.