I am leaving Facebook.
I will be closing my account in approximately a week. If this is the only way you have to contact me, please take a second, look at my Info page and add my phone and email to your address book. My email address is also my IM account, and you can always find me on twitter @ktneely, although I have slowly been moving toward identi.ca (I'm bogart over there). Or just head over to my Google profile.
There are a number of reasons for this. I do not delete my account lightly, knowing that it is the only active link I have to many of my older and more remote friends. But I will delete the account because I have lost all trust in Facebook the company and the platform.
I have a number of reasons for this, with privacy topping the list. By privacy, I obviously do not mean keeping all information about me to myself. That cat found its way out of the bag a long time ago. What I mean is my ability to control the information. Facebook has been deliberately obtuse concerning both its current policies and -more importantly- plans for future developments of its privacy and data policies. The EFF has done an interesting little analysis of Facebook's evolving policies. I've lost both control of my data, and faith that the company would do anything -even some small measure- to try to protect that data or find a way for social media to be secure and maintain privacy.
I'm not the only one, and my reasons for leaving may be different than reasons you might have for considering the same thing. Gizmodo published an article 10 reasons to quit Facebook which provides some pretty compelling reasons to leave the service.
And then they have even more reasons to quit which provide some good followups to questions that the first set of reasons
The second reason is because Facebook just isn't that great of a communication platform. Sure, it's fun and all, but the interface is clunky and when I receive an email that you have written on my "wall", I want to simply respond, not have to log into a separate service and compose an answer on a webpage. It's annoying.
And just up today: a security flaw in Yelp -another social networking site that has taken advantage of some of the latest Facebook features- has a security flaw, which in turn exposes data housed within Facebook to risk of exposure. One can blame Yelp; it is there security flaw, after all. But if a relatively well-established social site like Yelp -I've been a member going on 6years, far longer than my tenure at Facebook- can accidentally expose data in Facebook, how long is it until other sites using the same features cause similar problems?
Before you reply, I know that I can take steps to protect my data on Facebook For now. The problem with that tactic is that Facebook is such a moving target when it comes to the data provided to the service by its users.
And Wired is looking for an open alternative to Facebook. I'm all ears if you know of one:
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I am leaving Facebook.