Why We Are Quitting Facebook
It all started after I was done reading the NYT article on how Facebook once again was found to be living by their own rules. To sum it up, Facebook was found sharing its users private data with companies like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, Yahoo, and the Russian search giant Yandex.
The terrifying thing is – to those that were paying attention – it didn’t come as a surprise. Not like it was the first time. However, this time, agreements came to the surface that directly contradicted what Facebook had promised its users in 2014 and then again to the Congress just last year.
For me, this was the last straw. Even though I was skeptical before, the last ounce of my trust was gone.
Since one of those agreements regarded a service that I am using, and that was connected to my Facebook account, I thought I would be better off disconnecting all my Facebook logins.
I considered deleting my Facebook account altogether but that seemed like too much of a hassle. Considering it’s connected to the business account of Ganttic and right now, I don’t want to go the trouble of finding a substitution to the Messenger. Mostly it was me not wanting to inconvenience myself.
While listing the pros and cons of keeping my Facebook account, it dawned on me that while I can make the decision if I’m okay with Facebook gathering data about me and sharing it with the businesses they like, there’s another side to the story.
There’s the side that is feeding the monster. The side the I, too, am involved with.
After raising a discussion about it at our office, we came to a conclusion.
The Business Side of Facebook
Facebook looks like social networking site, works like a social networking site, makes the notification sounds of a social networking site, but actually is an advertising tool.
And it’s a good advertising tool.
Facebook itself says that the main reason to advertise with them is that your audience is there. There are 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook. There are advanced targeting options like location, age, gender, interests, demographics, behavior, and connections. You can upload the data you have about your clients and Facebook will find them or will draw up a Lookalike Audience.
Even if your aim is not reaching new audiences, it’s still a good place to – as they say it – get your content in front of the people you care about most.
Facebook can also be used for providing customer support and for creating brand awareness. People can find your business, connect with it, and you can make sure that their questions are answered.
The confusing bit is that the users usually don’t see Facebook as the yellow pages. Users see it as a way to present themselves and connect with people. Nowadays also to read the news and tag their friends in funny videos.
Facebook has blurred the lines between private and public and has thus made its' users to trust it. It has implied that it’s safe to share information that was once considered very private.
It has asked you to share your phone number and location with it. It made possible to communicate to your loved ones about the most intimate things using its services. It has learned about what you like and don’t like. It knows the things about you that only maybe your close family and friends know about you.
Then, it took that trust, and the data that came with it, and gave it to its selected partners without your consent. What’s perhaps the shadiest part, the same rules don’t seem to apply to all partners and developers, and there is still no evidence of Facebook ever auditing the partners to make sure that users’ data is safe.
A Two-Way Street
It’s clear that the advertisers, as well as the partners, play an important role in supporting Facebook and its ways to do business. Without users, there’s no data for Facebook to analyze and sell. However, without advertisers, there’s no one to sell the data to. It’s a two-way street.
The two values that we hold close to our hearts (and our work ethic) are honesty and transparency. What Facebook has done again and again is neither honest or transparent.
Although we are not the most avid Facebook users or advertisers, we feel like even having a business page there is too much support for a service that treats the trust and the data of its users the way that Facebook has. And hey, if it reduces our digital footprint, it's better still.
So we've officially deleted our Facebook page.
If you are a part of our Facebook community and used to getting news about Ganttic there or use it to contact us, please know that we will still be active on both Twitter and LinkedIn. The fastest way to reach our support team is using email.
Here’s to a better new year!