As you may have noticed on my website and social media feeds, I have been wrestling with the possibility of shutting down and deleting my Facebook account. Over the past year alone, what we’ve learned about Facebook’s business practices, it’s lack of security, and its continual disregard for democracy and its own members’ rights have concerned me greatly. When the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light, I made the move of deleting the Facebook and Instagram apps from my mobile devices, using Facebook from the website only and only recently creating a new Instagram account in order to post photos of bands performing at Bands of America Grand Nationals when my website hit its space limit.
Today, I came across this article from journalist and world traveler Mike Elgan. Mr. Elgan has been a frequent guest on the TWiT podcast network and is even their former news director. His writing and observations are always well thought out and well written, including this article. Mr. Elgan has made the decision to leave Facebook on July 4, 2019, using the time between now and then to make sure he can stay in touch with those he wants to and also to determine what exactly it takes to permanently delete himself from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Mr. Elgan did a significantly better job explaining his reasons for leaving Facebook than I would. As a result, I will let Mr. Elgan speak for me as his reasons align with my own.
Each of us has to answer two questions for ourselves
1. Does Facebook harm people?
2. Does my participation in Facebook enable that harm?
For me, the answer to both questions is yes. And so I cannot in good conscience continue to participate in Facebook’s harm, despite the inconvenience.
I am joining Mike Elgan in declaring my freedom from Facebook and will also delete my account on July 4, 2019. If you would like to stay in touch with me, please let me know in the comments below and I will make sure we trade contact information. You may also reach me at my email address (kevingamin at gmail dot com), which is the best method of communicating with me online.
Who’s with me in freeing themselves from the shackles of Facebook?