Thursday, December 12, 2019

2020 is the year you should quit using Facebook, here's why

2020 is the year you should quit using Facebook- Here's why


There was a time nobody knew about Facebook. I remember when I first created my account in 2011. I was attracted by its undeniable benefits; connecting families and friends while sharing how I felt. Despite all of these, there are a lot of reasons to be concerned about the world's largest social network today. Facebook's year in review has not been the best even though the company launched interesting projects in the course of the year. From BCIs - Brain-Computer Interface to an almost failing Libra. With this aside, the social media giant has got the 'L' throughout the year. From selling data to compromising user privacy. Will we continue using Facebook after it betrays us? There are plenty of reasons to quit Facebook.

Facebook is lobbying against privacy laws, globally.

An explosive leak indicated that  Facebook has targeted politicians around the world including former chancellor George Osborne, promising them investments and incentives while seeking to pressure them into lobbying on Facebook's behalf against data privacy legislation - reported by the Guardian

Facebook paid teens to install VPN that spies on them

Facebook was covertly paying teens to install a VPN (Facebook Research) that allows the company to get into a user's phone and web activity. Facebook admitted to TechCrunch it was running the Research program to gather data on usage habits. This is definitely a twist no one thought about. The company was secretly paying users between the ages of 13 and 35 up to 20$ per month to sell their privacy.

Facebook hired climate change deniers as fact-checkers.

Facebook hired an organization linked to anti-science climate change deniers and fossil fuel industry to use its platform for fake news. Desperate to fight the epidemic of fake news Facebook teamed up with CheckYourFact.com, an arm of a media site called The Daily Caller.  The Daily Caller has published misinformation about climate science for years.

Facebook stole 1.5 million people’s email contacts after asking them for their email passwords.

In a report by the Business Insider, Facebook has collected the contact lists of 1.5 million users since May 2016.  The incident was one of the worst privacy mistep from a social media giant. It didn't stop there - after an embarrassing data leak, Facebook took the phone number you gave them for "security" reasons and then used it for advertising. Facebook used contact details of individuals who never personally provided their information for ad targeting purposes (harvesting people’s personal data by other means, such as other users’ mobile phone contact books which the Facebook app uploads), all in the name of 2FA - srsly wtf.

The Facebook app was secretly accessing your iPhone's camera

Facebook had a serious bug which allowed the app to secretly open the camera in the background as users scrolled through their feed. More info here.

Facebook employees are reading your private messages one by one to train Facebook’s artificial intelligence.

Facebook is one of the many companies that use machine learning and AI to sort content on its platform. A report revealed that contract workers were looking at private posts on Facebook and IG in order to use them as a label for their AI systems.

Facebook's plan to fuse Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp are not about your privacy, it’s about consolidating all the data they have on you.

Facebook wants to control how we communicate with each other. Facebook, WhatsApp, Messanger and Instagram collectively make Facebook the largest messaging platform. With the aim of completely owning modern messaging the company planned to merge its messaging services into a single platform. This initiative will only allow Facebook to know more about its users regardless of where they are chatting.

Facebook employees say “F*ck ethics, money is everything”.

It was a wild 24 hours at Facebook HQ at the beginning of the year.  Following a blockbuster Jan. 29 report from TechCrunch detailing how Facebook paid teens to spy on their smartphones, and the subsequent backlash from Apple, employees of the social media giant took to the anonymous workplace discussion app Blind to vent. For those unfamiliar with Blind, the app is designed to allow employees of major companies to semi-anonymously discuss the ins and outs of their workplaces - Mashable

These are just a few of the many many reasons why you should delete your Facebook account. The aim is pretty much to regain control over our nonvirtual lives.

Facebook is like the crazy ex that never forgets about you, Is the centralized nature of the Facebook the reason behind the inability of the company to mitigate challenges or its pure ignorance? Just last month Web inventor Tim Berner-Lee unveiled a contract to fix the internet. The contract follows having a decentralized authority on the web preventing single entities from monopolizing whatever we do online.

A surprise tweet from Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey yesterday also hinted a plan for an open and decentralized system for social networks. The standard will not be owned by any single private company and this would enable individuals to use a variety of services to access the same network, same as choosing different email providers to see the same messages. The blockchain technology can provide a model for decentralizing content hosting and even monetize social media. Why does Twitter want to do this? Jack seems to be uncomfortable with the idea of a centralized network. This is a vision to address some of the current problems with the platform.

Imagine going back 10 years ago and being told that if you signed up for Facebook, they were going to collect a disturbing amount of information on you, manipulate your emotions, store your conversations, and try to control how you communicate with people online. Or imagine that the internet would turn out like this, raising cause for concerns all the time. Decentralization is the future and it's here!!


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