No, you don’t need to delete Facebook
It’s that time again. Let’s just calm the fuck down. I’m sure that every neighborhood computer guy is already turning off his ringer. Between people who want to delete Facebook and those that tried and now can’t find their friends and family, the screaming can get tiresome. I’m not recommending anything but let’s take a look at this without having some kind of fit.
Cambridge Analytica was a big deal last November and December because everyone in IT found out very quickly what had happened and that all the Facebook data from America had, long sense, gone to Russia. It was too late at that point but at least we knew what had happened. Trump got elected because some geeks, manipulated by less than pleasant assholes, made the deal to feed Uncle Harvey and Aunt Ethel’s Facebook thoughts to the folks in Russia who then agreed with them that Trump was really a nice guy. They did that for just enough select townships to cheat Hilary out of the presidency that she won free and clear. I published some of that analysis back in December 2016. Calm down. That’s over. We have to live with the resulting disaster. It’s just a whole lot of spilled milk and the US may disappear because of it but so it goes.
Your personal data? That’s been gone for years. You want to get it back? Forget it. Anyone who wants it can know everything about you and the toilet paper that you use. That’s been true from the beginning. Remember AOL? How did they make money? By selling your data. And that was twenty years ago.
In most cases the only thing that is going to happen is that you are going to see ads for cat litter on every site you visit for a while after you order some for Daffodil or whatever your cats name. You really should keep things limited to people who are your friends and not just push everything you do and say to the world. But, frankly, the only people who might make something of it are salesmen and politicians. If you believe what they say you have bigger problems than Facebook.
Whatever you do don’t put your social security number online but anyone who wants it can get it anyway. And if you have passwords turned off on your PC and ‘password?’ is your default, you’ve been screwed for years. You need to try a little harder. Security is actually getting better all the time and it is already way beyond anything that you can understand. Just make an effort and pay attention. If you can figure out what two factor authentication is, use it. Your bank already forces you to. Fingerprint scanning and face recognition is easy enough you can use it. Do it.
If you enjoy a group of friends on Facebook, that’s good. It’s nice to communicate and interact with people. Just realize that everything you say is, for now, open. But if you haven’t learned that telling your best friend your secrets means the world will know them next week, what can I say? The whole world is like that now. Ask your kids or grandkids. They know about it.
There are now more and better ways to link with friends that aren’t so totally exploitative so ask your kids and grandkids what they use. You might learn something. But there is nothing wrong with Facebook and it serves a tremendous social purpose for many people who didn’t have any option. People just haven’t understood the downside until now so they’re freaking out. Chill.
If you got tricked into voting for Trump because your Facebook friend told you Hilary was selling kids in a pizza restaurant basement consider the lesson learned. What Facebook friends say stays in Facebook. Don’t mistake it for the real world. On the other hand if you are a racist asshole with an urge to cleanse your neighborhood to prevent corruption of your precious bodily fluids, Facebook probably didn’t do anything to you. You’re just a bigoted asshole who would have voted for Trump anyway. He just wouldn’t have won.