…or at least this expat. After a lot of thinking, even more research, and then some more thinking, I decided to strip down Facebook. My reasons have to do not only with the security breaches, but also the fact that Facebook knew about these breaches, did nothing, and then tried to cover up.
These articles very clearly sum up why I feel enough is enough with Facebook. Click through if you would like some detail:
- Hugo Rifkin’s article: Facebook and friends assume we are fools
- Yonatan Zunger’s article: Computer science faces an ethics crisis. The Cambridge Analytica scandal proves it.
- Jonathan Albright’s Medium post: The Graph API: Key Points in the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica Debacle
What does stripping down mean? First, I turned off all apps and platforms and really made sure my privacy settings were locked down. Next, I let my friends on Facebook know I what I was doing, why, and how to contact me via other means. Then, I unfriended everyone.
I would like to totally leave Facebook, however, I find that I can’t for one simple reason: the Nairobi-based groups. They are so helpful to me. I rely on them on a weekly basis. If there was another way to get the information I need, I would drop Facebook in a heartbeat. However, I need to stay for the groups.
I know there are other expats who are marginally holding on to Facebook for the same reason. There is not yet (yet being the key word) an alternative to the useful expat Facebook groups. For some other expats, Facebook is the only way they can really keep in touch with loved ones back home.
I am no longer able to stay in touch as easily. I can’t easily get a glimpse of the daily life and life events of a good number of friends on a daily basis. However, I was and still am willing to lose that for the sake of America.
In the meantime, friends know how to contact me directly. I know how to contact them. That will be enough, and quite possibly much more meaningful.