‘Why I Deleted My Facebook Account’

by on November 13, 2018 · 8 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Geoff Page

I was on a road trip in October and somewhere in Northern California I tuned into a public radio station interviewing a journalist who had written a long piece in the New Yorker about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.  The piece is titled “Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?” and it was written by Evan Osnos.  They began to discuss the 2016 Presidential election and I was blown away by what I heard.

Here is the part that turned me off to Facebook.

Facebook offered to “embed” employees, for free, in Presidential campaign offices to help them use the platform effectively. Clinton’s campaign said no. Trump’s said yes, and Facebook employees helped his campaign craft messages. Although Trump’s language was openly hostile to ethnic minorities, inside Facebook his behavior felt, to some executives, like just part of the distant cesspool of Washington. Americans always seemed to be choosing between a hated Republican and a hated Democrat, and Trump’s descriptions of Mexicans as rapists was simply an extension of that.

During the campaign, Trump used Facebook to raise two hundred and eighty million dollars. Just days before the election, his team paid for a voter-suppression effort on the platform. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, it targeted three Democratic constituencies—“idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans”—sending them videos precisely tailored to discourage them from turning out for Clinton. Theresa Hong, the Trump campaign’s digital-content director, later told an interviewer, “Without Facebook we wouldn’t have won.”

“Without Facebook we wouldn’t have won.” Let that sink in for a moment.  So, Facebook donated free employees to Trump’s campaign and helped him win.  Why?

There are plenty of companies out there now that specialize in managing social media for businesses, politicians, sports figures, anyone who needs it and either doesn’t understand social media or doesn’t have the time to deal with it.  Instead of paying for one of these companies, Trump had Facebook itself do the work – for FREE.

The companies that manage social media as a business have sources of information to do what they do.  But, can you imagine the difference between the resources of a private company and the resources of the people who created Facebook and work there?  We already know that Facebook is guilty of providing our information to others, just think of what they made available to Trump.  Why would a private company like Facebook provide this free help?  The answer was in the paragraph that preceded the two quoted above.

“The 2016 election was supposed to be good for Facebook. That January, Sheryl Sandberg told investors that the election would be ‘a big deal in terms of ad spend,’ comparable to the Super Bowl and the World Cup. According to Borrell Associates, a research and consulting firm, candidates and other political groups were on track to spend $1.4 billion online in the election, up ninefold from four years earlier.”

Yep, money.  So, for money, they helped elect the idiot in the White House who has been actively destroying this country ever since he was sworn in.

Once I heard this, I knew I could no longer be a part of Facebook.  The damage they have contributed will affect us all for many, many years.  The morning of the election I stared at the TV and all I could think of was the Supreme Court and the judgeships that would change this country. We’ve already seen that with the supreme court but what is not on everyone’s radar are all the lower courts.  Read Dark Money by Jane Mayer late at night with just a small light on, it will scare the shit out of you like a great thriller.  The bad part is it is all coming true.

Deleting my account was harder than I thought it would be because it was how I was keeping up with old friends.  But, I decided this was something I could not ignore just because it was uncomfortable, so I deleted.  I plan to write a letter to Congress asking them to investigate Facebook’s involvement in the election. At a minimum, their assistance amounted to an illegal campaign contribution. At most, it amounted to meddling in a Presidential election for business purposed, or, perhaps more?

If you want to read the article, go here.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/09/17/can-mark-zuckerberg-fix-facebook-before-it-breaks-democracy

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric November 13, 2018 at 2:30 pm

FB, never have never will.

Reply

unwashedwallmartThong November 13, 2018 at 5:29 pm

Facebook,
never have,
never will.
Fuck ’em.

Reply

retired botanist November 13, 2018 at 7:05 pm

Illuminating. I deactivated, not just logged out- but deactivated, my FB account about 4 yrs ago. Then about two years ago I had a message from FB asking me if I had logged on from Moscow and, if not, that I should change my password. My FB hacked, from Russia, after being “deactivated” for at least two years?!
But more importantly, how does someone log on to a supposedly deactivated account? I then had to go back on FB, log in, change my password, and then deactivate it again…at which point FB asked specifically if I didn’t want to just “log off” instead… that was the end of any trust factor for me.
FB, like so many other entities in our culture now, is simply too big to be trusted. Not only do I not know what they’re doing, I’m not sure they know, either. No thanks.

Reply

Chris November 13, 2018 at 7:47 pm

You might want to actually delete the account. Not the same thing as simply deactivating.

Reply

Jan Michael Sauer November 14, 2018 at 12:43 pm

I have often thought that progressives should be boycotting FB. Quitting FB is like stopping beef consumption. You think that you might miss it, but you’ll end up feeling a lot better without it.

Reply

retired botanist November 14, 2018 at 4:56 pm

yep, thx Chris, I’ve thought about it :-). As mentioned in the article, there are many things about FB that I, too, miss- contact w/ old friends, shared photo albums etc. and I guess that’s why I opted for what I thought was a “deep freeze”, thinking I might someday “thaw it out”. And tbh, I don’t really care if someone wants to hack my FB…welcome to my photos and my previous soapbox :-). But I DO care that FB engages in (partisan) activity that isn’t transparent. Geez, is there any vestige of life left that ISN’T partisan these days? Ack, will my choice of breakfast cereal be the next thing to be politicized? :-) I endorse Jan’s perspective, and I now especially, based on this article’s disclosure, feel I made the right choice 4 yrs ago. Use the phone, send email attachments, connect in other ways. As Jan says, eventually you’ll be glad you did :-)

Reply

Geoff Page November 15, 2018 at 11:02 am

And, today, read the stories about Facebook and what it has done to George Soros.

Reply

rick callejon November 15, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Jane Mayer’s “Dark Money” is an outstanding read.

Reply

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