THERE are a number of reasons you might want to delete your Facebook account in 2021.
From controversies surrounding hate speech on the platform to the company's attitude to privacy, here's what experts and users have said.
FACEBOOK 'ENCOURAGES HATE SPEECH'
Facebook users claimed that they were deleting their accounts following a string of recent controversies that hit the embattled US tech firm.
Shocking revelations made last year by a former staff member appear to have pushed users to bin the app for good.
That former employee, Frances Haugen, claimed that Facebook's news feed encourages hate speech in order to boost profits.
She also leaked internal Facebook research appearing to show that the firm knew that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is harmful to children.
In response, users took to Twitter to announce that they were at the end of their tethers following weeks of controversy.
One person tweeted: "So their [sic] telling us FB intentionally puts harmful content up to keep us locked in.. are we canceling FB or nah?"
Another responded to that tweet: "I don’t have Facebook anymore yet Ik IG still owned by them now and I’m def willing to delete my account again like I did 4 yrs ago."
A third said: "I badly want to delete my Facebook account".
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FAILS TO ADDRESS HARMS
Messages of users considering jumping ship are being echoed by voices in the media.
In a recent blog for MSNBC, writer Ja'han Jones argued that Facebook executives' inaction on the site's harms is reason enough to pack your bags.
"Now is as good a time as any to leave your Facebook accounts by the wayside," he wrote.
"The company’s executives are seemingly well aware of the site’s harmful impacts on society – they’re just hoping a few ads and pro-Facebook fluff pieces will distract you."
FACEBOOK'S 'SECRET' TRACKER
Users of the iPhone were recently urged to delete the Facebook iOS app over an alleged "secret tracking system".
Facebook is being accused of mining peoples’ critical private data using accelerometer data as a means to pinpoint locations and surreptitiously trail app users and monitor activities.
The Big Brother surveillance apparently is conducted by Facebook – even if users opt to prevent advertising and disable location tracking modes within the Facebook app, according to a damning October report in Forbes.
Cyber security researcher Tommy Mysk raised the red flag about Facebook’s alleged mobile minder: “Facebook reads accelerometer data all the time,” he explained in the report.
The researchers claim the tracking is conducted without Facebook users' awareness or choice.
It apparently comes without any warning and the feature cannot be turned off, the publication noted.
Mysk added: “If you don't allow Facebook access to your location, the app can still infer your exact location only by grouping you with users matching the same vibration pattern that your phone accelerometer records.”
In a statement to Forbes, a company rep didn’t deny the tracking claims and it appears tried to reduce the reasons to functionability of the user’s respective device.
It reads: “we use accelerometer data for features like shake-to-report, and to ensure certain kinds of camera functionality such as panning around for a 360-degree photo or for camera.”
But the researcher Mysk is troubled by the research uncovering the reach Facebook has on its app users.
“Although the accelerometer data seems to be innocuous,” he told Forbes, “it's jaw-dropping what apps can make up of these measurements.”
That means a person might use the device for one reason and it appears Facebook app can be used to tap into that sensitive information without consent.
He continued: “Apps can figure out the user's heart rate, movements, and even precise location.”
“Worse, all iOS apps can read the measurements of this sensor without permission. In other words, the user wouldn't know if an app is measuring their heart rate while using the app.”
HOW TO DEACTIVATE YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT
Deactivating your Facebook account is easy and takes just a few seconds. Here's what you need to do.
- Log in to your Facebook account
- Click the small down arrow located in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook homepage
- Find 'Settings' and click on it
- Hover over 'Manage Account' and click on 'Edit'
- Click on 'Deactivate your account' at the bottom of the opened tab
- Complete the form and click 'Deactivate' at bottom of the page
If you change your mind and want to reactivate your Facebook account, all you have to do is log back into Facebook with your details.
Your profile and account will be restored and you will not have lost anything.
HOW TO PERMANENTLY DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT
If you want to permanently delete Facebook, the social network has a page dedicated to the process.
There is no going back from permanently deleting Facebook though, so it is a good idea to back up all of your data first.
This means that if you decide you want Facebook back in the future, you will not have lost all of your photos, contacts, and other information.
Follow these easy steps to download your Facebook data.
- Click the down arrow at the top right of any Facebook page and select Settings
- Click "Download a copy of your Facebook data" at the bottom of the General Account Settings
- Click Start My Archive
To delete Facebook once and for all, simply head over to Facebook's 'Delete Account' page and follow the instructions provided.
Your archive will probably be very large, as it includes posts, comments, photos, messages, and much more.
Because this download includes all of your profile information, it's important to keep it secure, as it could potentially be used by fraudsters if it fell into the wrong hands.
You can find a full list of the information available to download on Facebook's FAQ page.
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