Is Facebook getting closer to MySpace territory?

Tuesday #deletefacebook was trending on Twitter. It’s no surprise that power Twitter users would rage against Facebook but it did signal a worldwide movement of people deleting their Facebook account after news broke that a company harvested Facebook data to help Donald Trump win the election in 2016. Facebook had already reported a decline in users for the first time in its history and it said over the past year nearly 2 million teenage users had stopped checking Facebook or deleted their accounts altogether.

The #deletefacebook movement was still picking up steam Tuesday night and “Facebook scandal” was trending on Google searches.

I’m not here to suggest people should delete their Facebook accounts and quite frankly not many people will take that step. But if you’re seriously thinking about getting out of the Facebook world there are some things you should do before clicking the ‘delete’ button.

Power Facebook users have uploaded years worth of photos and videos that exist only on the social network. These are photos primarily taken with a smartphone and uploaded before being deleted from the camera roll. These are also photos taken and posted by friends.

Before deleting your Facebook account you’ll want to download those. You can click-download on each photo but that could take days or weeks of steady clicking. An easier way is to go to your Facebook settings. At the bottom of that page, you’ll see a link to download your data which would include photos, videos, posts, and messages.

You also have the option to disable your Facebook account on the Settings page but this will not remove your data. Your account will be disabled until you log on again. If you want to take the drastic step of deleting your account you’ll have to notify Facebook to request the deletion. You’ll find that option in the help section of settings.

There is a step all Facebook users should take to keep some companies from seeing and sharing your information on Facebook. Apps you’ve downloaded by taking quizzes (that’s how Cambridge Analytica allegedly got the information it shared) and by registering to use apps on a smartphone. It’s an interesting stroll through your online world to see which apps that have your permission to see information on yourself, your family and even your friends.

Go to the Settings page within Facebook and click on Apps on the left side of the screen. Every app you see listed has your permission to see information such as name, birthday, employer, where you’re from, where you graduated school, your photos and tags and your friends. Go through those apps and delete the ones you do not use. I can almost guarantee you’ll see apps you have no recollection of using.

Facebook is like most social networks and online services we use that store personal information and often sells it to third-party companies. What makes Facebook so concerning is that we share more information with it than we do any other network such as Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

What do you think? Why would you give up/not give up Facebook? Does the latest data leak (breach) make you think about deleting your account?  Leave your comments in the comment section and share it with your friends.

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