Facebook no more…

New research shows Facebook has lost a total of 11 million users in 2013. Researchers at the University of Vienna analyzed 600 users and found they quit for reasons like privacy concerns, general dissatisfaction, shallow conversations and fear of becoming addicted.

Facebook developed a following because it allowed people to connect with friends more easily, and due to these increased capabilities they became the dominant social network on the internet.

Over the years Facebook has become one of the most popular websites in the world, and recently the company has been taking advantage of their social network dominance.


The newest controversies surrounding Facebook have been the intentional censorship of activist profiles and the “promotional posts” scam which has cut off every single Facebook user from a vast majority of their posts.

Since these changes silently went into effect a few months ago, every single Facebook user can now only see a fraction of the stories which should be in their news feed. Their “walls” are more and more filled with marketing related postings on behalf of their Facebook “friends”, who actually did not post them themselves.

For companies, artists, activists and people with websites, there is now an option for them to promote their posts for a ridiculous fee and have more of their fans see their posts.

Facebook is scanning all interaction and postings of its users, creating customer profiles which are being used by Facebook and sold to third party for marketing purposes. The displayed information to Facebook user is now targeted and Facebook as such has lost its initial raison d’être, the communication between friends and relatives.

According to the recently published Facebook global Government Requests report covering the first half of 2013, Maltese authorities made 89 requests to Facebook to access information on 97 accounts. These requests are in clear breach of data privacy law. It is unclear if these requests have been covered by court orders.

For theses reasons, I have decided to close my Facebook account, and I have requested Facebook to delete all my information. Leaving Facebook can be a long-winded and difficult process. After struggling to find the Delete Account option, which I eventually found by searching Google, I was than advised that I can deactivate my account, while still be able to re-connect after a while and still having all my information online. I ultimately found the cancelation button: I have been advised that my data will be completely erased after two weeks.

Facebook uses persuasion techniques to make people stay and these include making it complicated, giving people the option to take a break rather than delete it completely, tapping in to personal friendships and connections and trying to solve any problems the user has.

I really hope to receive the confirmation email that all my personal information has been erased from Facebook.

  • Privacy concerns: 48.3 per cent
  • General dissatisfaction: 13.5 per cent
  • Shallow conversations: 12.6 per cent
  • Fear of becoming addicted: 6 per cent
  • Source: Statcounters/Eircom B&A Survey 2013

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