Why You Should Stop Using Facebook in 2018
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At the end of 2017, Facebook boasted a barely-believable 2.2 billion active monthly users. Zuckerberg’s creation now reaches people of all ages in every corner of the global.

Indeed, Facebook is so pervasive that people expect you to have an account. If you don’t, you’re seen as an oddball. How dare you fly in the face of the digital world?

But if you’re one of the few people in North America or Europe who don’t have a Facebook profile, you’re ahead of the curve. People in the United States are deleting their accounts in record numbers.

If you still have an account, it’s time to take a long look in the mirror. It might be time for you to stop using Facebook.

Here are five reasons why you should delete your Facebook profile.

1. Facebook Tracks You Around the Web

Yes, there are lots of problems with Facebook’s usability; we’ll come to them shortly. However, perhaps the most worrisome of all Facebook’s issues is the way it tracks you around the web.

Let’s try and be fair for a moment. Facebook provides its services for free, and in return, we accept we’re handing over data to one of the largest advertising firms in the world.

But Facebook also tracks you when you’re not using the site How to Stop Facebook From Selling Your Browsing Data How to Stop Facebook From Selling Your Browsing Data Did you plan on sharing your browser history with advertisers? Because if you have been sharing your browsing history with Facebook then that's exactly what's going to happen. Read More . Worse still, you don’t even need a Facebook account—the company will still track you.

The issue recently made global headlines after Belgian authorities ruled that Facebook had to delete all the data it held on Belgian citizens. Prosecutors said Facebook collected it unlawfully.

The only way to show your displeasure at the gross invasion of privacy is to vote with your feet—or your mouse, in this case.

2. Human Experimentation

Cast your mind back to 2012. You may recall that Facebook conducted an experiment on 689,000 of its unwitting users.

Over a period of several months, half of the “participants” were subjected to consistently positive content. The other half were shown negative content.

It was negligent in the extreme. Aside from the ethical issues, one can only speculate about the negative effect the move could have had on users suffering from emotional issues.

And that’s not the only time Facebook has pulled this trick. There are at least seven other high-profile examples since the turn of the decade.

Bottom line: Facebook sees you as a lab rat.

3. Fake News

Donald Trump may have laid claim to the “fake news” catchphrase, but the concept of deliberately feeding people misinformation What Is Fake News and How Does It Spread So Quickly? What Is Fake News and How Does It Spread So Quickly? Fake news is plaguing the internet and the worst part is that most people can't recognize it when they see it. Read More is as old as human civilization itself.

We’re not here to discuss the philosophical standpoints around fake news. You can decide where you stand in the freedom-of-speech debate.

However, one thing is clear: over the last six years, Facebook has increasingly tried to position itself as a news portal. In doing so, it has an obligation to deliver on basic principles like trustworthiness and reliability.

But the company has failed. Facebook has allowed fake news to prosper, giving it both a platform and a veneer of authenticity. Given Facebook has also been accused deliberately influencing elections, it’s a troublesome situation.

If Facebook is your primary source of news, it’s time to move on. You should use these trustworthy news sites instead 13 Most Trusted News Sites You Should Bookmark 13 Most Trusted News Sites You Should Bookmark We are in an age where we don't trust the people reporting the news. But there are some trustworthy news sources out there. Look at the ones on this list for unbiased reporting. Read More .

4. Questionable Privacy Practices

Facebook has obfuscated and complicated its privacy settings for as long as anyone can remember.

Don’t believe us? Here’s a Zuckerberg quote from The Guardian in 2010:

“Simply put, many of you thought our [privacy] controls were too complex. Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls; but that may not have been what many of you wanted. We just missed the mark.”

Can you honestly say the situation is any better today, eight years later? Yes, Facebook does offer a privacy setting for almost everything—but you need an entire manual to find every hidden option The Complete Facebook Privacy Guide The Complete Facebook Privacy Guide Privacy on Facebook is a complex beast. Many important settings are hidden out of sight. Here's a complete look at every Facebook privacy setting you need to know about. Read More . It’s deliberately not user-friendly.

So, why are the privacy settings so confusing? Well, here’s a quote from Facebook’s privacy policy in 2005:

“No personal information that you submit to Facebook will be available to any user of the website who does not belong to at least one of the groups specified by you in your privacy settings.”

And here’s a quote from the current policy:

“When you use third-party apps, websites or other services that use, or are integrated with [Facebook], they may receive information about what you post or share. […] We use all the information that we have about you to show you relevant ads. […] And we transfer information to vendors, service providers, and other partners.”

We barely need to say any more; the quotes tell their own story. Facebook wants you to overlook settings so it can use your data.

5. Facebook Has Forgotten Its Roots

When Facebook first burst onto the scene, it was revolutionary. Sure, sites like MySpace had enjoyed some previous success, but Facebook was the first network that was truly fit for widespread use.

And we loved it. Our newsfeeds were full of photos and updates from your close friends.

But as time has passed, the newsfeed has become diluted. Excessively large friend networks 5 Reasons Why You Should Start Deleting Facebook Friends 5 Reasons Why You Should Start Deleting Facebook Friends Once upon a time, Facebook was all about adding; more social used to equal more fun. Not anymore. Now it's all about deleting. Read More and a deluge of posts from advertisers, pages you Liked years ago, and “news” organizations meant the network lost its original charm.

Facebook’s leadership seems to recognize the problem. In January 2018, Zuckerberg announced you could “expect to see more from your friends, family, and groups” on your newsfeed in the coming 12 months.

It sounds promising, but we all know Facebook will never again be the trendy place to hang out that it was pre-2010. You should try a different network 6 Niche Social Networks to Use Instead of Facebook 6 Niche Social Networks to Use Instead of Facebook These six networks are places where you can meet more like-minded people and post about topics you don't want to post on Facebook. Read More with a tightly knit group instead.

Isn’t It Time to Stop Using Facebook?

We’ve looked at five reasons why you should stop using Facebook today, and we’ve not even touched on the more obvious issues like lost productivity and the toxic “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality that the network helps to propagate.

Image Credit: belchonock/Depositphotos

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  1. Annie
    March 12, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Really contrived article with a title designed to pique interest.

  2. Kaiden
    March 10, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    That is truly one of the silliest articles I've ever read... Was it written by a 14 year old?

  3. J
    March 9, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    It's really odd reading "Why You Should Stop Using Facebook in 2018" when right below is a Facebook share button that says MakeUseOf is encouraging you to use Facebook.

  4. Stephen Russell
    March 9, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Agree on FB but many sites use FB log in to acess sites, delete FB & we lose site acess & I dont see any Alternatives from those sites hosting FB sign in..
    Otherwise Id delete Today.
    & to FB has No Contact form, link for we Users to offer ideas etc to FB.
    Same for Yahoo & Google+.
    Yes FB does censor: Conservative values, all else Open on FB.

  5. Michael
    March 9, 2018 at 11:29 am

    "Facebook has allowed fake news to prosper"
    What? Should Facebook go in and judge what is fake and not? Why would anyone expect that Facebook would be objective and neutral? One man's truth is another man's lies. That's censorship.

    • Perry F. Bruns
      March 9, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      Nope. It's freedom of the press. If you are a publisher, and I release a story you think is bunk, you have the right not to run it.

      • Michael
        March 9, 2018 at 2:15 pm

        Yes, but that's not the point. Facebook, as any other publisher, has the right to do publish whatever they want, but others shouldn't advocate that they censor content. That's the difference. And that's the problem now. Others demand that Facebook censors their content.

        • Perry F. Bruns
          March 9, 2018 at 2:30 pm

          You said it was censorship, and now you're saying that that wasn't the point. But then you went right back and claimed that Facebook exercising their rights is censorship after all.

          My point stands. Facebook has a right not to publish what it doesn't want to, and exercising that right is absolutely not censorship. Anyone who doesn't like that can take their content elsewhere.

        • Michael
          March 9, 2018 at 2:51 pm

          You just don't get it, Perry, do you? Or you see nothing wrong in censorship if it's the correct views that are censored..
          I tried to explain to you that the point is that Facebook censors content because of threats and pressure from outside groups and even governments (e.g. EU). That's bad when it comes to freedom of speech because of Facebook's dominans. It's the same thing when Google filters search result, because governements demand it (again e.g. EU). That's bad, at least in my book.
          But so that you don't go on: I am aware that Facebook can censor everything if they want to, it's their right. And I can try to find an alternative.

  6. Marco
    March 8, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    I spent at most 5 minutes a day in FB, sometimes none. I rarely see the advertising, what's the big deal? if the writer wants to leave FB, go ahead. FB It is essentially a communication tool, I use only for that , the problem is when people live its life through FB, that is pretty pathetic.

  7. Johan Vanhauwaert
    March 8, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    What's the alternative?

    • Andrew
      March 9, 2018 at 10:43 am


    • Luc Schots
      March 9, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Google Plus
      (but same caveat concerning privacy, this time from Google)
      (at least in Europe we're a little more protected privacy-wise)

  8. US_IT_Professional
    March 8, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Some months ago, I downloaded the Facebook App on my smartphone. I used it to keep in touch.
    Soon I found that if I had any conversations with my family members in our car for instance, ads that were related to the topic of our conversations were being shown to me.
    Things like we talked about buying Dog Food - FB app NOT running on my phone - Ads featuring Dog Food began appearing in my feed on the FB app. How could FB know that?

    It became rather creepy and I deleted the app.

    Now I access FB only in a browser and kill the browser session every time.

    When I checked up with some of my colleagues at work - I a Senior IT professional and work in an IT shop - they also noticed something similar and had deleted their FB app.

    So folks - everything has a price - for free use of FB, you have to surrender your privacy.

  9. Paul
    March 8, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    So, I should join Facebook to then dump it?

  10. Chris Palmer
    March 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Problem is, we're logged into various websites, through FB, and will lose our accounts on those sites, if we delete our FB accounts.

    • Luc Schots
      March 9, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Usually, you can contact the site's help desk through the 'forgot myy password' routine. They tend to help out when you explain about facebook

  11. Ghost Rider
    March 3, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Facebook definitely makes sure you get the news they want you to see and nothing more, whether it is true or not.

  12. plug
    March 3, 2018 at 4:53 am

    bring it on fb load of junk done my head in