New research shows Facebook lost 11 million users in 2013. Researchers at the University of Vienna analysed 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, it became the dominant social network on the internet.
Recently, the company has been taking advantage of the dominance it enjoys.
The latest controversies have been the intentional censorship of activist profiles and the ‘promotional posts’ scam that 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 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 supposedly on behalf of their Facebook ‘friends’ who actually did not post them themselves.
Facebook is scanning all interaction and postings of its users, creating customer profiles that are being sold to third parties for marketing purposes. The displayed information to Facebook users is now targeted and Facebook as such has lost its initial raison d’être: the communication between friends and relatives.
In the first half of 2013, the 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 these reasons, I have decided to close my Facebook account and I have requested Facebook to delete all my information. Leaving Facebook proved to be a long-winded and difficult process.
Facebook uses persuasion techniques to make people stay. I really hope to receive the confirmation e-mail that all my personal information has been erased from Facebook.