After reading ‘Why I Left Facebook’: Stubbornly Refusing to Not Exist Even after Opting out of Mark Zukerberg’s Social Graph.” , I find that Gehl’s central argument is telling us why left Facebook. The main reason is privacy leakage. Gehl (2013, p.227) reported that” Perhaps the most common criticism of Facebook is that its sole purpose is to gather as much private data on users as is possible”. I totally agree with it. When we set up a facebook account, we need to input lots of personal information such as age, school, work, and hobby. In order to find friends, many people choose to use real personal information. However, on the other hand, you betray yourself personal information. According to Gehl (2013, p.222), “it was revealed that Facebook’s new Terms of Service (ToS) claimed ownership over user data in perpetuity, even if a user left the service”. It is an unequal treaty. That means even if you want to quit Facebook, your personal information also can be use for Facebook. However, if you want to quit it, it is not easy. First, you will feel alone. Gehl (2013, p.225) stated that “as more people join a network, more pressure builds on non-users to get on a board”. You can imagine if everyone use Facebook to communicate, but you don’t have it. Other people will feel you don’t want to connect with others. If you don’t have a Facebook, you cannot see your friends’ recent development. Thus, you will feel away from them and alone. Secondly, you need Facebook account to use in other websites. Now, many websites use Fcebook account to login in. If you don’t have a Facebook account, it is very troublesome. Thus, if you enter Facebook, it is hard to go back.
Another important reason for people want to leave Facbook is Facebook make money by using users privacy. Gehl (2013) said that users are “Free Lobor” for Facebook. I agree with it. Users put their personal information to Facebook and even update information every day. However, Facebook use them to make money. Facebook sell these data to other companies for advertising. Because people write real information in Facebook, companies are very easy to found specific customers. For instance, if a company wants to find customs who are between 35 and 40 years old, high education, and have children, it is very easy for Facbook. Gehl (2013, p.230) notes that Facebook and marketers do with user data has caused some Facebook quitters to see the exchange as highly unequal.” Although Facebook is free, but Facebook make huge benefit from users. Not only users’ privacy get harm, but also it is not fair for users.
For me, I have a Facebook account. I just sometimes use it. I usually use it to chat with my friends, because it is free. After I read Gehl’s journal, I know more about Facebook’s conspiracy. Although the Facebook is free, we must share our privacy to Facebook, even Facebook uses it to make money. In my Facebook, I input my real information, because I want my friends can find me. Moreover, because I add people who I know, I like put much personal information such as pictures in there. I realize it is very dangerous. My privacy is unconditional afforded to Facebook. Nevertheless, I think I cannot leave Facebook, because I need it to connect with others. I hope we can find a method to change this situation.
Gehl, Robert W. (2013) “‘ Why I Left Facebook’: Stubbornly Refusing to Not Exist Even After Opting Out of Mark Zukerberg’s Social Graph .” Unlike Us Reader: Social Media Monopolies and Their Alternatives. Ed. Geert Lovink and Miriam Rasch. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures. 220-238.