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We all hate Facebook. So why aren’t we deleting our accounts?

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When Naydeline Mejia joined Facebook in 2011, she used it constantly. 

“I wasn’t on Twitter yet, and Instagram hadn’t really popped off at that time,” Mejia, a 22-year-old in New York City, told Mashable. “I was probably on the platform everyday, if not every other day. I would use it to connect with friends from school, and as an alternative for texting with Facebook Messenger.”

Then, a few years ago, she started logging on less and less frequently. Her attention was being pulled by Instagram, where more of her friends were. Now, she says she is “almost never on Facebook.” But she hasn’t deleted her account.

More than three billion people use Facebook every month — and nearly 2.6 billion are active users who log onto the platform every day, according to Facebook. That leaves about 400 million people who have Facebook accounts but don’t log on often. It’s not so much that they love the platform itself, but it’s that Facebook has become such a staple in our lives on the internet that deleting it completely doesn’t feel like an option if you want to remember birthdays, log onto other platforms, or keep up with far-flung acquaintances. 

Tahmina Osmanzai, a 26-year-old in New York City, is one of the fairly inactive Facebook users. She joined in 2010, she told Mashable, but never uses it because, she says, “I do not enjoy the platform at all.”

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“I do not enjoy the platform at all.”

“It was a little buggy when I had it on my phone. When I use it on the computer, it is nearly unbearably slow that using it is a chore,” Osmanzai, explained. She added, “I started to use Facebook less the more I used Instagram. More notably after college since the need for groups was no longer necessary for me. Once Facebook separated its Messenger app from the main Facebook app, I also used it less.”

Alexandra Kuks, a 25-year-old from Queens, New York, made a Facebook account in 2008, but she told Mashable, “Year after year, I started using Facebook less and less.”

Beyond the clunkiness and inconvenience of both the phone app and the desktop version, the urge to delete your account isn’t unwarranted from an ethical standpoint. Take your pick of Facebook’s problematic behaviors: Its unconvincing attempt to tackle Russian interference in the 2016 election; the Cambridge Analytica scandal that revealed how much data Facebook was taking from its users; “fake news” and the spread of misinformation; its role in facilitating hate speech; the fact that it’s been taken over by boomers

There’s really no shortage of reasons behind the #DeleteFacebook push, which began after the revelation that Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of millions of users without their consent. The movement didn’t actually start a boycott of Facebook, which was its goal, but it arguably did increase awareness around digital privacy.  

“It’s really rough seeing people share articles and other media that are, quite literally, fake news,” Kuks said. “Yes, this happens on every social media site in existence, but I saw it the most on Facebook. That being said, I’m seeing a lot more posts being flagged stating whether the information that was shared is accurate or not. Do I fully trust that? No, I’ll continue to do my own research. But it’s a start.”

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For a lot of users, it isn’t that they don’t want to delete their Facebook — it’s that Facebook has become so intertwined with the way they live online that they can’t really escape it. To leave Facebook would be to shift the way they interact with the internet. 

That’s not an accident, of course. Whether we want it to be or not, Facebook is now a part of our internet DNA. In my search to find out why people who just don’t use their Facebook accounts hold onto them anyway, I discovered there are plenty of reasons inactive or under-active users keep their profiles around — from just-in-case scenarios of remembering important events, to holding onto the thread that keeps you connected to your family.

You cannot remember a single date

One of the many reasons I still keep my Facebook account is because my greatest flaw is that I cannot remember birthdays or the dates and times of any event. Facebook is one of the only places I can get keep track of important anniversaries or, in pre-pandemic times, get a reminder about a party I was supposed to go to. The same goes for Osmanzai, who says she logs into Facebook “to see any dog pictures my boyfriend tags me in and to check on birthdays I might have forgotten.”

You need Facebook to log into other platforms

All of our social media platforms and apps are so deeply interconnected, it’s hard to even imagine being able to separate them out from each other. While fewer apps now fully require you to have a Facebook or Instagram account to sign up for their service than they once did, logging into most apps is still much easier if you can just click the Facebook button instead of inputting your own login and password. 

For some users, deleting their Facebook account would mean deleting their access to other apps, too. Up until recently, you had to have a Facebook account to create a Tinder account, and connecting your Facebook and Instagram accounts to your dating profiles makes it easier to add photos. It’s a lot of work to set up a new account every time you want to use a new ride-hailing service or food delivery app, and using Facebook to log in solves that problem. 

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You want to use another Facebook-owned app, like Messenger and Instagram

You certainly can have a Messenger account or an Instagram account without having a Facebook account, but it feels ridiculous to delete your Facebook account just to spend all your time at another Facebook-owned social media platform. Some users have one of the other platforms Facebook owns — including Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp — so interconnected to their Facebook account, that it would feel incomplete to get rid of one and keep the rest.

“I also use the Messenger app heavily to communicate with some of my closest friends,” Osmanzai said. “We have different phones (iPhone v Android) and Messenger has become our preferred communication outlet.” If she deleted her Facebook account, it’d be more difficult to talk to her friends on Facebook Messenger. 

You don’t want to cut community ties 

A 2015 study from Pew Research Center showed that 28 percent of U.S. parents with grown children use social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter to communicate with their families. Kuks, for instance, uses Facebook to keep up with her family in Argentina. 

“It’s nice to see photos of their lives in Argentina and it’s nice to give and receive comments on our posts,” Kuks said. “I’m not fluent in Spanish yet so communication is rather difficult at times, seeing pictures of them and their lives makes communication a lot easier for all of us and it makes my heart feel so full so actually see my family, even through a computer or phone screen. I feel very connected to them and for that I’m so grateful.”

“I feel very connected to them and for that I’m so grateful.”

If you were to delete Facebook, you’d run the risk of cutting ties with people you don’t have much connection with offline. It’s much easier to keep up with your family members by searching them and seeing what they’re up to on Facebook than it is to pick up the phone — especially with people you might not want to talk to every day or people who live in other countries or speak a different language than you do.

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And then there are all those people in your life who you don’t talk to very often, but you still want to keep up with — like a high school ex or someone from your dorm in college. You could permanently lose touch with a lot of people if you delete your account, or you’d have to seek them out on another social platform specifically.

You want to keep a digital time capsule

For many people, deleting their Facebook (and thus losing access to their profile) would mean cutting off ties with a representation of their past selves. Osmanzai said she has spent a decade making her profile what it is, and “the thought of deactivating it just feels bad.” She wants to keep her tagged photos, her wall posts, and everything else that would disappear into the ether if she deleted her account.

“I have so many photos on Facebook from middle school and high school that would most likely be lost if I deleted my account,” Mejia said.

One alternative here is to download an archive of your entire Facebook history to keep on hand — but it won’t be the same thing as having it preserved on an interactive platform.

You need it for work or school

I’ve resisted the temptation to delete my own Facebook mostly because, as a journalist, it would be difficult to do my job without following what’s going on with the billions of people who log onto the platform across the world. And that’s true for a lot of people — it’s tied to their college classes or they have a page they have to manage for their job.

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“If I do use the platform, it’s to keep in touch with clubs at my school or find niche information,” Mejia said, like when she considered moving abroad and “I think the main reason why I am still on Facebook is because it’s still the main platform that college students use to connect with other students and clubs.”

So, there you have it. There are plenty of reasons folks are keeping their accounts if they don’t use the app regularly. And if we want Facebook to be a better place — for our digital privacy, for our democracy, for aesthetic purposes — it feels misplaced to put the responsibility entirely on the shoulders of users. It’s a lot to ask people to get rid of a major part of their digital lives altogether and change the way they live online.

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Facebook-Meta Earns the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ Title in This Survey

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Facebook has had its share of controversies this year. The company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents.

Facebook parent Meta has been named the Worst Company of the Year (2021) by Yahoo Finance respondents. According to the publication, an “open-ended” survey was published on Yahoo Finance on December 4 and 5, where 1,541 respondents participated. Facebook received 8 percent of the write-in vote, but respondents were seemingly mad about the Robinhood trading app as well. Electric truck startup Nikola, which was named last year’s worst company by the same publication also faced respondents ire.

Yahoo Finance notes, “Facebook has had its share of controversies this year.” Starting in January, Meta-owned WhatsApp got caught up in a huge controversy after the messaging app announced a new privacy policy (Terms of Service). WhatsApp said it would collect user information and share it with third-party apps for a better user experience. However, the app gave users no choice but later made modifications to the policy under pressure. Similarly, the company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents showing the company’s problematic practices. It was revealed that Meta-owned Instagram had a negative impact on teenage girls, but the company did almost nothing to rectify the problem.

Yahoo Finance even highlights, “At the same time, some critics, including conservatives, say Facebook over-policed the platform’s speech and stifled their voices.” Critics also blame Facebook and other social media platforms for not curbing hate speech that led to Capitol Building riots.

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However, around 30 percent of Yahoo Finance readers said that Facebook or Meta could redeem itself. One respondent suggested that the company could issue a formal apology for negligence and donate a sizable amount of its profits to a foundation to help reverse its harm.

On the other hand, respondents chose Microsoft as the Company of the Year (2021). The Satya Nadella-led company touched the trillion-mark this year and introduced notable upgrades. The most notable is the Windows 11 OS update that succeeds Windows 10.

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Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal

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In the latest legal tussle with Russia over controversial social media regulation laws, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs 1.7 Crore) for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow. With a threat of potential larger fines looming, Facebook parent company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to face court next week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content, Interfax News Agency reported. As per the latest updates, the social media giant could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue.

In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016.

Facebook pays $53k to Russia for refusing controversial social media laws

It is pertinent to mention that Facebook has locked horns with Moscow earlier in November, resulting in it paying 4 million roubles ($53,000) over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times reported. The Moscow court on November 25 had said that Facebook paid the fine levied in February, following which all proceedings against the US-based social media giant. The payment comes against the litigation filed against the company in 2018, alongside Twitter. The tech companies were also forced to pay an additional 3000 rubles ($40) for failing to comply with user data sharing rules as per the law. The Russian authorities have also previously blocked LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, for failing to abide by the laws.

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Russian social media laws

As per Moscow Times, under the Russian social media regulation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. Additionally, the Russian tech companies will also have to share encryption data with the federal authorities as well as record user calls, messages and civil society group conversation records. The apparatus is said to be a severe breach of privacy rights and unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

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Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

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