Let's say you've finally had it with Facebook. Whether it's privacy scandals, the data breaches, the fake news, the Soros smearing affair, the right-to-right, or even the alleged interference against conservatives, you're ready to cut and move on .
But another dilemma confronts you quickly. If you quit Facebook, do you have to close the entire company? Or is it a reasonable case to be done to stick to the Facebook subsidiaries Instagram and Whatsapp, even when you ditch the big blue app?
There is an emerging conventional wisdom that leaves Facebook, but living on Instagram and Whatsapp is self-explanatory, nonsensical or a copout. Quartz Mike Murphy wrote, "You don't end Facebook if you still use Instagram and Whatsapp." The author Taffy Brodesser-Akner seriously asked how to justify quitting just one and not the other. BuzzFeed editor Ryan Broderick went ahead and compared to stopping Facebook, but not Instagram to " give up oxycodone, but stick with heroin ."
Leaving Facebook, but holding on Instagram, is like giving up oxycodone, but sticking with heroin
-The recommendation algorithm is more aggressive
-The ad target is more insidious
-It's the only one platform Russian trolls were able to manipulate
-It is the worst platform for news https://t.co/Y2oTwjENin
– Ryan Broderick (@broderick) December 20, 2018  Here's the case: Quitting Facebook is difficult. Quitting all of Facebook's properties are more difficult, especially if you find Snapchat confusing and Twitter hostile, overwhelming or unrewarding. And while staying on Instagram or Whatsapp, it can undermine some aspects of the decision to leave Facebook, it's not a crazy hub, depending on what you're trying to achieve.
If your goal is to opt out of Facebook's digital monitoring device altogether, you should quit Instagram and Whatsapp also with Messenger and Oculus VR. But beware that you will not have completely escaped the social network. First of all, disabling your accounts is not enough, you need to take a number of extra steps to delete all of your data. Even so, we now know that Facebook has given many other companies and developers access to your data, so some of it will remain out there, in unknown hands. Facebook also continues to do at least some tracking of people who are not users at all.
That said, there are many other reasons why you may want to quit Facebook.
First, to limit your personal data exposure. Facebook properly collects almost certainly more types of information about you than its affiliates, because it is integrated into so many aspects of the broader internet. It has a far more comprehensive overview of providing access to third party data. It attracts more advertisers than Instagram (even though Instagram's advertising business is growing rapidly), and Whatsapp still doesn't have ads at all (though soon). In short, the scope of Facebook's personal data collection operation is much larger than that of their siblings apps. Not that you should trust it, stays that way forever, but if you are a privacy practitioner, Facebook will probably stop you from ending Instagram or Whatsapp. Oh, and Facebook is the one that has actually been hacked.
Second, to protest about its effects on democracy and the media. It is clear now that Facebook was not the only social network that was exploited by Russian trolls. But while foreign agents build brands on YouTube and Instagram, Facebook has served as a focal point for Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 elections, including groups formed to push polarizing memes and even organize real protests. And forget Russia for a moment: Facebook's news feed has put the entire journalism industry through a wood chipper, chewing up credible outlets, whose headlines were not sensational enough and spitting out fake news and propaganda deals at night. Instagram memes can be misleading or harmful, and WhatsApp groups can spread hate and burn violence, especially outside the US where the app is used for more than just messages. However, the information economy has not emerged to the same extent as Facebook itself. To put it another way, it was not as complicated as Facebook in the horror show of an election cycle that gave us President Trump.
But here's the most underrated reason why it might make sense for people to quit Facebook, though they can't bring themselves to the other two right now: For many, Facebook is just not that fun anymore. This is not entirely true, of course. Some people find the perfect lives depicted on Instagram, more depressing than keeping up with Facebook and friends. Many Americans have no meaning for WhatsApp at all, especially if they do not have close friends or family abroad. That said, there are many others for whom Facebook has become the most dispensable of the three. It is less intimate, less focused, and filled with distant acquaintances, forgotten high school classmates, and annoying uncles. And despite the changes in the news feed that intend to make it more personal, there are still many spammy headlines and manipulative videos to sift through.
Anything to say: You don't have to join any social networks. Even just spending less time on those who bother you most can be a salute. But if you want to vote with your feet, #deletefacebook is not the worst place to start. And you're not necessarily naive or a hypocrite if you stay on Instagram, Whatsapp, or both.
After all, the unfortunate reality is that there are not many prominent social networks like Facebook do not own .
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