I’m Done

The Goodbye Letter

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears: I’ve finally built up the resolve and made a decision that has been a very long time coming: I’m done.

I’ve long considered Facebook to be not much more useful than a self-updating Rolodex (and it is only good at that due to the hard work of all of us), but I’m perturbed enough by news this time around that I’m done. An article at Forbes [10] alerted me to something that is very sadly not surprising.

Ever since getting into F/LOSS [7] and free culture [8] I’ve had the steady nagging of conscience to contend with whenever I logged into Facebook. I’ve decided to part with that nagging feeling and embrace something closer to the ideals I’ve been developing over time. Facebook hasn’t been consistent with my view of the world for a long time and by continuing to use the service I am complicit in an act I fundamentally disagree with. The only reason I stayed so long was because of all of you. Perhaps some of you stayed in part because of me. I’m not willing to be your excuse anymore. That’s not what a friend would do.

The line must be drawn somewhere. I should have drawn the line long ago. I’m not enthralled about having companies market in my name to my friends without my knowledge. Our friendships are too important for me to allow others to lie to you on my behalf. So is my name.

So too is my face. [9]

I’m sure most of you have felt this way at one time or another while using this “service.” Most people I’ve spoken with are generally aware of what Facebook has been doing. They hear — often via traditional news media outlets — about growing concern over this or that policy or change in terms of service that raises a question about privacy, ethics, and/or trust. Normally people go to tweak what little they can in their privacy settings and carry on in the slowly boiling pot until the next temperature increase. We quickly learn to accept this erosion of privacy over time (and it has been very quick [5]).

So I’m not going to wait for the next round of terms of service changes [1], of scary interpretations [2], of additional violations I didn’t ask for [3], or for the next round of privacy setting tweaks via a handy guide from the EFF to make Facebook temporarily palatable again [4]. I’m done.

And you know what? I’m really happy about it, and I know I’ll be even happier about it tomorrow. I don’t even feel like I was particularly addicted to Facebook, but it certainly had some sort of hold on me. I’m happy to be letting go and moving on. At any rate, I’m more active in other communities and I’ll leave you with some contact info should you want to see what I’m up to or contact me in the future (or send me non-Facebook contact info for yourself):

If you choose to stay, I won’t feel bad. I might be a little sad though. I chose to stay for a long time. Maybe you’ll be ready the next time something adversely changes (and it will). I would ask that you ask yourself a question right now: where is the line? Write it down, put a date on it, and use it to remind yourself of where you felt the line was today. Your future self would then have a choice to make. If you move the line, then keep a record of how often you do that (I know I moved the line a lot in the past years).

The internet is a new and exciting space that shouldn’t be taken over and closed off by bad actors with ill intentions. Don’t say that this is not your department [11], because all of us have a duty to make this world a better place. I haven’t believed that of Facebook for a long time. Connect the dots a little. Think Aaron. [12]

If you’d like to join me, I’ve posted some instructions below (cobbled from various sources). The following are the steps I’ve taken to rid myself of Facebook.

General instructions can be found here [6]: http://www.howtoleavefacebook.com/

  1. Write goodbye message to everyone (and be a good friend and assist them in leaving with you).
  2. Archive account backup: https://www.facebook.com/help/212802592074644/
  3. Extended archive account backup: https://www.facebook.com/help/366909913347527/
  4. Disable 3rd party logins/apps (to ensure you don’t log in via another app): https://www.facebook.com/help/170585223002660/
  5. Disable auto-login to Facebook (check w/ your browser, phone, tablet, etc).
  6. Log date you delete Facebook: __________________
  7. Log length of time before official deletion: __________________
  8. Log the date of freedom: _______________
  9. After hitting “delete,” add the following lines to your /etc/hosts file.

# Block Facebook IPv4 http://www.facebook.com facebook.com login.facebook.com http://www.login.facebook.com fbcdn.net http://www.fbcdn.net fbcdn.com http://www.fbcdn.com static.ak.fbcdn.net static.ak.connect.facebook.com connect.facebook.net http://www.connect.facebook.net apps.facebook.com
# Block Facebook IPv6
::1 http://www.facebook.com
::1 facebook.com
::1 login.facebook.com
::1 http://www.login.facebook.com
::1 fbcdn.net
::1 http://www.fbcdn.net
::1 fbcdn.com
::1 http://www.fbcdn.com
::1 static.ak.fbcdn.net
::1 static.ak.connect.facebook.com
::1 connect.facebook.net
::1 http://www.connect.facebook.net
::1 apps.facebook.com

Thanks for listening and considering.

[1]: April 28, 2010 – https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04/facebook-timeline
[2]: April 28, 2010 – https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04/handy-facebook-english-translator
[3]: January 29, 2013 – https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/01/facebook-graph-search-privacy-control-you-still-dont-have
[4]:January 18, 2013 – https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/01/how-protect-your-privacy-facebooks-graph-search
[5]: http://www.mattmckeon.com/facebook-privacy/
[6]: http://www.howtoleavefacebook.com/
[7]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_and_open_source_software
[8]: https://kylerconway.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/why-i-choose-creative-commons-by-sa/
[9]: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/07/eff-urges-congress-protect-privacy-face-recognition
[10]: http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2013/01/21/facebook-is-recycling-your-likes-to-promote-stories-youve-never-seen-to-all-your-friends/
[11]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNsePZj_Yks
[12]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HAw1i4gOU4

2 responses to “I’m Done

  1. John Robert Hanna

    hey Kyle – good read *as usual* from you. Hope you are well. Not sure where you are – Texas maybe..? Anywho, think of you often and wanted to chime in here to say hello. I’ll be reading your blog updates with some frequency so I look forward to that. Be Well Be Gods’ – JRH

  2. Kyle,

    You are kick ass my friend! Always on point.


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