Editorial: You don’t want to delete your Facebook account

Better to advocate than to vacate

Thinking about deleting your account from Facebook?

You’re not alone — the mess that Facebook has found itself in over the past few weeks has a lot of people thinking along those lines.

It’s a bad idea, though.

Social media, especially Facebook, is a powerful tool. It’s also the platform used to allow the public to comment and interact on stories published in The NEWS.

Along with showing us how fast and loose Facebook has been playing, the Cambridge Analytica scandal has shown us just what can be done with all that data social media is collecting on us — toppling governments, electing idiots and basically confusing people over what is false and what is true.

The numbers of potential Facebook deleters is not that large. According to a recent Angus Reid survey, only about 10 per cent of Canadian Facebook users are thinking about deleting or taking a break. Most are planning to change how they use the service, using it less and/or modifying their privacy settings.

Among the more high-profile people in the area to decamp is Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, who recently announced she would be quitting the social media giant. Helps described Facebook as “a toxic, echo chamber where people who have anything positive to say are often in defense mode against negativity and anger.”

In many ways, social media, and the internet itself, has failed to live up to it’s initial promise to connect people and provide a space for unbridled creativity. That is still there, but commercial activity dominates and bad actors, ranging from trolls to climate change deniers and those with unacceptable political agendas have also found an audience for their antisocial ranting and attempts to confuse fact with fiction.

But removing yourself from the conversation isn’t going to help. All you are going to be doing is disenfranchising yourself; it would be better to stay in the game and demand changes to how data is collected and how it is used.

In the case of Facebook and other social media, that might mean demanding that those licence agreements they make you sign be written up in plain language, and that every time you are asked to give up data, the uses and limitations be presented, again in plain language.

That’s just one idea. You need to be part of the conversation to say what you want. But overall, what we need from the giants of social media, commerce, entertainment and information is accountability.

— Black Press

Just Posted

Search for contaminant at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks continues

Company ‘blown away’ by community support after E. coli recall of Qualicum Spice cheese

BC Housing now involved in Parksville supportive housing project lawsuit

Agency listed as a defendant alongside city over 222 Corfield rezoning

Electoral reform ballot returns so far show higher Parksville-Qualicum engagement

Region among top four in percentage of ballots turned in

A cuddle and a coffee: Six Island towns named among Canada’s most cozy

Sidney, Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet crack Expedia’s top 40

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read