I’ve been covering the company’s privacy, security and culture scandals since soon after it started having them. I can rattle off all the things Facebook has been accused of (available herein timeline form), the data breaches and hacks its been involved in, and the laundry list of concerns experts have about us using the social network. It is the worst party trick.
I am not, however, deleting Facebook. I haven’t even seriously entertained the idea, despite being the author of a useful CNN Business article called, “Here’s how to delete Facebook.” I don’t think my leaving would make me happier, or put a dent in the company’s $500 billion market value and convince it to change its ways. And I don’t think people should have to quit for peace of mind about their online privacy or well being.
That doesn’t mean I don’t agree with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to ditch the social network. On Sunday, she revealed that she no longer uses Facebook personally, citing the public health risks of social media. “I think it has effects on everybody. Increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism,” she told the Yahoo News podcast, Skullduggery.
Plenty of research over the past 10 years backs her concerns. So much so that last August Facebook itself announced tools to help people use it less. It joined Google and Apple in an awkward industry-wide attempt to keep customers by telling them to just use their products less.