Why I quit Facebook and Twitter

Posted on January 28, 2020

The photo above is the first and only one I posted on Facebook. After 14+ years on the two major social media platforms last year I closed my accounts. I only ever used them for business so what follows may not apply for personal use. I did however decide to keep LinkedIn.

What
As a commercial photographer my clients are other business people, what we once referred to as B2B.

B2B

My preferred publishing platform is here on my blog on my own website. That content is also posted on LinkedIn and until recently was duplicated on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

I’m one of those people who prefer to both own and control my content. I’ve seen what happens when your work is at the whim of a platform’s terms and conditions. I don’t understand why any business would risk hosting all their content on a platform like Facebook or worse, redirect their website to it.

As with other social networks posting on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn grants them some rights to your content:

…non-exclusive …license worldwide, transferable and sublicensable right to use, copy, modify, distribute, publish and process, information and content”.

Perhaps ignorantly I trust LinkedIn more than Facebook.

OK, so I’m not a social media strategist but have engaged and worked with them professionally. If you are a pro please chime in and correct any of my points and share your experience on LinkedIn.

 

Why
Over the past four years my interaction with Facebook and Twitter has been a decidedly more negative experience. News of their affect on individuals and society doesn’t leave me any hope for it to get better. Early on engagement was positive. Non linear timelines and algorithms that encourage bad behaviour, confrontation, misinformation for the sake of profits in an unregulated industry left me hopeless.

In my opinion these platforms are publishers and should be bound by the same rules as traditional media. Media platforms that I’ve worked in for over 25 years: newspapers, magazines, television, radio, etc.

Traditional media has to play by rules

 

How
Deleting your Facebook account isn’t easy and to a lesser extent neither is Twitter. I found https://deletefacebook.com very helpful with lots of useful tips!

 

Why stay on LinkedIn?
Most of my clients and colleagues are there. LinkedIn was the first social media platform I joined. Paul Gibbs, the owner of a pro photolab sent me an invitation. It was described as Facebook for grownups.

The conversations on LinkedIn do seem more mature, business related, where comments are celebratory rather than derogatory. New-ish owners (since 2016) Microsoft also gave me hope; a company I’ve dealt with as a provider and, like all of us, as a customer. I do like what Microsoft CEO Brad Smith writes and says about his tech industry: https://news.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/tools-and-weapons/

Speaking at Microsoft’s Redmond Campus

I mentioned Google+ before. Well Google made the decision to leave social network before I did and have a track record for doing that.

 

Do I miss Facebook or Twitter?
No.

 

In summary I don’t like where Facebook and Twitter are taking us. I’m in a fortunate position to be able to choose not to participate. Let me know your thoughts on LinkedIn.

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