Raz Chorev | Socially Acceptable..
Social media

Is Facebook really so evil?

There are two major gripes people have with Facebook: the first one, is claiming it’s not secured enough, and the information we share isn’t protected. The second, that the information we upload and share on Facebook, is now belong to Facebook, and we can’t access it. RUBBISH, on both counts.

First, Facebook has employed a secure server a while ago (https://), and you can choose to visit the site securely, by changing your account settings:

Go to (top right hand corner) Account, choose Account Settings, then, on the menu on the left choose Security. The first option is Secure Browsing. click Edit, and tick the box. You are now browse facebook via their Secure server.


The second popular assumption, is that the information you upload to Facebook, will stay there, and you can never retrieve it. Not True! Here is how you can download, and back up your Facebook photos, posts, etc… Here is what Facebook archive will contain:

What’s in your archive?
  • Any photos or videos you’ve shared on Facebook
  • Your Wall posts, messages and chat conversations
What’s not in your archive?
  • Your friends’ photos and status updates
  • Other people’s personal info
  • Comments you’ve made on other people’s posts

How can I do that? Very simple:

Go back to Account >> Account Settings >> General >> Download a Copy of your Facebook data. (see below).

How to download Facebook Data

If you’ve been using Facebook for a while, it may take some time to download all of your information. Don’t wait – go and do something else, and Facebook will send you an email once all data is ready to be exported.

Downloading Facebook Data

You see, Facebook isn’t so evil after all. Or is it??

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  • DavidRa

    I think both points have been well and truly missed.

    The argument with regard to information security is not that the site is accessible via HTTP – in the scheme of things that’s irrelevant and a distraction from the real problem. The information security aspect of Facebook is that in the past, the organisation has chosen to change its policies, with the effect that data you’ve stored in what you thought was a private manner or shared with a few people suddenly becomes public, indexable and available to people to whom you may have chosen not to reveal that information (Everyone). Even more annoying is Facebook’s continual (and it must be considered deliberate) approach of hiding any new privacy options to disable this sharing, assuming they even provide the option in the first place.

    Secondly, ownership of data is not about whether you can download it – it’s that Facebook can do whatever it wants with it – including using your image as advertising for Facebook, or for non-Facebook offers, even after you decide you do not want to be associated with Facebook.

    Those images you posted and then deleted? They’re not deleted at all. They are Facebook’s data now, and can be reinstated at their convenience for any purpose they desire. The ticked off comments you posted about someone, and then removed? They’re kept forever. How else do you think Facebook can re-instate your account, even after you’ve deleted it and left it dormant for a year?

    My opinion is that Facebook is every bit as evil as its detractors make out; Facebook’s product is YOU, the viewer and member. Any value that Facebook places on you is only as much as your membership allows Facebook to profit by selling information about you (either in the aggregate or in the singular). Facebook will continue to be evil until it starts losing its product (remember, that’s you!) to a competitor.

    Some may suggest the strawman argument that “if you don’t want to be social, you shouldn’t or won’t be on Facebook”. My response to that is simple – being a social person is not the same as, and does not require, publishing everything about you on billboards throughout the world. Privacy is a basic right (or it darned well should be) and Facebook’s history is one of continuous, deliberate erosion of that privacy for its own profit.

    And if that isn’t evil, I don’t know what is.

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      I appreciate your thoughts, and tend to agree with the notion “privacy is a basic right”. You’re also right about the Facebook product – *you*. Facebook is, as Mark Zuckerberg put it, a Utility. It’s merely an enabler for people to communicate. It’s not perfect, and as the network effect states, it gets stronger with every new member joining. Is it evil by nature? I don’t think so. But helping members *choose* their privacy settings should be (in my humble opinion), a priority for this young corporation.



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