The List: Top reasons to leave Facebook

Erica Thompson
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, photo by Andrew Hannik/AP

This month, countless Facebook users received a warning that their accounts had been cloned, and were instructed to forward the message. The viral hoax spread across Facebook messenger, and timelines were flooded with numerous “it wasn't me” status updates about the fake messages. And that prompted people to declare they were done with Facebook … on Facebook.

Here are some top reasons you should really be done, even though we know you won't leave.

You've been compromised

How many security breaches does it take to get you off Facebook? Right around the time of the cloned account hoax, Facebook announcedanother security issue: About 30 million people had their accounts hacked by attackers who “exploited a vulnerability in Facebook's code.”

Oh, and there was that little fiasco involving 87 million Facebook usershaving their data harvested by a political consulting firm.

Holocaust deniers and hate groups

In an interview last summer, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerbergaddressed Holocaust deniers on Facebook, stating, “I don't believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don't think that they're intentionally getting it wrong." His comments did not do much to quell accusations that the social network has become ahotbed for hate groups.

The pivot-to-video push

Remember when multiple media companies made a big stink about pivoting to video, a move that led to numerous journalists being laid off in the process? Well, recently it was revealed that Facebook knowingly inflated the video-view statistics that caused media organizations to make the switch. Cool.

No one sees anything anymore

I miss the days when you could expect 10 percent of your Facebook audience to see your posts. If you operate a Facebook page, you'll know that getting your message out to your fans has become a hopeless endeavor as the platform emphasizesmore content from friends, family and groups. We get it; Facebook wants brands to pay to play. But for local news sites with shrinking budgets, the shift is a catastrophe. That Facebook's “Keep it local” campaign excludes media only rubs salt in the wound.

“Poking” still exists

We still don't know what it is or why it was created.

Missing link preview photos

If you operate a page, you'll know that it is often impossible to get a photo to show up when you post a link. And your “Debugger” itself is useless, Facebook. And you can no longer edit headline/subhead text.

“Seen” notification on Facebook Messenger

Social media plays to our worst impulses, and the “seen” notification on Facebook Messenger is a culprit. Who has felt anxiety when someone has “seen” their message, but chooses not to respond? Or who has felt anxiety when you accidentally click a message you want to ignore, and now you feel you have to respond because they know you saw it? Anyone? Just me?

The kids aren't on it

Maybe it's a good thing if you're a get-off-my-lawn type, but young peoplegravitating toward other social networks means Facebook is over. Now can we just getKylie Jenner to publicly disparage Facebook so it can finally die?

Facebook posts about leaving Facebook

Stop announcing you're leaving Facebook and just go. You always come back anyway. And stop telling us you're cleaning up your friends list and just un-friend me.


There has been a lot of debate about the influence of Facebook on depression, butpast studies have shown a link. We often put the best versions of ourselves on the site, and judge our real selves against others' idealized images.


For me, seeing auto-play video of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile being killed by police in 2016 on my timeline was a turning point in my relationship with Facebook. Since then, I feel it has been a steady source of trauma, and I try to filter my timeline as much as possible. Still, there's really no escaping it unless I disengage completely.

It's a time-suck

Despite Zuckerberg's warm-and-fuzzy claims of bringing us all together, Facebook is really keeping you away from meaningful interactions with loved ones. So log off and go spend time with them.