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I realize that you’re getting slammed for a pat, trite, or unhelpful answer to a complex problem, but it also happens to be the only answer. It’s an answer with real consequences, but when weighed against giving your privacy over to FB what else is to be done right now?

Public social networks are poison, they’re inimical to privacy, and we need to get off of any that harvest personal information. Telling people to “quit FB (and other similar services)” may come off wrong, but for a long time so did “quit smoking.” I get it, I’d love to have cigarettes that are healthy and delicious, but until then... quit smoking. Maybe someday public social media will be safe and sane, but until then... quit.

One major difficulty with leaving Facebook in particular over privacy concerns is that it doesn't really stop the social network from violating your privacy, or letting others do it (often without bad intentions on their part). Aside from its now famous shadow profiles, you've got your friends and family or work/business associates posting things with you in them, photos, videos etc and even naming you (don't think they can tag you though if your profile is shut down). And if you've erased your profile you can't even have the minimal safety of monitoring what gets posted by who, so you can ask them to maybe take it down if it's harmful. We get sucked into FB's network effect in all sorts of ways nowadays if we live any kind of normal social life in a connected society.

Agreed although I was curious about one of your points, specifically can FB users tag a person who is not on FB? If so this is really troubling. Also do you know if FB uses shadow profiles to suggest tag name in pictures the same as it does for regular users?

I don't think tagging works for people not on FB, though if anyone else here has seen different, i'd love to hear their two cents. As for tagging of people who were on FB but deactivated their profiles. I've seen tags work before and that;s bad enough because even if you try to leave the social network, people can post images or videos of you and associate your name with them regardless. What shadow profiles have to do with these things I don't honestly know, the social network would keep something like that pretty secret I think.

I don't know anyone around me who still uses facebook. Heard the story of a relative who organised a birthday on facebook and wondered why no one showed up.

I don't think it's an unhelpful answer to a complex problem. I think it's the right answer.

> but it also happens to be the only answer.

"Only" oversells the option. There's also:

* mix fake/mining-hostile data in with real data as needed for social media profiles * use public institutions to enact consumer protection policies

Both of these have their own difficulties and limits, of course, but so does ditching social media entirely.

I don't understand why people signed up for Facebook in the first place. The Zuckerberg email and dumbasses quote has been around for a long time.

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