Dear Mr. Zuckerburg,
As a former user of your social media juggernaut, I have to say that the last several days of being free from the privacy concerns and viral memes that litter your empire like a nasty case of shingles has been an enlightening experience. I spent four years updating profiles, liking statuses and comments, and keeping up to date with people I haven’t seen since high school, and I can honestly say that I don’t miss it. I feel that removing myself from the billion-plus user trend was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, even if it means that I will no longer be trolled or have to endure an obscene amount of Grumpy Cat pictures.
What’s that, Mr. Zuckerburg? Why did I leave Facebook? Well, that’s a good question. Allow me to explain.
There are a multitude of reasons that influenced my decision to be the one guy in my hometown who can no longer read six successive statuses about President Obama being Communist Satan. But, I suppose the best way to begin explaining to you why I turned my back on Facebook would be to start with the straw that metaphorically broke the metaphorical camel’s back. Mr. Zuckerburg, it wasn’t until several days ago I heard that you joined the American Legislative Exchange Council. Why is this a big deal? Well, because ALEC is a sketchy enterprise. You have decided to become a member of an organization that lobbies and buys elections for politicians with the “Conservative bug”, meaning your joining of this organization shows your support for people and businesses who deny the existence of man-made climate change, support “small governments”, believe the Bible should be taught in public schools, and cheered on as that troll-ish Senator from Texas managed to shut the government down for three weeks by reading Green Eggs and Ham. Mr. Zuckerburg, you are a member of a collective that believes the best way to combat mass shootings is to shoot the shooters first, that the only way for Republicans to win elections to make sure African-American’s and Hispanics don’t vote, and that corporations are people too (which we both know is a crock of shit, seeing as how Texas hasn’t executed one yet). You are affiliated with a glorified think-tank whose practices are constantly opaque in the vision of the American public, and whose admittance includes ExxonMobil and ConocoPhilips, Dow Chemical and DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, and most importantly, the National Rifle Association, News Corporation, and Koch Industries, three bodies who have been influencing the motives and supporting the political venom that is the Tea Party. You know, that political circus that has sported such poster-children as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Ricky Perry, and Ted Cruz.
How very un-California of you, Mr. Zuckerburg.
When you combine this dramatic revelation with the fact Facebook has been allowing more and more information on profiles to be public (despite stringent privacy settings implemented by users), has been involved in excessive data mining and giving profile information to third-party companies, has made it near impossible to voluntarily and permanently delete profiles (mine is still “inactive” for another nine days), and the stories surrounding the treatment of Facebook users, it became kind of a no-brainer. For a while, I was able to look past all of that. Hell, I had nothing to hide, but when I began noticing the advertisements went from Facebook groups and “People I May Know” to “Get A Gas Card!” and “Use Travelocity”, and moved from the sides of my page to the news feed, I began feeling that things were getting a little out of hand. Then, I let loose my infamous (in some circles), expletive-filled tirade as a way to test what action would be taken against me if it was flagged. Apparently, letting loose a status that contained words like “fuck”, “shit”, “nigger”, “cunt”, and “Barbara Streisand” (as well as 80 comments that repeat the words) only netted me a 24-hour suspension, whereas a friend of mine, an experimental filmmaker from England who posted stills from his upcoming short film that had bare breasts in them, was suspended for a month. Would you care to tell me how this is even remotely fair?
Then, I found out your Big Brother social network aligned with ALEC. As I said before, Mr. Zuckerburg, this was the revelation that prompted me to demand any trace of my being on Facebook be removed. However, since I know that won’t happen (since the ego associated with having a billion-plus users is enough to make your head swell like Wayne “The Brain” McClain), I have decided to just wait out the ludicrous two-weeks before your programming monkeys decide that I am serious and actually delete my profile. Also, I have decided to make sure there exists this exercise in Internet criticism, just so in case you come across it, you can have a compendium of words that explain how much of a John Mackey you really are.
So, in conclusion, fuck you and fuck your website. I know, how very hipster of me.
Robert L. Franklin
Former Facebook user and writer