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If You Use Facebook on Your Phone, PLEASE READ THIS

It’s no secret that I deplore Facebook. I use it because I must. Therefore, I am diligent in trying to understand how Facebook works. As a result, I deleted the Facebook mobile app from my iPhone more than a year ago.

If you are still using the Facebook mobile app on your smartphone or other mobile device, you really, REALLY need to read this article by Nick Russo. Drop EVERYTHING you’re doing and READ IT.

I’ll wait.

We may live in a world with no privacy, but Facebook’s coming changes to its Messenger app are an obscene violation of your privacy. If you don’t want Facebook to farm every aspect of your life (record every phone call you make, log every place you go, know everyone you talk with AND WHAT YOU TALK ABOUT), I urge you to consider deleting the Facebook app from your mobile devices before the new Facebook Messenger goes into effect.

Facebook Messenger will be a MANDATORY part of the Facebook phone app, but Russo’s response article is just as poignant: What we load onto our phones invades our lives. Think about that before you click ‘DOWNLOAD’ on the next shiny new app. 

Facebook is always on your desktop. Isn’t what you give them there enough?

41 Comments Post a comment
  1. Besides being evil in general, in that creepy corporate way, Facebook is just a pain in the ass.

    August 8, 2014
    • It is. And it’s becoming even harder for me to manage. I’m getting more friend requests from strangers. I don’t have time to sit and look at them all and figure out how I know them, if I know them or someone who knows them. But yesterday, I approved one because we had about 20 people in common. Dang it, if he didn’t put a link to his book on my wall within five minutes of my approving his request!!!! I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve put a link to my book on someone’s wall or in a comment, and it was always when a person was looking for something to read.

      August 8, 2014
      • I am starting to not follownew people, and have started unfollowing a bunch each day. Seems a bunch of early social media adopters are all having this problem and realization. I read everyday almost about another stalwart of the social media community curtailing their activity.

        August 8, 2014
      • I’ve curtailed my activity to very specific things, but I feel like it’s never enough. FB doesn’t know as much about me as they do about other people, because I’m very careful about what I interact with on there. (HELLO PEOPLE WHO PLAY GAMES.) Because of Facebook’s changes to pages, I didn’t think it wise to refuse to connect with strangers who may be my readers. Sometimes I can tell, and sometimes I can’t. I don’t want to piss anyone off by not accepting a request. It’s easier to tell stuff like this on Goodreads, where almost every connection request I get is from an author, and as soon as I accept it, they invite me to read their book(s). (Please, everything that is holy and just, save me from acting like that……..maybe that’s why I don’t have more readers……..)

        August 8, 2014
  2. Reblogged this on Chittle Chattle.

    August 8, 2014
  3. Never used the app on my phone, but it is there and I think I’ll just give it the heave-ho. I still don’t understand Facebook.

    August 8, 2014
    • For now, you can still get to Facebook on your mobile using your internet browser, John, though I’m waiting for the day where they try to block that. If I need to post something author related on FB while I’m at an appearance, that’s how I do it.

      August 8, 2014
  4. I used to say to new friends, in a joking manner, “welcome to the dark side.” Somehow, it’s no longer a joke.

    I’ve gotten rid of some “likes” and intend to get rid of several more. For instance, just because I love Tony Bennett’s voice, doesn’t mean I need to know every time he sneezes! I sometimes worry (needlessly? who knows) about the webcam on my desktop. Is it really useful, since I’m not Skyping? Am I simply giving some stranger who’s more tech savvy than I a glimpse into our home? Is Big Brother watching, or am I small potatoes?

    I love the instant connection with those I care about, but it appears there are prices to pay!!

    August 8, 2014
    • Facebook always banked on the fact that people wouldn’t be able to leave because of those connections. I can’t really tell how many books I’ve sold as a result of being on FB. I know the advertising and promoted posts I’ve done haven’t provided decent results, but they will always blame stuff like that on me. (You didn’t create engaging content…..)

      August 8, 2014
  5. Right! I am taking it off my phone now. I hated the bloody thing anyway.

    In return here’s a tip. Every time you do a Google search, that search engine will store your searches and then tailor the results according to what they think you want to know. I was told by a top soft ware developer that he and his friends don’t use Google any more. They go to It consults the same sources that Google and others do, but will not track your searches. So each time you search you are a new and unique user.

    Thanks for the info.

    August 8, 2014
    • I checked out, Bill. Thanks for that info.

      August 8, 2014
  6. I personally am thankful I already knew the woes associated with FB and it is the precise reason behind why I ventured on Twitter. Of course, I’m not blind nor ignorant – as you said, there is a certain level of privacy but there is a larger part that is always public when it involves social media of any format, including our blogs. I tow the line with my activities and I am also, at times cautious a bit on what I share and how I share it, even if as a previous commenter said “small potatoes”. I still remember answering this topic question pitched at a friend’s University; I opted out of University myself but I visited for the day to experience hers. Ironically or no, she took a full month to stop fielding questions on my behalf from her Professors who apparently missed the interactive discussion I had brought. I had no idea college students do not engage into a dissection analysis of their topics / lectures!?

    Hmm… I was going to say, like you I’ve attempted to warn people about FB; I am considered a broken record. It is a bit like suggesting homeopathic medicine vs always running out for an antibiotic. People will believe what they need to believe, and live how they want to live. No matter what the warnings are or what the circumstances involve. I do think it is smart of you to post this topic as much as the bloke who wrote the article. Knowledge is powerful. People need to remember that. And, for me the clincher was the end of his article where he reminded everyone (other than me, who could forget?) that they used to let you protect your privacy and identity online, and nowadays it is like being mindful of being private and being cautious on our safety has somehow disappeared!?

    August 8, 2014
    • Oy vie — I completely forgot to mention the *main response!* lol

      The only cell phone I have ever used is one that is effectively a ‘phone’. No added gadgets except for the one time I jumped the moon and picked out a flame design to spruce up the ‘blah’ and opted for the ‘phone’ that could double as a ‘walkman’ complete with earbuds! Still! That phone was simply a ‘phone’ (i.e. send, receive, voicemail, end of story) with the quirky antenna that could receive in classic rock or pop stations as those are my favourites whilst travelling. No apps. No online browsing. No text messages. Nothing but the convenience of making a call if a need arises to do so. And, only if I’m parked or outside the car completely.

      Clearly I am living in the 20th Century! lol

      What would Meriwether Lewis say!?

      August 8, 2014
    • Merry would probably approve, Jorie. 🙂

      I’m sure I’ve shared far too much information about myself online. I hope not enough to regret. I think the point of the article – and something no one should miss – is that it’s important to read the fine print before approving anything.

      August 8, 2014
  7. Thank you for being an excellent source of warning. I appreciate it, Andra. I’m going to delete the app. It concerns me for other reasons, too, now that friends choose to reach me through Messenger. I really don’t want to be so accessible for communication through this means. Good time to shift. Thank you !

    August 8, 2014
    • You can still respond to their messages from your desktop or from FB within your phone browser.

      August 8, 2014
  8. amblin #

    I stopped using FB long ago due to invasive permissions and generally terrible app….

    Not sure what the hubbub about the Message split is about. It can’t possibly be about permissions, because…. If you look at the main FB app permissions, what the Messenger app is asking for is basically, nothing additional.

    August 8, 2014
    • This is the new Messenger app they’re getting ready to roll out, Matthew.

      August 8, 2014
      • amblin #

        Facebook app has had pretty much full access to private date on your phone, forever. Messenger was part of this app, so it also had the same access. So my point is all this fear of the separate Messenger app is kind of silly. Since it’s had all this access all along.

        August 8, 2014
  9. I deleted FB app and FB Messenger off of my iPhone. I normally use Pages on my idevices and not the FB app or messenger. Most of the time I peruse FB on my Mac at home and not so much any time else. Thanks for sharing this. I shared it with all the FB groups I manage.

    August 8, 2014
    • It does pay to be cautious. Read the fine print. Make sure you’re not approving something you don’t mean to approve.

      August 8, 2014
  10. I don’t have that app, and thanks to this, I won’t plan to install it. Very creepy. Thanks for spreading the word.

    August 8, 2014
  11. General security advice for fb; keep your apps platform shut down and use the ‘https’ option .. and always in the back of your mind is if you don’t put something there, chances are it’s not going to be there. That said, there is no such thing as privacy in the ‘virtual’ world –


    August 8, 2014
  12. I agree we need to be cautious and aware of what we are doing. But this article goes a bit further.

    August 8, 2014
    • We always need to read the fine print and be cognizant of what we’re agreeing to with any platform we don’t control. Especially with FB.

      August 8, 2014
  13. Meh, that article was too much Chicken Little for my taste. As someone who developed an App for a platform, the Permissions thing he is talking about is fairly normal. These aren’t Terms of Service agreements, these are essentially categories that App Platforms (like iOS or Android) have so people know in what way an App can be used.

    The Messenger App is essentially something like Line or WhatsApp except it hooks into the Facebook chat. Those Apps require the exact same permissions and it makes sense in their use case as it is an alternate form of SMS essentially but it uses data and you can share big emoji.

    August 8, 2014
    • The point he was making, I think, was that the app is getting ready to change a bit, and it might be wise to read the fine print before approving every aspect of it. We don’t often take time to do that, and that’s how so much of what we share happens in the first place.

      August 8, 2014
      • Yeah, I got his point. But it really is overblown. It is super hard to explain why but what people are seeing is in the App permission details they never noticed before and freaking out.

        In the use case for the Messenger App all the permissions make sense, are needed and nothing nefarious is going on.

        Almost every App in the App Store requires permissions that you wouldn’t think they would need but they have to check that box for one little tiny feature that the App does, that is involved in a very broad Category.

        For example, A Weather App needs permission for your location data so it can give you Weather updates for where you are. It’s not needed and can usually be disabled from within the App so you no longer get that feature, but the developer still has to check that Category.

        August 8, 2014
  14. Reblogged this on Heron There & Everywhere and commented:
    I just deleted Facebook Messenger from my iPhone. If I want to send texts, I’ll use the phone’s message feature.

    August 8, 2014
  15. Yeah I deleted it a long time ago, although I still suffer occasional withdrawal. I’m trying to break my computer habit as well and limit myself to one or two visits a week, if that. Facebook is insanely intrusive and they don’t observe rules of decency in implementing new things. Zuckerberg and his Harvard alum are after profit derived off the personal lives of the rest of the world.

    August 8, 2014
  16. My phone is not smart. I do not have apps. I am a happy, mostly worry-free guy. I really hope to stay that way for the duration. In fact, I may even return to the Craig Ryan/Cormac McCarthy school of writing, which is to simply write and stay out of digital life, social media, and the like. Is brick-and-mortar dying? Or simply moving underground? I’m okay with underground.

    August 8, 2014
  17. sue marquis bishop #

    useful discussion… thanks…

    August 9, 2014
  18. I have never been part of Facebook. From the very outset I felt that it was too intrusive and the idea of sharing each day’s events with strangers is bizarre….

    August 9, 2014
  19. I always review the permissions for any given app before going live with it. If they are too invasive, I delete the app. Anything with location-based services tracks your whereabouts (which I’m not too concerned about) – and us required for most if my fitness/GPS/running apps. The FB Messenger app is taking permissions to the next level, so I won’t be installing that anytime soon.

    August 9, 2014
  20. I hate that you are forced to use Facebook as part of your job Andra. Total bummer. 😦

    August 9, 2014
  21. Wow. That’s really creepy. Big Brother is here, I guess.

    I elected not to use Facebook on my phone, though as you said, the capacity to do so is there.

    August 11, 2014
  22. Kathy Waller #

    Reblogged this on To write is to write is to write and commented:
    This is important information about using the Facebook mobile app on a mobile device. Read and click on the LINK for the whole story. It’s scary.

    August 29, 2014
  23. I feel safe saying it here: I hate facebook and always have. There because friends always posting. I am not a FB person. I like Twitter. There….I feel better now. Their invasion of privacy is nothing new. They are not the only ones. We have very little privacy.
    Good post. 🙂

    August 30, 2014

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