(via Reddit) Following the Aurora, CO shooting, one of the points that have been raised is that the shooter didn't have a Facebook page. He wasn't on any social network, in fact, except Adult Friend Finder. Slashdot has pointed out an article that highlights the fact that mass-shooter Anders Breivik was on MySpace, rather than Facebook.
Forbes expands on these arguments, pointing out that not having a Facebook is becoming an acceptable red flag for people across culture:
It’s not just love seekers who worry about what the lack of a Facebook account means. Anecdotally, I’ve heard both job seekers and employers wonder aloud about what it means if a job candidate doesn’t have a Facebook account. Does it mean they deactivated it because it was full of red flags? Are they hiding something?
But it does seem that increasingly, it’s expected that everyone is on Facebook in some capacity, and that a negative assumption is starting to arise about those who reject the Big Blue Giant’s siren call. Continuing to navigate life without having this digital form of identification may be like trying to get into a bar without a driver’s license.
This article hasn't dissuaded me from leaving Facebook, still scheduled for the end of this month. In fact, it only bolsters my motivation to leave -- we've let one private company take such dramatic control over our social lives that it's transcended being convenient to have an account -- it's become a liability not to.
It's not okay for one private company to have this kind of grip on the social lives of people. It's becoming more and more clear that the internet and social networks are more like a utility (like water or electricity) than a free-market product (like McDonald's or motorcycles.)
Facebook gets away with massive ethical violations all the time because we let it have that much leverage on our lives. I strongly urge my readers to leave Facebook, and diversify into other social networks. Get on Tumblr, Reddit, Google+, Twitter, get your social needs met in a variety of places so that if any one starts trying to control your social life or abuse your trust you can drop out of it without disrupting your social web.