I’m getting a little flack this morning for refusing to download Facebook’s Messenger app on my iPhone and iPad. I already do not trust Facebook, and it’s basically a necessary evil for me, at this point. I don’t feel they needed to break their messaging service off and make it into an entirely new app, and I won’t download it. I’ll deal with not being able to read those messages sent until I get back to my Macbook.
Facebook isn’t very ethical. We users are their product, not their customer. I’ve dug around in their Ads Manager, looking at what you can do to customize the ad and target your audience with it. It’s frankly quite sickening when you get down into it. I use F.B. Purity to block all the needless crap Facebook feels they need to place into and around my feed. If you have Mozilla Firefox, you should check it out and download it. I also use Adblock Plus for other pages that have crazy ads like flash banners embedded in the pages. If you use another browser like Safari, you can download Adblock here. However, Adblock does nothing for Facebook ads. But, if you’re using Safari, you can use the Safari add-on Facebook Cleaner to block ads. (If you’re a Chrome user, you’re on your own! I can’t stand Chrome!)
Facebook has gotten a lot of flack, for good reason, in the past. They want to farm as much data about us, their users, as possible, to sell to their customers, the companies who pay to display ads on their pages. Short of pulling your information and profile off Facebook, the only other way to prevent Facebook from making more money off of you and your information is to block them from displaying their ads on your screen.
While I’m not normally the type of person who espouses conspiracy theories floating around on the internet, there is an awful lot of information out there suggesting that Facebook isn’t being as honest about their motives with this new Messenger app as I’d prefer. First, you have videos from Android users showing you exactly what they can and cannot do with their app once it’s installed on your smartphone. This video really raised some hairs on the back of my neck.
Then, there are other articles written by news agencies about Facebook’s privacy violations via their Messenger app. CBC has a very thorough article. I will not be installing this app now or anytime in the future, because I don’t need it that badly. I also don’t need another app taking up space on my iPhone and I don’t need another app sucking up my data allowance, either. If I could find a decent app available on the App Store capable of doing everything I need to do on Facebook that isn’t a Facebook app, I’d switch to it, instead. I’d be most happy removing all Facebook apps from my smartphone.
By the way, yes, I have an ello profile.