Announcing the I Left Facebook project

jeremygbyrne's picture

Over the last few months it has become clear that Facebook's domination of Social Networking is bad for the internet—bad in a way which challenges the basic infrastructure, culture and conventions which have developed in the "online world" over the last couple of decades. Facebook is closed, insecure and monocultural; and if the press is to be believed, its business practices are predatory and its management unethical. Facebook is simply not the right company, nor the right technology, to set the standard for how we interact with one another online.

This site is dedicated to encouraging and assisting people to stop using Facebook and instead to use alternatives which accord with those conventions, and thereby benefit everyone. The idea for this project is two and a half years old; the compelling need for it has only become obvious more recently. I can only hope it proves both timely and valuable.


Invitation for participation in a scientific online study

Dear social network user,

I would like to invite you to participate in a short scientific online study about your reasons for leaving Facebook together with some questions about privacy issues, Internet behaviour, and personality.

Participation in this online study will take approximately 5 minutes of your time. Your participation is entirely voluntary. All information collected in this online study will remain confidential and anonymous, and you will not be able to be identified from any of your responses.

Link to the online questionnaire:

If you have any questions about this research project, please do not hesitate to contact me (

Thank you for your time.

Stefan Stieger
School of Psychology
University of Vienna

FaBulous or F*BULL?

I am really disgusted by how facebook is taking over the world. Everywhere I travel I see restaurants, food companies, electronic selling brands and chains, music providers and entire regional governments referring to their facebook page and beg you to push that more-worshipped-than-the-divine "LIKE BUTTON". Companies have even started manipulating their customers to "like" them on facebok through promises of promotion codes, rebates and possible winnings. Customers then effectively rate the company before they even buy anything, fooling even more people into "liking" the company and sometimes even ordering things from fraudulent companies that has many "likes" but in reality censors any negative comments and just keeps on frauding or neglecting customers. Thanks to Facebook there is now a place and PR center where APPPARANT popularity is even more possible for any company or organization that in reality is just the worst kind of business or organization that can happen to a customer/ citizen.
All in all, facebook is becoming more popular than owning and operating ones own website simply because it is easier to censor, easier to look good without lifting a finger and the money keeps on pooring in. Hooray!!

Furthermore I question the need for every other software and site to promote alternatively require a facebook login.
The biggest mistake Spotify, one of the world's biggest music providers after Itunes, ever made was to decide one day about a year ago to by default forward all the information about your listening activities to your Facebook page. In effect, you now have to press a "pause the continous sharing of information about my music listening to hundreds or even thousands of people" button, as if to tell Spotify - f* off, I'm in the shower now, you can't spy on me right now, maybe later. Did it never occur to them that that was a mistake?
I got a Spotify account before they started requiring a facebook account to even use the service. Unfortunately, now that the rest of the world learns about this rich source of music and it opens up to new countries, the future customers of Spotify will just have to align and get a facebook account if they don't have one already.
i interpret this as the most disgusting way of getting funds - selling your customers to a gigant just to get a bite of the juicy cake. I doubt it was an issue of convinence or popularity.

I want to remind all companies and organizations in the world: You don't need facebook to promote yourself. Really. If you think original thoughts, you can impress your clientel even more without FB.

Further on, Facebook has twisted our poor little social minds into thinking, if it is NOT on Facebook, it never happened. If your great moments, small and big are not shared on Facebook, can you be sure it really happened - or will you be afraid it might be forgotten, even by you, the very next day? Don't laugh. This is a reality for many a users of Facebook that I have known personally. With HAVE KNOWN, I of course mean I dumped them all in my past life. I still know it happened. I met them. I saw them. I talked to them. However, their dependency on Facebook for a sense of self-worth and self-esteem kind'a ruined my perceptions of them. And I don't feel the need to put that on Facebook either.

Facebook helps you connect and alienate the people in your lif

I joined in 2009 (I think?) and did not really get anything out of the site. One day an old friend found me and tagged me in a picture and it was suddenly fun. I re-established a few old connections and made a few new ones. I found out about more gigs and club nights FB really did become central to my social life.

Late 2011/early2012 I had a series of family and personal problems that left me very needy and emotionally unstable. That's when it actually hit me that this wasn't a place for friendship, it was a place for gossip and promotion.

A few times I tried to quit and caved in. After a while some people got sick of it and would no longer re-friend me (fair enough but it hardly helped with my depression and paranoia at the time).

This year I have had my account permanently deleted. Every time I have tried to offer email and phone contact with people on FB they have ignored it so I am better off just forgetting it. I had begun to ignore long-term friends in favor of FB pseudo-friendships and that really hit me after I quit.

I have lost some potentially good friends and contacts through FB which upsets me. Maybe I blame it too much for my own failings but as it has become more money-driven the experience has dulled and you do feel ignored as the news-feed rarely features your own or friends' posts.

Now I happy with who I am and I know who my real friends are. I no longer suffer from depression or paranoid outbursts. I get out and see the world without wondering how it will look on some crummy webpage or who will "like" my photos. I hope I stay off for good this time.