Why You Must Get Off Facebook Immediately
The platform makes you, your friends, and family vulnerable to robbery

By Douglas Rushkoff. Published in Medium on 10 October 2022

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I had a Facebook account in the old days, and left the platform in 2013 when Zuckerberg began using people’s posts in ads without their permission.

I deactivated my account, but then Facebook created its own author page to represent me. Some fans asked if they could create a Rushkoff page of their own in its stead, and I agreed. They made me a co-owner of the page, and then used the page to post links to my Medium pieces and Team Human podcasts (along with a message explaining that I don’t run the page).

Eventually, I re-activated my personal account in order to access communications from our local school district (I know…but that’s another article.) This weekend, that account got hacked. I received some emails from Facebook asking if I was the one changing email, passwords, and other things about the account. I responded within minutes of those emails to say I was not (I happened to be online texting with people as the Mets lost their Wildcard games), but nothing worked.

In order to confirm or report a hacked or stolen web page, you need to be able to log into Facebook through the hacked account. Otherwise, the page continues to belong to the hacker, and Facebook refuses to acknowledge the alert. I called the fans who run the Rushkoff fan page, and told them to remove my former account as an administrator. They did this, but a day or so later, they lost access to the page themselves, and someone in Cypress took charge.

Facebook has no customer service, no reporting process, or any way to address the situation. The security people I’ve spoken to say the only way to do anything is to find a “friend who works at Facebook” who may be able to get something done.

Just to recap: if you have a Facebook account and it is hacked, you have absolutely no recourse. They will send you an email, but the links on the email will not work. If you were silly enough to use Facebook as an authentication log in on some other site, then all those accounts are toast, as well. Like, Paypal. If some other site accepts your Facebook ID as you, then you have no way to reclaim that identity.

You can’t even trust Facebook with a credit card. And this is a company that is asking people to migrate into its virtual reality space? (Compare this to Apple who, for all of their problems, will still connect you within seconds to a customer service rep if your photos aren’t uploading properly to iCloud.)

I feel very lucky I don’t have anything important attached to Facebook, and that most companies that accept Facebook as a method of authentication are relatively inconsequential (or at least they should consider themselves to be). But please please, get yourself off this platform.

I’m truly sorry for allowing that Rushkoff page to stay up, and for whatever legitimacy it may have conferred on a site that makes people this vulnerable to attack while offering no way whatsoever for people to close or reclaim their accounts once taken.

In the words of Jordan Peele: Get Out.