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Risk

5/14/2010
11:34 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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If You Kill Your Company's Facebook Page, Make Sure You Kill It Dead

Whether or not the "Kill My Facebook" movement achieves critical mass, there are a few things you need to know before eliminating your company's Facebook presence. Most of all, how to make sure that "not only is it merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead."

Whether or not the "Kill My Facebook" movement achieves critical mass, there are a few things you need to know before eliminating your company's Facebook presence. Most of all, how to make sure that "not only is it merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead."Deactivate your Facebook account or delete it altogether?

That 's the question a growing number of businesses and individuals are starting to ask.

The deactivate Facebook -- and the smaller, more extreme "Kill My Facebook" -- response to the company's over-reach when it comes to personal (and business) information, as well as the amount of time managing a Facebook account requires, among other reasons for ditching your Facebook presence, may or may not achieve critical mass.

But judging from news reports about urgent company meetings to discuss privacy issues, as well as Congressional inquiries into those issues, matters are getting the company's attention.

If your business maintains a Facebook presence, those matters should get some attention from your company as well.

That attention may or may not include reading Facebook's privacy policy, which is almost 1300 words longer than the (unamended) United States Constitution. Who has the time? And the answer to that question -- next to none of us -- may well be one of the things Facebook is counting on.

Inertia, when you have 400 million users, and are the leader in online display ads, is a powerful engine.

So if you want your business information shared throughout the Internet -- as opposed to only with your business's followers -- don't do anything. That's the default Facebook position -- you post it, they'll share it.

If you want to take more control of how your information is used and shared by Facebook, visit your Account Settings, and get ready to spend some click-time establishing the privacy parameters that best suit your business -- and doing so within Facebook's dozens of privacy settings and close to 200 options.

If you want to take a break from Facebook, waiting to see how the various controversies shake out and whether or not Facebook's information-sharing policies are adjusted, choose the Deactivate option, which hides your account from other users (not from Facebook itself) and keeps it hidden until you decide to reactivate it (which Facebook clearly bets you will do).

But if you've had it with Facebook and its privacy-issue/controversy-of-the-day, then Delete My Account is the way to go -- once you wend your way through the complexities of doing so.

Deleting your account is a permanent and irrevocable move... once you get through the up to two-week waiting period before Facebook actually deletes your info.

Or at least deletes that information that the company doesn't feel it needs -- and has a right -- to hold onto for "technical reasons."

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