Why You Must Get Off Facebook Immediately

The platform makes you, your friends, and family vulnerable to robbery

Douglas Rushkoff

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Photo by Marco Bianchetti on Unsplash

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.

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Douglas Rushkoff

Author of Survival of the Richest, Team Human, Program or Be Programmed, and host of the Team Human podcast http://teamhuman.fm