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and you thought facebook sucked before? ha!

I was very tempted today to delete my Facebook account, but didn't only for the reason that if anyone wants to contact me on it, they can add me in if they wish.

The reason I was tempted to delete it is because I read this, this, this and this.

Instead of deleting I blanked it even further to where it's basically just a shell, and that's the way it's going to stay.

If you examine my profile, it now looks like this:

(click to enlarge)

There's basically nothing there save for telling people if they want to contact, email or go to my site. All of that is very intentional.

I also:

~ ~ ~

For years now I've been waging this private war when it comes to my personal info, which can be summed up in a single statement:

DON'T try to sell me anything, and DON'T share or sell my personal info with ANYBODY. Got it? Good. Now bug off.

Here's one example of what I've had to do to keep companies from trying to hock their crap at me:

For every credit card I have, it's required for me to call customer service of the issuing bank once a year and state the following verbatim (and feel free to call the banks that issue your cards and say the exact same thing):

"I request that you do not send any promotional materials by email, postal mail or phone, and I request that you do not share my personal or account information with any person or business. I also request that you send postal confirmation you have received and acknowledged this request."

Say this s-l-o-w-l-y because sometimes you're talking with a moron who can barely speak English.

You have to make DAMNED SURE you say it exactly like the above, because for whichever communication method you don't mention, guess what? You guessed it, junk is sent to the one(s) you didn't mention.

If you call and tell them to stop sending you stuff in the mail, they keep calling and emailing. Tell them to stop calling, they email and flood your postal box. Tell them to stop emailing, they flood your postal box and call over and over again.

It took me years to figure this out. You have to say all three all at once, else they consider the other methods A-OK, and you have to specifically state to not share your information with any person or business. And as far as the postal confirmation goes, whether you get it or not is a crapshoot, because the reply will always be something to the effect of, "We will honor your request within six to twelve weeks." Gee, thanks. If you don't get the letter, don't be surprised. The point is you say it to force them to put it on record.

If you want to be a real idiot about it, do this:

You: May I have the ticket number of this call?

Call agent: We don't give ticket numbers out (OR) Ticket number?

You: Every call center records every call that comes in, and I would like my ticket number please.

Call agent: Sir, I'm sorry, I can't do that.

You: I will not end this call until I get my ticket number for this call. This is a simple easy request. Please give me the ticket number for this call for my personal records.

The call agent will start freaking out when you do this. You'll be put on hold, the agent will call the supervisor and ask what to do. The supervisor will state he can't give out a ticket number. The agent will come back on the line. Stand your ground. Don't end the call until you get that number.

Can you do anything with the number? No, but that's fine. You're requesting the number to purposely make the agent does his or her job right the first time, which the vast majority of them don't.

And why do I have to call once a year?

It took me a while to figure that one out, too.

On average, I will receive a letter in the mail from the issuing bank annually that states the customer agreement and/or customer privacy policy has changed. In that change, it's almost always the case where it says, "If you don't call and request/deny/whatever-the-frig, we're going to start calling, emailing and sending you junk in your postal box again."

The day you receive that, that's when you call and read what's above again.

~ ~ ~

So what in the blazes does this have to do anything with Facebook?

Facebook is pulling the same crap traditional businesses are. You give information, they take and "share" (read: sell) it. Every time they change their privacy policy, it's nothing but an attempt to sell every scrap of information in your Facebook account.

I'm not playing that game because I've been down that road before, Facebook. I know b.s. when I see it. Bug off.

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