A couple of months ago I nearly deleted my Facebook account. What prevented me from doing so was my Stop Junk Mail group. The group had been going for about four years and had nearly 1,000 members. More importantly, it was a genuinely nice group, with decent information, interesting links, junk mail videos, arty images and whatnot. I hated the idea that if I deleted the group some slimy marketeers pretending to run an anti-junk mail campaign would fill the gap (there are lots of junk mailers who run fake anti-junk mail services nowadays). So, instead of deleting my account I renamed myself 'Junk Buster', 'unfriended' everybody, and removed photos and other personal stuff. Life on Facebook continued, but without having to read people's 'status updates' or being informed that so-and-so is playing 'Smurfs & Co'.
And then Facebook deleted the group.
True… without warning the group has been deleted. It's not unlike the Direct Marketing Association spontaneously removing any reference to its Your Choice opt-out scheme or pulling the plug on its junk mail propaganda website; it happened out of the blue, and without apology or explanation.
A quick search on the website's help pages learned that Facebook is deleting groups left, right and centre. There are people asking if in memoriam groups for deceased loved ones could be re-instated. The answer is negative, and as per usual Facebook can't be contacted.
The issue is that Facebook doesn't like groups anymore. Instead of forming groups people should to create 'pages' which people can then 'like' by clicking on a button. It's all about marketing and trading people's personal details. By indicating what you 'like' Facebook can analyse what your interests are, and that information can then be sold to advertisers. Needless to say there won't be a Stop Junk Mail 'page'.
With the group gone I've duly deleted my Facebook account. I'm content, it's something I wanted to do anyway. Already the Stop Junk Mail website had become a Facebook / Twitter / Etc. free zone. From a marketing and 'search engine optimisation' perspective ignoring the existence of Facebook isn't wise, but then I do think it's nice to have places on the world wide web where you're not confronted with Facebook 'like' buttons. Stop Junk Mail's aim is to provide the best possible information about getting rid off unsolicited mail. Collecting 'likes' and taking part in 'hot or not' contests doesn't interest me.