The world feels cheated by Facebook, the once most popular (for all the good reasons) social network. ICYMI, it was recently discovered that Cambridge Analytica, a London-based voter profiling company, harvested millions of FB profiles in 2016, which were then used as intel for Donald Trump’s Presidential election campaign. This exposé was followed by global outrage and a #deletefacebook revolution, where people are totally boycotting the network by deleting their accounts off it and uninstalling the app.
We were all okay with Mark Zuckerberg ditching Eduardo Saverin, but now that the joke is on us, we are calling him out. Well, it was high time IMO!
You will be surprised to know that Facebook has more info on you than your stalker ex – photos, videos, messages (even the conversations you’ve deleted), ads you’ve clicked on, pages you’ve liked (and unliked), CONTACTS, SMS DATA, PHONE CALL LOGS and NUDES (chill, jk about the nudes). Here’s how you can download all of it and see it for yourself.
Step 1: Finding the Dump
Click on “Settings”.
You will see a link that allows you to download your Facebook data. Click on it (duh).
In order to start downloading your archive, you will be asked to re-enter your password. Just to be safe, yaknow.
One final confirmation pop-up *sigh*
Step 2: Head over to Your Mailbox
Once you request a download of your data, you will receive a mail – most likely in the Spam section, so be careful not to miss it. This mail says that your download link would be mailed to you after Facebook processes your request.
I thought it would take a while, but I got my link (once again in the Spam inbox) in 7 minutes.
Err, yes, I have a Yahoo mail account, after all this time.
Step 3: Let the Drama Unfold
The mail link redirects you to Facebook. You might be asked to “Download Archive” and “Re-enter Password” again, which is then followed by the pop-up you have been dying for.
The zip file with my data was 187 MB heavy, so if you’re not on a fast enough true 4G network (there’s only one in this country), make sure you have other things to do that can keep you distracted. Extract the files to a folder once done.
The data is slotted into different folders – HTML, Photos, Videos and Messages. The first folder contains a list of web pages with all of your Facebook activities since the time you joined the network.
Well, that is a quite a lot! But not all of it.
The sneakiest thing that Facebook has done is maintained an archive of phone call logs and SMS data, including the contacts that you would’ve deleted off your phone! This is something that a lot of users do not remember granting permission for. Apparently, when you let Facebook or Messenger access your contacts, it also creeps into your call and message records.
Although, not all those who downloaded their Facebook data have seen their phone logs in the zip file. I happen to be one of them. It is likely that these people have not linked their contacts with the Facebook or Messenger apps at all. Smart move!
You can find a complete list of categories of data that Facebook has on you here.
I always told my people that the USA is watching us. And believe me, the Facebook revelation is just the beginning.
Cover image credit: Reuters