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Data Doctors: Can you remove Facebook's Timeline feature?

by Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

azfamily.com

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 21 at 9:46 PM

Saw a post that claims FBPurity can remove Timeline from my Facebook profile. Question, is this link worth trying? -- Bob

There are several reasons why I would recommend that you steer clear of anything that claims that they can remove Facebook’s Timeline feature from your profile.
 
The first reason is the overwhelming number of scams that prey on folks that are hell bent on "getting their old Facebook back." The scams range from funneling you into a survey scam to taking over your Facebook profile so the bad guys can spam all your friends.
 
The other reason to avoid them is because they don’t actually get rid of Timeline, they simply change YOUR view of Timeline. Facebook has made it clear that Timeline is not an option, but a fundamental redesign of their network.
 
NOTE: If you have a business page, it will automatically convert to Timeline on March 30, so if you haven't already configured it for the new look, I highly recommend you do so before the switch is flipped.
 
In other words, even if you install one of the many browser add-ons such as FBPurity, you aren't actually changing anything for the rest of the world, just when YOU are viewing Facebook via that specific modified browser.
 
Think of it as putting on a pair of rose colored glasses; it doesn’t change anything in reality, just your perception.

The other problem with these browser modification scripts is that they often "break" other parts of Facebook that you will likely want.
 
AND, even if someone figured out how to bypass anything Facebook is doing now, any change at Facebook would potentially render the "fix" useless. You essentially would be playing a constant cat and mouse game to try to avoid moving forward with the rest of the world.
 
Understanding some basic things may help you overcome your need to "fight THE Facebook" on the Timeline update.
 
First of all, too many users think that Timeline somehow exposes things to the public that weren’t previously accessible. Nothing could be further from the truth and I cover these common misconceptions and what you can do to ensure your privacy in a previous column (Don't Freak Out About Facebook's Timeline).
 
Instead of installing a script that simply fools you into thinking your profile isn't using Timeline, spend that time making sure you have properly protected what you don't want others to see (and get in the habit of not posting anything that you wouldn't want others to see, since you really can't control what others share about you anyway).
 
Facebook has a roadmap that they are taking us all on and Timeline is just one of many changes that will continue to be made to the network. Fighting the inevitable changes that will occur on any social network is often futile since the motivation for the change rarely has to do with what we want as users.
 
Every social network's primary objective is to monetize the traffic and user interactions on their networks while providing a valuable service to the users. We as users are the product and the actual customers on social networks are the advertisers.
 
If you aren't comfortable with this arrangement, you should really consider removing your profile.
 
I'm not saying that we should just be sheep and stay silent when we don't like something (lots of features have been modified or removed in the past after users revolted) but one area that that has never be under our control is the actual user interface.
 
BTW, this is nothing new for Facebook. When the News Feed was first introduced in 2006, users were proclaiming that they would stop using Facebook because of the change, but here we are at 850,000+ users and counting…
 

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