Facebook failing content creators who assumed their content was easily retrievable

Facebook has really botched user friendliness, for anyone who wished to search for something in their own timeline. That’s pathetic. It’s bad enough that users don’t really have access to their own timeline data without having a PhD level technical degree in the Facebook graph (and even then, their idea of what data belongs to the user who is the author of the posts is completely nuts.

Long ago I went looking for a way to get my entire Facebook post history out of Facebook so I could save it in a database and actually do searches on it like any sane content management system would allow. The “Download my Data” tool is a joke. The posts it gives back contain NONE of the links I share, which make up a majority of my posts. They also don’t seem to allow me to extract comments under my own posts, treating those as “owned” by the commenters, which also is nuts.

As a social media platform, bigger is useless when it comes to Facebook usability for preserving the stream of thought and experience and interaction that has taken place over , for me, 12-14 years. I was a big fan of Facebook until I started seeing the walled garden it has become in and around 2015. We really do need a better platform that is a serious “storage” for things truly social and personal.

These past 5 years or so has been increasingly disappointing in this regard. I should never have gone to posting on Facebook. I was drawn to it because of the size of the friends and groups and pages, and the ability to share and reflect and discuss things. I was also unaware of how Facebook became less and less usable as a useful archive of those interactions, and how virtually impossible it would soon become to transfer anything significant out of it so that I could utilize decent search strings on MY data.

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