Like it or hate it or a lot of both, Facebook is the ten-ton gorilla of social-networking systems at the moment. It wasn't always this way and probably won't always be (something new will eventually come along and take over as the "Big Thing"), but at the moment it's where many many people keep up with their friends, acquaintances, and people they barely know. And it keeps changing its interface, has "privacy policies" that don't particularly protect privacy, is likely at any moment to come up with increasingly annoying ways to "monetize" its squillions of users (look for auto-playing video ads in your newsfeed!), and offers no particularly useful way to retrieve your own data off of it.
That's why Archive Team has started a project called "Faceoff" which is attempting to create a set of programs, utilities, libraries, etc., to let users get their Facebook history exported from that service to ensure it is preserved no matter what happens to the service (or if the user chooses to close their account and go elsewhere).
When Facebook started, it was limited to college students, first at Harvard (where its founder was a student), and expanded to high schoolers before finally being open to the general population, so initially its user base was young; this seems to be reversed now as young people are rapidly deserting it in favor of "cooler" services where they won't have the indignity of having their mom "friend" them.
Exporting your own Facebook material
You supposedly have the ability to download your own Facebook content (including things you posted under your own account, though not comments, etc., added to others' pages), which works similarly to the export feature of Twitter where you click on a button in the "account settings" screen and get told you'll be e-mailed when the export is ready to download. However, this sometimes (for inscrutable reasons) produces a response like:
You recently requested a download of your information on Facebook. Sorry, but your download generation failed. Visit your account settings if you wish to request a new download. https://www.facebook.com/editaccount.php Thanks, The Facebook Team
Information about Facebook
- Facebook itself, as if you needed a hyperlink to find its URL
- Wikipedia page about Facebook
- TVTropes page about Facebook
Facebook technical info
Scripts and Add-ons for Facebook
- FB Purity: Firefox plugin to "clean up" Firefox
- Script to extract phone records from Facebook data dump (why do they even have your phone call records in the first place???)
Tips for using Facebook
Hacks and exploits involving Facebook
Independent projects regarding Facebook
Commentary about Facebook
- Facebook's Categorical Imperative
- Why Are Dead People Liking Stuff On Facebook?
- Europe has draft standard for government snooping on Facebook and other services
- What Employers Are Thinking When They Look At Your Facebook Page
- How Facebook Is Destroying History
- Move fast, break things: The sad story of Platform, Facebook’s gigantic missed opportunity
- Is it time to re-evaluate the Facebook-Stack Overflow partnership?
- Thoughts on the Oculus acquisition
- Everything You Need to Know About Facebook’s Controversial Emotion Experiment
- Facebook wants to know why you didn’t publish that status update you started writing