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If you happened to walk through Kings Cross or past Facebook’s London headquarters on March 21, you might have seen people passing out pink posters with instructions on “How to Leave Facebook.” Designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, the posters served as a response to the ongoing scandal involving Facebook and the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
According to recent reports, Facebook seems to have turned a blind eye when Cambridge Analytica surreptitiously collected user data from 50 million people. The company then used the collected data to target individual users with advertising for clients, including the Trump presidential campaign.
Deller is just one of millions of people angered by the news. In an email to Hyperallergic, he said he’d already tried to leave Facebook “a few years back, but got bamboozled by it. I last posted about 8 years ago, and since then I have let it go moldy.”
A conceptual artist, Deller is most famous for “The Battle of Orgreave” (2001), in which he gathered about 1000 people to stage a public re-enactment of a clash from the 1984-85 U.K. miners’ strike.
Deller’s Fabeook poster is an extremely detailed explanation of the six steps to deleting a Facebook profile (he even explains what a “captcha code” is), printed on his now-characteristic shade of pink.
He wasn’t the one to actually distribute his posters. That was the responsibility of an organization that commissioned the project in the first place. Rapid Response Unit (RRUNews), a “public news bureau” that opened earlier this month in a mall in Liverpool, works on public projects with artists, musicians, actors, and writers — “correspondents” who create works in response to breaking news stories. RRUNews passed out the pink posters in Liverpool, too.
Deller actually had the text ready to go before the latest Facebook scandal broke. Earlier this year, he printed it on a shirt for Kettle’s Yard.
When asked whether his “How to Leave Facebook” posters should themselves be considered art, his answer was brief: “Probably not.”