Turner Prize-Winning Artist Jeremy Deller Has Launched a Campaign to Help People Quit Facebook

The artist is not happy that the social network compromised millions of users' personal data.

Jeremy Deller. Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images.

Facebook-weary Brits are getting a little help from the art world. In protest of the recent data-mining scandal, Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller designed posters with instructions on how to leave the social platform. On Wednesday, he distributed them throughout London and Liverpool.

Deller’s “How to Leave Facebook” flyers were posted at Facebook’s UK headquarters in the British capital, and 2,000 original prints were handed out at two heavily trafficked commuter stations in London and Liverpool. The straightforward instructions detail six steps to deleting your account, including the various password and captcha code hoops you have to jump through to do so.

The action, first reported in Time Out, is an intervention that’s part of a Liverpool-based project called “Rapid Respond Unit,” a public newsroom that has artist-correspondents responding to the news in real time. Former Guardian journalist Mark Donne is the bureau editor. He said in a statement that the posters are “self-explanatory.” 

The campaign started shortly after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that it was a mistake to let Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm hired by Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, exploit the personal data of 50 million Facebook users in order to target US voters with political ads and influence the US election. 

Speaking to artnet News, Deller said the revelations were “not really a surprise” considering the information has been an “open secret” since last year, but he added that “the Cambridge Analytica hidden filming admissions gave [the campaign] an added urgency.”

This is not the first time Deller has been involved in a poster campaign to make a statement. In May of 2017, he covertly pasted up posters reading “Strong and stable my arse” ahead of the British elections. He told artnet News he was drawn to posters because they’re “quick, cheap, and easy.”

Nor is Deller the only artist to target Facebook—Jim Carrey has zeroed in on Mark Zuckerberg in his latest political caricature.

Oddly, Deller has not actually deleted his own Facebook account. He told artnet News that he “tried a few years ago but was confused by the process,” adding that he hasn’t posted to the social network since 2010. So, there’s at least one person who will benefit from his posters.   


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