Dear Mark Zuckerberg, Here’s $20 That I Stole From You

Louis Barclay
2 min readFeb 26, 2018


Dear Mark Zuckerberg,

I’d like to apologise.

One year ago, I was scrolling down my Facebook News Feed — that fake news-filled, humblebrag-stuffed, targeted ad-crammed, never-ending pile of crap — when I decided I’d had enough. I wanted the News Feed out of my life, for good.

But I also wanted to keep the useful parts of Facebook, like events and messages, and stay friends with everyone I knew.

That’s when I stumbled across Facebook’s Achilles’ heel — the feature that lets you ‘unfollow’ people and pages so they don’t appear in your News Feed.

I wondered: what would happen if you took this feature to its limit? So I unfollowed literally everyone and everything, and a beautiful thing happened: I ended up with a completely blank News Feed.

It was blissful. It felt like I’d hacked Facebook — like I’d chosen for myself how to use your social network, instead of letting you choose for me. Now, the News Feed feeds me precisely no content at all, whether I go to it on my phone or my computer or any other device.

Unfortunately for you, that means I no longer see your creepy, but highly profitable, targeted ads. Which is why, in the same envelope as this letter, I’ve enclosed a crisp $20 bill — to make up for the year of ad revenue I stole from you.

Sure, I’m down a few bucks. But I’ve gained hundreds of hours of my life back from a morally bankrupt tech behemoth that was literally selling my time to the highest bidder. Seems like an OK deal to me.

Cheers, and buy yourself something nice!


P.S. You made a resolution this year to ‘[make] sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent’. So maybe you could give your users the option to delete their News Feeds by pointing them towards a tool I made, Nudge, which does the job of unfollowing everything for you automatically? You can find it at — or you can buy it off me for $100 billion. (Cash only please.)