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Samsung phone owners can’t delete pre-installed Facebook app

If you’re a Samsung phones user, you may have a hard time deleting the Facebook app,  Samsung phone owners have experienced troubled uninstalling the social media giant’s app, an issue earlier reported by Bloomberg News, which said some users found they could “disable” but not delete the app. Samsung users posted similar experiences in forums, such as Android Central.
The new report also brings to light how little the public knows or has control over the app pre-load deals that Facebook makes with smartphone makers, including but not limited to Samsung.
Most mobile phones come with some apps pre-loaded onto them, like email and messenger clients, or other utilities. But phone makers have also started including apps like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube, and others as pre-installed apps. You can usually customize your phone, removing and adding apps as you like, though some are immutable; iPhone users couldn’t remove certain annoying pre-loaded iPhone apps like Stocks until 2016.
Facebook comes as one of the pre-installed apps on some Samsung devices, though Bloomberg reports that there is no list of all the Samsung and non-Samsung devices on which it is installed. Facebook declined to provide that information to Bloomberg as well.
Apparently, when some Samsung users tried to delete the pre-installed Facebook app, they found there was simply no “delete” option. The best they could do was “deactivate.” This reportedly means that the app stops functioning; it acts as if it’s not there, but that little blue square remains.
Facebook says that deactivating means that the Facebook app won’t collect any data on you. And social media and reverse engineering expert points out that the pre-installed Facebook app is just a shell, or a placeholder — not the actual app. So it’s not clear what simply having the defunct pre-loaded app on your phone could do, other than be annoying.
Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been caught making misleading statements about the extent of data Facebook collects on both users and non-users plenty of  times in the past few years. So its assurances that the deactivated apps won’t affect users are not something users can (or should) necessarily trust.
In the past year, Facebook has claimed its watchwords are “transparency” and “choice.” But Facebook is declining to say with whom it has pre-install agreements and what the nature of those agreements is. And apparently some Samsung users simply do not have a choice about whether to completely remove Facebook from their digital lives.

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