Yes and No.
LYour all or nothing approach is no better that the strawman you propose. No one is suggesting that this affect anyone other than FB.
FB certainly has the ability to delete data that is on it's servers.
In fact, I looked at their policies, thanks to another post:
It typically takes about one month to delete an account, but some information may remain in backup copies and logs for up to 90 days.
No, it looks to me based on this that within 90 days your data on their site is deleted. If this is not the case, they need to update this document to declare what they keep when deleting your account!
The paradigm shift needs to be in how people view sites like Facebook,
No. Just no. It's my fucking data, on Flickr, damn it! If I choose to delete my copy from the site, Flickr better not keep displaying it, or giving it out to other people. Whether other people have downloaded it or not is moot to this discussion.
You seem to disagree. Why? Are you that eager to sell yourself to the corporations for nothing? While they claim copyright over anything posted on the Internet, as you seem to want...
Just wait until the carriers start copyrighting everything sent over their networks. That will be fun.