Friday, June 4, 2010

Last Time I Checked, People Hate Others Peering Into There Homes... Why Would They Enjoy People Being Able To Do It Online?

It has to be said that the world is full of more pressing concerns but I most comment on the issue of Facebook privacy. Now, there are those who could care little about the information that Facebook has been mining and providing companies for the purpose of advertising or for the world at large to view under the guise of expanding the "connections" between users. I beg to differ...

Before you join me in hyperventilating at the notion of some "creepy uncle" violating your privacy by scoping out information that you never intended for mass consumption --some petulant billionaire decided that an "opt-out" feature makes more sense than "opt-in"--, lets take a moment to examine this decision. Granted, it does not take a certified genius to understand why it was chosen... They were hoping that its users were too complacent or naïve to care. They were wrong and much like the initial upgrade of illustrating your every move on Facebook, the company was forced to take a step back in the face of public outrage.

Mark Zuckerberg, the beloved wunderkind behind the social network --in the world's most feeble apology ever-- stated "We move quickly to serve that community with new ways to connect with the social Web and each other. Sometimes we move too fast." Really?!?!?! Who asked for transparency when it comes to information pertaining to them as a user regardless of the speed in which this change takes place. I know when I sit on Facebook, I have long wondered how great it would be for a third party (whether they be a person or a business)to know my interests and information without my consent and leaving me with the pride that I would be furthering the sense of community. The pure, unadulterated hubris of Zuckerberg and the contempt that Facebook has for its users is appalling... They want individuals who value their own privacy to be ashamed of this most sacred right because --from their perspective-- Facebook is a device to create a sense of belonging not profits from advertising.

I am not championing for the halcyon days of "social networking" or Facebook as in my opinion, they never existed but one has to remember these dastardly changes that erode privacy to benefit business. To me, that is not meaning behind such buzz words as "social networking" or "community" --for that matter--, they carry no meaning. Facebook is not in the business of building a community online (Since from a logical perspective, a "community" can only exist in a physical realm"), it is in the business of making money. How else did Zuckerberg amass four billion dollars... Selling Girl Scout cookies?

Why does Facebook want your information, quite simply it wants to develop advertising that fits that information... Or rather sell said information to a third-party to create "tailor-made" ads just for you. The sad fact is "you" as a person are not valuable but your interests are. In essence, you are allowing them to sell "you" to "you." Now, that is what I consider being part of a "community."

All in All, Zuckerberg's "apology" proved one thing, you know which direction Facebook is heading and this setback has merely slowed the process down. Jon Paczkowski explains "Zuckerberg isn’t admitting that Facebook was headed in the wrong direction with respect to user privacy; he’s saying Facebook was headed in right direction all along, just a bit too quickly–for those of us with reasonable expectations or privacy, anyway."

I suppose I am speaking to a minority --I only have three regular readers-- since everyone loves Facebook from infants to the elderly... everyone has a page. Hell, you can be friends with Pizza Hut or WalMart and who doesn't want to be friends with a corporation that does not possess the faculties to have a discussion with you... let alone be your "friend." With that said, I have grown a little tuckered out from frothing at the mouth, if you will excuse me... I have some crops to harvest in Farmville and then I have a drive-by shooting to commit in Mafia Wars.

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