Friday, May 14, 2010

Facebook's deal with the Devil

I wanted to share what I thought was a very enlightening blog post by Danah Boyd on the recent ruckus around Facebook and her issues with how Facebook is handling all this.

I think she particularly nailed what's bothering me here:
I’d be a whole lot less pissed off if people had to opt-in in December. Or if they could’ve retained the right to keep their friends lists, affiliations, interests, likes, and other content as private as they had when they first opted into Facebook. Slowly disintegrating the social context without choice isn’t consent; it’s trickery.
It's clear that Facebook really really really wants to make all the content people are posting as public as possible, because they are not making money on ads.

I can just see all these marketers from Big Companies in Big Conversations with Facebook execs in closed rooms waving wads of cash at them saying "Boy do we want this content! People are telling us exactly what they like and what they care about! Just make this content available, and we will give you so much money you'll be swimming in it."

In the other room are the board members saying "so, when are you going to monetize this big thing you've got going?"

So, you take the Devil's deal, what's a little privacy, I mean, people want to be transparent anyway. Rationalize and justify, I know that path. So, hoping nobody's watching, and putting on a show of "choice" and "options", you open up the content, and the guys with the money cheer.

If it were me, and I were at Facebook, I'd have a bad taste in my mouth right now...

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