Blackspot

MySpacing Facebook

What will it take for Facebook to lose its cool?

For the third time, a groundswell of outrage is rising against Facebook's commercialization of friendship. The anti-Facebook movement began in 2007 with their introduction of "Beacon," a feature that gave external commercial websites private information about logged in users for the purposes of targeted advertising. Shocked users launched online petitions, posted angry status updates and filed a class action lawsuit. Officially, Facebook capitulated and Beacon was abandoned nine months ago. But then, only three months after their apparent concession, Facebook committed what has come to be known as "Facebook’s Greatest Betrayal": they retroactively changed their privacy policy, publicly revealing the formally private information of its 400 million members. Again, users got angry and protested but CEO Zuckerberg didn't budge and opposition effectively died. Now, believing that its users have been forced into submission, Facebook has gone for the kill -- reinventing Beacon in its most sinister form.

Deceptively known as "social plug-ins," Facebook's new system for giving commercial websites access to your personal information is to scatter "I like" buttons around the web. These buttons are ostensibly to allow users to identify what they like on the Internet. But the real benefit for the fat-cats at Facebook is the lucrative deals with corporate websites they stand to make because these buttons will give Facebook the ability to grant certain, undisclosed sites access to your Facebook information without your prior consent. If the "like button" is on a site, and you are a Facebook user, then your information will be transmitted automatically to these chosen sites. Your profile, the names of your friends, your favorite books and more will be used to sell you junk. All that data you entered into Facebook has become a goldmine for hungry advertisers looking to "personalize" their ads and Zuckerberg stands to make a mint.

Facebook has irrevocably tarnished its reputation in its bald pursuit of money. It has cashed in on its former reputation as a cool, hip online hangout and is now just another MySpace — a corporate-owned digital swamp of advertising. And while you may expect another round of anger, this time the reaction is eerily different. Past protests were done under the assumption that Facebook was our community and that it could be changed by our demands. But now that myth is shattered and the realization is dawning that the best tactic is not calls for reform but uncooling.

With more and more people coming to the quietly indignant realization that Facebook is lame like Myspace, the site is facing inevitable decline. And as a growing percentage of the site starts to log out, we will see the emergence of a new social networking platform built on non-commercial principles for the benefit of friendship and not consumerism.

Micah White is a Contributing Editor at Adbusters and an independent activist. www.micahmwhite.com or micah (at) adbusters.org

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156 comments on the article “MySpacing Facebook”

Displaying 131 - 140 of 156

Page 14 of 16

It's not that h...

I think you mean 'bold', not 'bald'

"Facebook has irrevocably tarnished its reputation in its bald pursuit of money"

It's not that h...

I think you mean 'bold', not 'bald'

"Facebook has irrevocably tarnished its reputation in its bald pursuit of money"

dictionary

check your dictionary. the secondary definition of 'bald' is: "without any extra detail or explanation; plain or blunt" and the example given is "the bald statement in the preceding paragraph requires amplification"

dictionary

check your dictionary. the secondary definition of 'bald' is: "without any extra detail or explanation; plain or blunt" and the example given is "the bald statement in the preceding paragraph requires amplification"

Anonymous

[AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE EVILS OF SOCIAL PLUGINS ON FACEBOOK]
...
[FOLLOWED BY THOSE EXACT SAME SOCIAL PLUGINS]

Anonymous

[AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE EVILS OF SOCIAL PLUGINS ON FACEBOOK]
...
[FOLLOWED BY THOSE EXACT SAME SOCIAL PLUGINS]

An evil corporation

... You, sir, are misinformed.

These social plugins are scripts that run completely on Facebook's own servers, and the website that is displaying them can only access the data that is used for displaying the plug-in to the current user browsing a page. Sure, a company could write a script that logs your name and the names of the people you know that have interacted with the plug-in before you - but there is no access to all your dearest and secret info like this uninformed fear mongering post is trying to convey.

If a company decides to write its own applications that are hooked up with the Facebook API, the same is true. The company can not access any information that the user does not want it to access. If a user decides not to click the connect button, your information is closed off. If a user decides to actually use the connect button on a non-Facebook site, he controls the level of information that is accessible to the site in question. The site will load up a FACEBOOK HOSTED PROMPT that requires you to accept the level of access that is requested of you. If you are asked for your basic information, then YOU have given that site access to your information - not Facebook.

So think twice before you accept any old prompt for Facebook connect out in the wild - that's just common sense. If they ask to post to your wall, receive your e-mail information, photo gallery access, etc; ask yourself if this is a business that you trust with this information, and what this business would need this information for before accepting and letting them datamine the shit out of your account. Just.. don't go around spewing uninformed, nonsensical fear mongering.

Love,
An evil corporation that utilizes social plug-ins and Facebook Connect to create a better and more user-friendly environment for its websites' visitors.

An evil corporation

... You, sir, are misinformed.

These social plugins are scripts that run completely on Facebook's own servers, and the website that is displaying them can only access the data that is used for displaying the plug-in to the current user browsing a page. Sure, a company could write a script that logs your name and the names of the people you know that have interacted with the plug-in before you - but there is no access to all your dearest and secret info like this uninformed fear mongering post is trying to convey.

If a company decides to write its own applications that are hooked up with the Facebook API, the same is true. The company can not access any information that the user does not want it to access. If a user decides not to click the connect button, your information is closed off. If a user decides to actually use the connect button on a non-Facebook site, he controls the level of information that is accessible to the site in question. The site will load up a FACEBOOK HOSTED PROMPT that requires you to accept the level of access that is requested of you. If you are asked for your basic information, then YOU have given that site access to your information - not Facebook.

So think twice before you accept any old prompt for Facebook connect out in the wild - that's just common sense. If they ask to post to your wall, receive your e-mail information, photo gallery access, etc; ask yourself if this is a business that you trust with this information, and what this business would need this information for before accepting and letting them datamine the shit out of your account. Just.. don't go around spewing uninformed, nonsensical fear mongering.

Love,
An evil corporation that utilizes social plug-ins and Facebook Connect to create a better and more user-friendly environment for its websites' visitors.

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