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

Adbusters 111 Cover

On Newsstands December 3

At last we’re in Winter. It’s the year 2047. A worn scrapbook from the future arrives in your lap. It offers a stunning global vision, a warning to the next generations, a repository of practical wisdom, and an invaluable roadmap which you need to navigate the dark times, and the opportunities, which lie ahead.

Subscribe to Adbusters Magazine

156 comments on the article “MySpacing Facebook”

Displaying 91 - 100 of 156

Page 10 of 16

Anonymous

Why are you using an ipad? Hasn't Steven Jobs had his way with you after you bought the Ipod, Iphone, Imac, Ieverything? Stop feeding Macintosh, for that matter stop feeding them all. Buy your parts from some third party and then install a pirated or free OS.

Anonymous

Why are you using an ipad? Hasn't Steven Jobs had his way with you after you bought the Ipod, Iphone, Imac, Ieverything? Stop feeding Macintosh, for that matter stop feeding them all. Buy your parts from some third party and then install a pirated or free OS.

Ken Kills

Facebook vs Myspace:

Myspace lost out, because it wasn't as good a product. Certain aspects of it's design, when compared to Facebook's design, made Facebook a sufficiently better product to drive the critical number of people from Myspace to Facebook.

The rest then followed.

So far, so marketing 101.

Facebook maintains it's position because there isn't a product out there that's better enough to persuade people to go through the hassle of switching sites.

Fingers crossed, joindiaspora.com

Or the next good idea

Or the one after that

Ken Kills

Facebook vs Myspace:

Myspace lost out, because it wasn't as good a product. Certain aspects of it's design, when compared to Facebook's design, made Facebook a sufficiently better product to drive the critical number of people from Myspace to Facebook.

The rest then followed.

So far, so marketing 101.

Facebook maintains it's position because there isn't a product out there that's better enough to persuade people to go through the hassle of switching sites.

Fingers crossed, joindiaspora.com

Or the next good idea

Or the one after that

snaffelhound

Facebook makes us ordinary sheep feel important, its like a television show devoted to me. And all the other sheep get to watch and tell me how special and important I am, and then I get to do the same for them. We will stroke our egos and post our coy comments and put out an endless stream of photos that make us look so cool and fun. Isn't it great?
Meanwhile Rome burns....

snaffelhound

Facebook makes us ordinary sheep feel important, its like a television show devoted to me. And all the other sheep get to watch and tell me how special and important I am, and then I get to do the same for them. We will stroke our egos and post our coy comments and put out an endless stream of photos that make us look so cool and fun. Isn't it great?
Meanwhile Rome burns....

Pages

Add a new comment

Comments are closed.