Entries in FaceBook (3)
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 2:51PM
Today, Google launched +1, a button that users can click on blue links in Google Search results to say, in Google marketing's words, "this is something you should check out."
Beginning today, a small percentage of Google search users on Google.com in the United States searching in English will now see a +1 button next to search listings, when they are logged in. An example of this is shown in the video above.
Google will use all the recommendations to not only improve search results, but also to bring content and URLs into some sort of content stream on Google.com that will look a lot like the Twitter stream and the Facebook News Feed looks now.
Monday, May 3, 2010 at 8:59PM
5. Facebook's Terms Of Service are completely one-sided. Let's start with the basics. Facebook's Terms Of Service state that not only do they own your data (section 2.1), but if you don't keep it up to date and accurate (section 4.6), they can terminate your account (section 14). You could argue that the terms are just protecting Facebook's interests, and are not in practice enforced, but in the context of their other activities, this defense is pretty weak. As you'll see, there's no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt. Essentially, they see their customers as unpaid employees for crowd-sourcing ad-targeting data.
4. Facebook's CEO has a documented history of unethical behavior. From the very beginning of Facebook's existence, there are questions about Zuckerberg's ethics. According to BusinessInsider.com, he used Facebook user data to guess email passwords and read personal email in order to discredit his rivals. These allegations, albeit unproven and somewhat dated, nonetheless raise troubling questions about the ethics of the CEO of the world's largest social network. They're particularly compelling given that Facebook chose to fork over $65M to settle a related lawsuit alleging that Zuckerberg had actually stolen the idea for Facebook.
3. Facebook has flat out declared war on privacy. Founder and CEO of Facebook, in defense of Facebook's privacy changes last January: "People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time." More recently, in introducing the Open Graph API: "... the default is now social." Essentially, this means Facebook not only wants to know everything about you, and own that data, but to make it available to everybody. Which would not, by itself, necessarily be unethical, except that ...
2. Facebook is pulling a classic bait-and-switch. At the same time that they're telling developers how to access your data with new APIs, they are relatively quiet about explaining the implications of that to members. What this amounts to is a bait-and-switch. Facebook gets you to share information that you might not otherwise share, and then they make it publicly available. Since they are in the business of monetizing information about you for advertising purposes, this amounts to tricking their users into giving advertisers information about themselves. This is why Facebook is so much worse than Twitter in this regard: Twitter has made only the simplest (and thus, more credible) privacy claims and their customers know up front that all their tweets are public. It's also why the FTC is getting involved, and people are suing them (and winning).
1. Facebook makes it incredibly difficult to truly delete your account. It's one thing to make data public or even mislead users about doing so; but where I really draw the line is that, once you decide you've had enough, it's pretty tricky to really delete your account. They make no promises about deleting your data and every application you've used may keep it as well. On top of that, account deletion is incredibly (and intentionally) confusing. When you go to your account settings, you're given an option to deactivate your account, which turns out not to be the same thing as deleting it. Deactivating means you can still be tagged in photos and be spammed by Facebook (you actually have to opt out of getting emails as part of the deactivation, an incredibly easy detail to overlook, since you think you're deleting your account). Finally, the moment you log back in, you're back like nothing ever happened! In fact, it's really not much different from not logging in for awhile. To actually delete your account, you have to find a link buried in the on-line help (by "buried" I mean it takes five clicks to get there). Or you can just click here. Basically, Facebook is trying to trick their users into allowing them to keep their data even after they've "deleted" their account.
Monday, March 29, 2010 at 3:30PM
Here's an amazing FaceBook fact sheet from website-monitoring.com
- 400 million active users
- 50% check in EVERY DAY
- Average user spends 55 MINUTES PER DAY
- 35 million update status every day
- 3 billion photos uploaded each month
- 5 billion pieces of content shared every day
- 70% of users are outside the United States