Time to Ditch Facebook? Take Poll.

11 May Time to Ditch Facebook? Take Poll.

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Facebook is becoming a scary place. It used to be fun place to share photos, links, ideas etc. and connect with long lost friends. Now, as the social networking giant seeks to monetize their platform they’re using your data to do it. And while I can understand the business side, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a choice. I could choose to just shut down my profile on Facebook and move on.

If you’re not familiar with the changes on Facebook and how it impacts your privacy, take a look at this article on Wired magazine.  Below is an excerpt:

This spring Facebook took that even further. All the items you list as things you like must become public and linked to public profile pages. If you don’t want them linked and made public, then you don’t get them — though Facebook nicely hangs onto them in its database in order to let advertisers target you.

This includes your music preferences, employment information, reading preferences, schools, etc. All the things that make up your profile. They all must be public — and linked to public pages for each of those bits of info — or you don’t get them at all. That’s hardly a choice, and the whole system is maddeningly complex.

Simultaneously, the company began shipping your profile information off pre-emptively to Yelp, Pandora and Microsoft — so that if you show up there while already logged into Facebook, the sites can “personalize” your experience when you show up. You can try to opt out after the fact, but you’ll need a master’s in Facebook bureaucracy to stop it permanently.

Care to write a status update to your friends? Facebook sets the default for those messages to be published to the entire internet through direct funnels to the net’s top search engines. You can use a dropdown field to restrict your publishing, but it’s seemingly too hard for Facebook to actually remember that’s what you do. (Google Buzz, for all the criticism it has taken, remembers your setting from your last post and uses that as the new default.)

Now, say you you write a public update, saying, “My boss had a crazy great idea for a new product!” Now, you might not know it, but there is a Facebook page for “My Crazy Boss” and because your post had all the right words, your post now shows up on that page. Include the words “FBI” or “CIA,” and you show up on the FBI or CIA page.

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Now if this doesn’t get your attention, here is a visual chart that helps you understand how much of your private information is being shared across the Internet. Things you thought were just between friends is now in the open. Photos and networks you thought only your college buddies could see are now in plain sight of your employer, your associates and your business partners.

What do you think? Take the poll below:





I am personally mulling shutting down my profile on Facebook.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Zawezome

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4 Comments
  • Kirstie
    Posted at 12:22h, 11 May

    Facebook was such a great thing for awhile. I am totally considering opting out though. Or, now that I have found my friends, opening a new profile under a similar name. Such a lot of annoyance.

  • Parxyr
    Posted at 16:42h, 11 May

    Facebook's privacy rules have gotten rather frightening over the last several months and I'm not liking it much myself. The problem is, I think the average FB user doesn't take the time to actually consider the implications of the changes and continue to move along with their daily lives being happy-go-lucky. And FB posting a note that you quickly and obligatorily close out of as soon as you hit your page doesn't count as adequate warning.

  • SteveBelt
    Posted at 09:20h, 25 May

    I don't think facebook's changes are in any way wrong…nor do I think they infringe on my privacy. facebook can do what it wants with the data I throw up on its site. The day I start thinking that data (of any kind) that I place on a free website is somehow my data, and not that of the site owner, just shoot me in the head, because I've gone crazy.

    Every person that uses any free site (and I mean any free site) must understand that it is not, in fact, free, and therefore the site owner is going to try to find some way to make money from your use of the site.

    Now, if I were paying for the site, I'd feel differently. In effect, I would perhaps feel as though I had paid for privacy. Match.com users should feel that way (I suppose…although I've not ever used the site). But facebook isn't a pay per use site, so no one should complain.

    As far as privacy concerns, that's always been very simple for me: If I don't want my mom, boss, spouse, offspring, friend, etc. to see something, I never, ever put it on a free site. NEVER. Perhaps it's a good thing what facebook is doing, because it is forcing people to understand how laxed about their own poor privacy they have been, and forcing people adjust their own behavior. But leaving facebook…come on. That's just “sky is falling” talk.

  • seo delhi
    Posted at 04:32h, 28 May

    hi! shaileah. As u have mentioned here that every thing which we write on facebook will be made public, but i have an argument if u want a private conversation then why the hell join a community site at first at all and if a company try to make out some profit for themselves from their free services to us, why make a hue n cry for it. Wanna have private converstions just make a call or email. Its so simple. Nobody is bothering you.
    thanx n sionara

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