Social Media

Face about

I watched with some interest the fooflah about Facebook’s Beacon.

On the one hand, I think the application serves a useful purpose–it provides a dose of reality for those who have been extolling the virtues of the ‘social graph’ in all dewey eyed innocence. It’s hard to ignore that purchase of Depends showing up for all your friends to see. Hard for your friends to miss, too. Yes, it’s nice to actually see the snooping that’s happening without having to indulge in guesswork: am I, or am I not, a commodity. Now we know for sure: just stick us on the shelf between the sardines and the peanut butter.

On the other hand, how rude.

Now Facebook has come out with a new plan: the stores will still track you, still send your purchase information to Facebook, but you have to actively OK the first story for the site. This still means that the information is sent to Facebook. As proud as you are buying that new Nikon D300, how do you feel about information being sent to Facebook about the good deal on that…oh oh.

Users must click on “OK” in a new initial notification on their Facebook home page before the first Beacon story is published to their friends from each participating site. We recognize that users need to clearly understand Beacon before they first have a story published, and we will continue to refine this approach to give users choice.

(emph. mine)

Uh huh.

Of course, I expect those people who signed the petition and protested such an invasion of their privacy and trust to quit the service. Why else would people get so uptight but still continue? Unless, like the young lady quoted in the New York Times, they also feel they don’t have a right to privacy.


Am I quitting Facebook? Well, one doesn’t quit Facebook. One deactivates, leaves, never to return, and hopefully hunts down and eradicates every Facebook cookie stored on any and all machines, promising to never, ever, buy into the hype on Techmeme, ever again. It’s not quitting, per se, as much as throwing up barricades. After all, when I go shopping for … it’s none of your damn business.


Oh, look, the Manz R sayin de same thing. Well, that’s a relief. I wouldn’t want people to have to rely on the opinion of a girl.

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