FaceBook – More on Privacy and the “Like” Blitz

Yesterday, I discussed growing concerns over FaceBook’s bold move to massively increase its internet presence – and its revenue streams – by essentially integrating itself with as much of the rest of the internet as possible, and sharing your data with pretty much any company that wants it (while excluding clever, user-oriented tools like Web 2.0 Suicide).

Below are more responses from around the internet. Again, some of these commentators see FaceBook’s move in positive terms – or at least not with great alarm – but what they see is nonetheless alarming…

At the developers’ conference in San Francisco where these changes were announced, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared with a very telling backdrop:

Zuckerberg wants FaceBook to be the McDonalds of the internet.

But who wants to hang out at McDonalds?

And FaceBook’s ambitious plans would have a much worse impact on your internet experience than McDonalds’ success on your daily dining. It’s still easy enough to find a burrito (at least in the Bay Area) or some Chinese. Whether you “Like” it or not, if FaceBook succeeds, the internet will be a much less diverse and healthy place. The only good that can come from this move is if Google and FaceBook distract and delay each other enough in their respective hegemonic bids to create room for other, hopefully less Evil Empire-ish companies and initiatives to establish a sufficient foothold to survive.

Ben Elowitz: Facebook’s Like Button: A Force Powerful Enough to Save Media from Google Search: “Huffington Post – Apr. 27 (Opinion) – With its new and soon-to-be-ubiquitous Open Graph initiative, Facebook is poised to become the great network of networks that circulates the majority of traffic on the web. For publishers, that is a good thing. And for Google, that is very, very”

(Via NewsTrust – Today’s Picks.)

Report: Facebook CEO Zuckerberg Doesn’t Believe In Privacy: “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to have been outed as not caring one whit about your privacy — a jarring admission, considering how much of our personal data Facebook owns, not to mention its plans to become the web’s central repository for our preferences and predilections.”

(Via Wired News.)

Five ways Facebook should improve user privacy: “Whenever Facebook introduces new services, especially those that expand into other parts of the Web, it doesn’t take long before privacy advocates and users…”

(Via Macworld.)

Want to Meet Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg? Here’s How: “Facebook privacy holes ‘let you see where strangers plan to go,’ Even founder Mark Zuckerberg was caught in the loophole — here’s an API stream of Zuckerberg’s public (i.e. open) events.”

(Via digg.com: Stories / Popular.)

50,000 Websites Have Already Integrated Facebook’s New Social Plugins: “There’s no question that Facebook’s new social plugins — which include a ‘Like’ button for the web and an array of other widgets — have been adopted at a pretty amazing rate (we had our ‘Like’ buttons live the day they were announced). Facebook has just given us an idea of how quickly these widgets are being adopted: a week after f8, 50,000 websites now feature the Like button and the other new plugins.

75 of those websites were Facebook’s launch partners, which included sites like CNN and the New York Times — everyone else handled the integration on their own, which Facebook has made very straightforward (it generally just involves copy-and-pasting a few lines of code). This growth is important, because as more sites integrate these social widgets, Facebook will increasingly own social interaction across the web.”

(Via TechCrunch.)

Facebook’s Eroding Privacy Policy: A Timeline: “Facebook’s Eroding Privacy Policy: A Timeline: Via EFF.org Updates.

Since its incorporation just over five years ago, Facebook has undergone a remarkable transformation. When it started, it was a private space for communication with a group of your choice. Soon, it transformed into a platform where much of your information is public by default. Today, it has become a platform where you have no choice but to make certain information public, and this public information may be shared by Facebook with its partner websites and used to target ads.

To help illustrate Facebook’s shift away from privacy, we have highlighted some excerpts from Facebook’s privacy policies over the years. Watch closely as your privacy disappears, one small change at a time!”

(Via Privacy Digest.)

A Handy Facebook-to-English Translator: “At last week’s ‘f8’ Facebook developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg’s notable quotable was that Facebook is ‘building a Web where the default is social.’ To our ears, that sounds like ‘a Web where exposure is the norm.’ To achieve this, Facebook is rolling out technologies that essentially put Facebook features on other sites, while those sites share data back to Facebook.

Despite the voluminous buzz, many commentators have missed the most confusing announcement of all — new Facebook jargon. So, in the interests of helping users understand what’s going on, we’ve put together a rough Facebook-to-English translator. Think of it as a handy phrase-book that could help you navigate through the more common situations you’ll find yourself in.

Important to note: Facebook makes frequent changes to its features. We believe this post is to be accurate at the time of publishing, but please understand that Facebook may change some or all of these definitions beyond recognition before long. In addition, be aware that Facebook operates differently in Europe than it does in the USA, because European nations tend to have stronger privacy-protection laws.”

(Via Privacy Digest.)

See What Facebook Publicly Publishes About You [Social Networks]: “With Facebook’s new Open Graph API causing such a stir, many people are questioning what Facebook is publishing to the public. Developer Ka-Ping Yee has created a simple tool shows you what everyone else can see.”

(Via Lifehacker.)

Facebook privacy changes: Five can’t-miss facts: “CIO.com’s Kristin Burnham offers up a list of five essential Facebook privacy settings you should review now and tweak accordingly to ensure your information remains safe.”

(Via Macworld.)

Are Like Buttons Evil? The Open Web Reacts To Facebook’s Not-So-Open Graph: “The tech community is still digesting the implications of Facebook’s plans to spread its ‘Like’ buttons everywhere and take over the Web with its so-called Open Graph. The Open Graph is a hugely ambitious project to build social hooks into every Website. It aims to add a layer of social connections and instant personalization based on people’s interests and ‘likes’ on every single page on the Web. It is also the basis for a Web-wide identity system based on Facebook IDs.

The Open Graph is open only in name. It is a Facebook-controlled protocol and set of APIs. Facebook takes the data but doesn’t give back in the same degree. It is open, says Kevin Marks, as in ‘open your underwear drawer.’ All Of Your Likes Are Belong To Us. Already, advocates of the open Web are stirring and rallying against this proposed social hegemony.”

(Via TechCrunch.)

Senators Call Out Facebook On ‘Instant Personalization’, Other Privacy Issues: “Last week, Facebook launched some major new products, including social plugins, its Like button for the web, and its Open Graph API. It also launched a product that has some serious privacy issues: ’Instant Personalization’, which automatically hands over some of your data to certain third-party sites as soon as you visit them, without any action required on your part. I’ve previously discussed at length why I think this could lead to a major backlash. And now four Democratic US Senators — Charles Schumer, Michael Bennet, Mark Begich and Al Franken — are calling on Facebook to change its policies.”

(Via TechCrunch.)

How to Delete Facebook Applications (and Why You Should): “At Facebook’s f8 conference, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was removing restrictions on user data retention within Facebook applications.”

(Via digg.com: Stories / Popular.)

Will all those “like” buttons make Facebook bigger than Google?: “Your favorite Web sites are now plugged in to the Facebook brain. On the streaming music service Pandora, you can now press ‘Like’ on any song you hear; that preference will get shuttled back into the social network, alerting your friends to your newfound musical interest. You can do the same for a movie on IMDb, a restaurant on Yelp, a news story on CNN.com, cosmetics at Sephora.com, jeans at Levi’s, and dozens of other products and services all over the Web, including everything published here on Slate. These tiny, new ‘like’ buttons look quite friendly and unassuming. Don’t be fooled. They’re the vanguard of Facebook’s brilliant, unstoppable plan to catalog the entire Web, and there’s a good chance that over the next few years they’ll help the social network remake everything online.”

(Via Slate Magazine.)


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