The recent change of privacy controls on Facebook and the introduction of a global “Like” button are steering a lot of discussion all over the internet. My friend Lokman has already left Facebook all together and keep hearing about “Leave Facebook Day” planned for May 21.
Many people, including those in major outlets are voicing their criticism of the erosion of privacy and introduction of the inverse Beakon. For example, the Washington Post ran a number of articles on this subject and is reporting on a bill for privacy online being drafted following this outcry, ars technica writes about complains filed against Facebook at the FTC, Huffington Post posted some visualizations of how more and more of our information is exposed to more and more people on Facebook, and the Wired has recently posted a very opinionated piece from Ryan Singer criticizing Facebook’s behavior and calling for an alternative. What I find amusing in this situation is that all these major outlets (and many others) have wholeheartedly adopted the universal “Like” feature and other Facebook gadgets. When you come to read their articles, you are welcomed by familiar faces of your friends through some Facebook social feature.
To me it creates a dissonance.
I realize that in many cases these are journalists reporting on a piece of technology-related news and I realize that the opinions of the columnists belong to them and not necessarily to the news outlet. I also realize that the news outlets are involved in financial survival battle and using Facebook advertising and social platform may be an opportunity. I even appreciate the fact these discussions are taking place and that the mainstream media, the blogosphere, and even Facebook itself are hosting this debate. Nevertheless, when I see that Ryan Singer’s super critical piece has two “Like” buttons and almost 3500 likes on Facebook, I understand why over at Facebook they feel so confident and comfortable messing with the privacy of their users.
And what do you think?