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posted by janrinok on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:04PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the trust-has-to-be-earned dept.

Selena Larson writes at ReadWrite that Facebook has a perception problem, which is largely driven by the fact it controls huge amounts of data and uses people as fodder for advertising and just can't shake its ultimately flawed nature and gain the trust of consumers.

"Perhaps the largest driver of skepticism towards Facebook is the level of control it gives users-which is arguably limited. Sure, you can edit your profile so other people can't see your personal information, but Facebook can, and it uses your data to serve advertisers says Larson. "Keep in mind: This is information you provided just once in the last 10 years-for instance, when you first registered your account and offered up your favorite movies, TV shows and books-is now given tangentially to advertisers or companies wanting a piece of your pocketbook."

Another thing people hate about Facebook is that when the time comes for someone to abandon the social network, whether over privacy concerns or frustration with the company, Facebook intentionally makes it hard to leave. "Even if you delete your account, your ghost remains. Your email address is still tied to a Facebook account and your face is still recognizably tagged as you, even if the account it's associated with has vanished." Even when you die, Facebook continues to make money off you.

Facebook has many exciting projects, but it won't have an audience left unless it addresses its perception problem says Larson. "Trust is paramount, especially on the Internet, and people need to know that Facebook is making things to improve the human experience, not just spending billions to make even more billions off our personal information," concludes Larson. "Prove to us you don't just care about money, Facebook, and perhaps we'll all realize how much you really have grown in the last 10 years."

Related Stories

CrossFit, Inc. Suspends Use of Facebook and Associated Services 30 comments

CrossFit, Inc. Suspends Use of Facebook and Associated Services

CrossFit has announced in a press release that it has closed its Facebook accounts as of May 22, 2019. CrossFit is an almost 20 year old branded fitness regimen. Its press release goes into quite a bit of detail into the problems caused by use of Facebook and its subsidiary services such as Instagram and enumerates eight specific examples of deal-breakers.

Earlier on SN:
Facebook Still Tracks You After You Deactivate Your Account (2019)
Didn't Think Facebook Could Get Any Worse? Think Again. (2018)
Why No One Trusts Facebook (2014)

CrossFit, Inc. Suspends Use of Facebook and Associated Properties After Unexplained Ban

CrossFit, Inc. defends relentlessly the right of its affiliates, trainers, and athletes to practice CrossFit, build voluntary CrossFit associations and businesses, and speak openly and freely about the ideas and principles that animate our views of exercise, nutrition, and health. This website—and, until recently, CrossFit's Facebook and Instagram accounts—has long catalogued CrossFit's tireless defense of its community against overreaching governments, malicious competitors, and corrupt academic organizations.

Recently, Facebook deleted without warning or explanation the Banting7DayMealPlan user group. The group has 1.65 million users who post testimonials and other information regarding the efficacy of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. While the site has subsequently been reinstated (also without warning or explanation), Facebook's action should give any serious person reason to pause, especially those of us engaged in activities contrary to prevailing opinion.

https://www.crossfit.com/battles/crossfit-suspends-facebook-instagram


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

The CPU [Computer Professional Union] 76 comments

Computing is notorious for not having a worthwhile professional association. Some practitioners join the IEEE, the IET or the ACM. However, membership typically costs hundreds of dollars per year and offers little practical help to computer professionals working in small companies. If you're working for government or a large corporation or you're a super programmer in a well funded start-up then you probably have a union or you don't need a union. However, if you're the sole techie in a small business, appreciation for your dedication is just the start. What happens when you're asked to do something unethical or illegal? Where do you turn when a job goes sour? How do you avoid the problem? How can you avoid really toxic employers?

Rather than paying hundreds of dollars per year for talks and conferences, you require local experts who have first-hand experience of local employers and local employment problems. How can this be achieved reliably and cost-effectively? This is where our expertise should shine. Firstly, union entry should be at least as stringent as the conceirge union. Secondly, there should be a web-of-trust within each metropolitan region (and ideally between regions). In the best case, the network distance between all members should be four or less. Thirdly, an obligatory website should incur less hits than SoylentNews and therefore an upper bound for costs can be established for a volunteer effort. Essentially, it should be possible to run a union from donations of US$3000 per year or significantly less. Indeed, the major cost to members would be food and drink expenses when informally meeting other members.

So who wants to join a computer professional union with sensible fees and obligations?


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:15PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:15PM (#27144)

    Nothing is ever really new, a bit over a decade ago we set up my mother in law with, I believe it was called, junomail, which was a totally free email service for modem users that tried to make money by sending spam. Being the little devil I am, or big devil, or whatever, I signed her up as being into pro wrestling and a whole bunch of random junk. They had a survey that made a federal census long form look petite. Nothing ever happened other than junomail going out of business.

    It may be there is little demand for this kind of info for most people. Don't just divide revenue by # victims to get value per person, it may be that peculiar condition XYZ (perhaps being rich?) is worth $75 and everyone else is worthless. Or maybe even a decade ago automatic BS detectors are pretty good (Hmm, retired female fan of pro-wrestling and star trek? BS. Or maybe I personally caused the downfall of the Sci Fi network)

    Or juno failed in the market but it was a great idea.

    • (Score: 1) by Leebert on Monday April 07 2014, @02:09AM

      by Leebert (3511) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 07 2014, @02:09AM (#27255)

      Nothing ever happened other than junomail going out of business.

      Juno still exists. I cannot manage to get my parents to migrate off of it, no matter how hard I try.

    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Monday April 07 2014, @03:50AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Monday April 07 2014, @03:50AM (#27283) Homepage

      I had Juno mail about a thousand years ago (and Juno does still exist) ... the trick was to admit to NO interests; then you got NO spam.

      Juno was successful enough that there were several copycat services. However, the whole thing lost relevance once net access became widespread and nearly every ISP offered email.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday April 07 2014, @11:37AM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 07 2014, @11:37AM (#27392)

        "once net access became widespread"

        It was free. Completely. Not a penny. At least when she used it. Got an old PC and a modem, you're good.

        I agree its fairly pointless if you have inet access but she has no interest.

        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Monday April 07 2014, @01:12PM

          by Reziac (2489) on Monday April 07 2014, @01:12PM (#27441) Homepage

          Yeah, I know people who still use it, because it's free and requires no more investment than their existing phone line and any crap computer. It works for basic email, well enough if that's all you need, and it takes little effort to learn to use.

          [goes off, looks at juno.com] I see it now has a webmail interface!

    • (Score: 1) by Open4D on Monday April 07 2014, @04:04PM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 07 2014, @04:04PM (#27589) Journal

      Nothing ever happened ...

      Damn, I was convinced your anecdote was going to finish in 2014 with Facebook mysteriously deciding to sign your mother-in-law up to some of their Pro Wrestling fan groups.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by weeds on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:20PM

    by weeds (611) on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:20PM (#27146) Journal

    ... you are the product.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:31PM (#27148)

      you ARE the father!

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by quacking duck on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:09PM

      by quacking duck (1395) on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:09PM (#27168)

      And when the recently-bought-by-Facebook Occulus Rift is released, will it be free, or will you have to buy it?

      And if you have to pay actual money for it, are you now the owner of the hardware, or merely the licensee of a service and still the actual product?

      • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Monday April 07 2014, @04:04AM

        by davester666 (155) on Monday April 07 2014, @04:04AM (#27286)

        it's like a movie with drm. you paid for the right to use it as long as the owner wishes you to.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Aighearach on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:53PM

      by Aighearach (2621) on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:53PM (#27184)

      In Neo-Soviet Russia, service uses you!

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Nerdfest on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:33PM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:33PM (#27192)

      I still don't think that statement is accurate. You trade personal information for messaging, email, etc. You're not the product, you're the audience for the ads they sell. Yes, it sounds very catchy but it's not really accurate.

      I think People don't like or trust FaceBook because they haven't earned people's trust and in a few cases have actually done some very slimy things. Their privacy management is particularly onerous.

      As I said, I think it's more of a trade of information for services and I'm surprised people put up with FaceBook as I don't think their service quality is worth the trade when you take their trustworthiness into account.

      • (Score: 2) by pe1rxq on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:53PM

        by pe1rxq (844) on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:53PM (#27211) Homepage

        You are not the product.
        You are the cow and they are selling your milk.
        You are a piece of livestock.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by frojack on Monday April 07 2014, @12:22AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 07 2014, @12:22AM (#27217) Journal

        you're the audience for the ads they sell.

        With Google, that is true.
        With facebook, it is only half of the truth.

        Facebook will sell your name, email, stats (age, gender, activity level, and guessed list of interests, list of friends, geographic location, etc) to advertisers.

        They make way more money on that than selling ads.

        Further, if you are one of those people who use facebook for your addressbook or phone book, you sell all of your contacts into the same bondage as you agreed to. So people who never ever signed up are known and have shadow pages [zdnet.com] set up for them already. And there appears to be nothing you can do about this.

        Google has not been caught doing any such thing. (Not that the temptation to mine all of those Android contacts probably hasn't occured to them).

        Friends don't let their friends list them as a contact on facebook.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by keplr on Monday April 07 2014, @01:39AM

      by keplr (2104) on Monday April 07 2014, @01:39AM (#27247) Journal

      You've stated the equation of the relationship. You will not be able to soften or pacify a system which is by its vary essential nature hostile and abrasive. The function of Facebook cannot be separated from its nature; information is collected and used in a privileged and opaque way to sell you things. This relationship will always be abusive.

      I deleted my Facebook account, as well as is possible, a couple years ago and haven't looked back. The only social network I still use is Twitter but my account is locked and I just use it as a feed for interesting information. I don't interact with anyone on it, and indeed my account is locked down so no one can interact with me either.

      I do acknowledge that this is a hard way to live, and not really viable or even desirable for most people. I have few people in my life I consider friends, am not particularly close to the family I don't see every day anyway, so it wasn't hard to turn my back on these services. I'm not missing anything by forgoing involvement in these cultural phenomenons, For a lot of people, use of these tools has become synonymous with social interaction, and think that even if you accept that these tools are necessary you should be asking what the long term implications and ramifications will be regarding this change. I find it deeply unsettling.

      I'm happy that the tide seems to be turning, or at the very least the water has stopped rising. People really do seem to be getting fed up with the constant surveillance, the inability to disconnect, and the dehumanizing and ultimately unfulfilling nature of these interactions.

      It's a frightening feeling that I've not had often in my short life; to see your culture and your society go where you cannot follow.

      --
      I don't respond to ACs.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:50PM

    by edIII (791) on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:50PM (#27150)

    Facebook has many exciting projects, but it won't have an audience left unless it addresses its perception problem

    It sucks to be part of an audience and most people are slowly figuring that out. There is no worse audience to be a part of than that of Facebook. We can throw Google and some other companies into that. Of course, let's not forget DICE.

    I pay $10 and go to a movie to become an audience member. Marvel spent hundreds of millions on me. It was all about whether or not they could entertain me and convince me with trailers to part with my $10. Marvel can convince me, and I bet they will do it again.

    The $10 and a little time is about the only thing I lost. Sometimes I feel I had value, other times like the ill advised trip to see Your Highness it turned out to have not so much value.

    An audience member with Facebook and their ilk is fantastically different. I would even argue that using the term "audience" is incorrect.

    Calling Facebook users an audience is like calling the chickens with KFC audience members

    Audience in those terms means that you have very little control over the outcome, practically no control over what happens with your participation, you didn't have to pay money hence the allure, but the long term costs turned out to pretty steep indeed.

    You don't want to be an audience member. It blows. We want to be customers, since the customer is always right.

    That's what Facebook is . A large MegaCorp taking their customers, giving them a movie, and collecting the audience members for their customers. Being a Facebook customer has infinitely more positive potential than being a simple audience member.

    Fuck audiences. I'm a customer, and I think that sentiment runs pretty damn deep around here.

    We can do a little experiment to test my theory. Let's find a chicken inside KFC and offer it the chance to be a customer instead. I'll posit that the chicken would be far happier buying some corn on the cob and then just leaving.

    --
    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:31PM

      by Tork (3914) on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:31PM (#27180)

      We can do a little experiment to test my theory. Let's find a chicken inside KFC and offer it the chance to be a customer instead. I'll posit that the chicken would be far happier buying some corn on the cob and then just leaving.

      Hmmm... When the chicken leaves the establishment and hits the crosswalk signal, we should interview it and find out its intentions.

      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
      • (Score: 1) by jayjay.br on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:34PM

        by jayjay.br (1849) on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:34PM (#27193)

        Hmmm... When the chicken leaves the establishment and hits the crosswalk signal, we should interview it and find out its intentions.

        While you're at it, I'm really curious about its motives!!

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Nerdfest on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:57PM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:57PM (#27198)

      Customers generally pay. In this case you pay with your information. If you don't like how the information is used, you should generally not frequent the site. The problem with FaceBook is that they've changed what they do with the information and how they share it and list trust. When you collect personal information instead of money, trust is one of the most important things to have.

      • (Score: 2) by pe1rxq on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:58PM

        by pe1rxq (844) on Sunday April 06 2014, @11:58PM (#27213) Homepage

        No customers pay with money. But facebook users are not the customer.
        The free stuff is them feeding the users. They then produce the product they sell, to the advertisers.
        Facebook users are livestock.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @07:32AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @07:32AM (#27316)

        If you don't like how the information is used, you should generally not frequent the site.

        If only it was that simple... I never ever in a million years visit the site, yet however, they're pretty well informed about what I do and when. How come? Because there are a lot of people who I interact with who do use the godawful site and who rat on me. Most of the people know quite little about me but when you combine all the things the silly people know and cross relate them, you get a pretty complete picture.

        Of course the site abuses those much more who actively participate but at least they kinda sorta give their consent to do so. (But because they have no idea what they consent to so it's pretty questionable whether we can call this giving ones consent.) I guess that "services" like these are among the best evidence that evolution is very much an ongoing process...

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Sir Finkus on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:55PM

    by Sir Finkus (192) on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:55PM (#27152) Journal

    Is it really a perception problem when the perceptions are actually accurate? I never signed up for facebook because I knew its only purpose was to collect information on me. It seems like I'm perceiving things correctly.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by aristarchus on Sunday April 06 2014, @08:48PM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Sunday April 06 2014, @08:48PM (#27160) Journal

      All the worst "perception problems" are perceptions of things that are in fact true. This makes these problems much more difficult to deal with, since you have to, um, lie.

      To use cliche: "Do these pants make my butt look big?" Now there is a perception problem of the worst kind, exacerbated by the foreknowledge of the interrogator.

      --
      Runaway: Mentally Unfit!
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by sjames on Sunday April 06 2014, @08:57PM

      by sjames (2882) on Sunday April 06 2014, @08:57PM (#27163) Journal

      In corporate America today, the greatest problem they face is consumers perceiving them accurately.

    • (Score: 2) by bucc5062 on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:04PM

      by bucc5062 (699) on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:04PM (#27166)

      When did that start? The original programming was just to help college kids "hook up" and share pictures of them being toasted at a frat party (I did not see the movie). At some point, before they went IPO there was a decision to shift for a social system to a information mining system.

      I kind of remember signing up late, but before it seemed like it was only interested in me as food.

      --
      The more things change, the more they look the same
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:08PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday April 06 2014, @10:08PM (#27186) Homepage

      Spot-on. There's been a "perception problem" ever since The Social Network was released, and along with it the knowledge that Zuckerburg is a narcissistic douche. Then people realizing that you can get rejected or even fired from a job, or even arrested, just by posting shit on there. Now Zuckerburg is becoming involved with a pro-immigration political committee, and whether or not you disagree with more immigration, most do agree that business should stay the fuck out of politics because they believe our political system is broken thanks in no small part to those corporations. There is no good reason for most people to be on a social network now...

      " B-but muh keeping in t-touch with m-muh family..."

      Most of us did that back in the MySpace days, and didn't bother to lose their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. You know, for calling and instant-messaging your personal conversation that everybody else and their moms couldn't care less about? People who say it's about staying in touch are fooling only themselves, it's really about validation and voyeurism. It's about your neediness for attention and your unhealthy obsessions with others' lives. Something that used to be totally in your control, but as that control is being taken away from you in the form of poor privacy controls, you start to wonder how it's any better than doing things the old-fashioned way in real life. It takes a long time for a population to wake up, but I'm glad it's happening.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by frojack on Monday April 07 2014, @12:40AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 07 2014, @12:40AM (#27227) Journal

        People who say it's about staying in touch are fooling only themselves, it's really about validation and voyeurism. It's about your neediness for attention and your unhealthy obsessions with others' lives.

        It has very little to do with voyeurism or obsessions with other's lives.
        You've mistaken a symptom for the disease.

        Virtually every facebook user I know has no interest in anyone's life but their own, and only by feigning interest in others can they garner attention they so desperately need for themselves.

        Their existance is threatened if someone stops paying attention to them.

        The proof of this is that when my wife or I tell someone feigning interest in adding us as a facebook friend that we never have nor never will have a facebook account, all pretense of interest is dropped.

        As soon as it becomes patently clear we won't be pumping up their friends list, nor paying the least bit of attention to their vapid blather on their facebook page, they lose intrest.

        Without this artery of attention, their interest in anyone else disappears.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Common Joe on Monday April 07 2014, @10:47AM

          by Common Joe (33) <common.joe.0101NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday April 07 2014, @10:47AM (#27378) Journal

          Virtually every facebook user I know has no interest in anyone's life but their own, and only by feigning interest in others can they garner attention they so desperately need for themselves. Their existance is threatened if someone stops paying attention to them.

          The damndest thing is happening to me. I have a very minimal Facebook presence. (I think I've been on Facebook about 5 or so years and made about 15 or so comments.) As a matter of fact, I have almost no online presence at all. Things are changing, though. I need a job and every place I turn says "get online" and fill out the forms and every article I read says "Your chances are greater if you have an online presence". In other words, I have to pretend to be interested in online technology (by putting up a facade) so that others can feign interest in me so I can find a job. My existence and the existence of HR drones and recruiters are threatened if people aren't paying attention to one another. Yes, I'm using other things than Facebook to advertise myself but you get the point.

          But your main point still holds true. No one has a real interest in the other person. It's all there for show.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:18PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06 2014, @09:18PM (#27174)
    I stepped in some facebook once. I had to throw those shoes away.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Joe Desertrat on Monday April 07 2014, @02:11AM

    by Joe Desertrat (2454) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 07 2014, @02:11AM (#27256)

    I don't believe concerns with privacy are what is driving most people away from Facebook. I think the real reason Facebook is being abandoned by many, particularly the younger members or potential members, is the amount of political astroturfing going on. Younger people in particular don't want to see all that political BS and god BS and sappy tragedies and so on. They just want to share pictures with their friends, so they have switched to Instagram or any of the other services to allow them to easily do that. Particularly if their parents are on Facebook as well.
    I'm on it, it is the only way I have to stay in touch with too many people I know, but I usually get aggravated and sign off after quickly checking it. I don't see any ads on the pages, I don't play any of the games and I don't post any steamy private details there (or I wouldn't if I had any).

    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Monday April 07 2014, @03:55AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Monday April 07 2014, @03:55AM (#27284) Homepage

      I don't do Facebook myself, but I occasionally check on friends there... egads, the interface gets more busy and less readable every time I visit. At this point I can barely tell what I'm supposed to be looking at; it's getting to where it's tough to distinguish what's user content and what's junk. If I'd ever had any urge to share my underwear on FB, it woulda been killed by the visual garbage dump it's become.

    • (Score: 1) by bryan on Monday April 07 2014, @07:47AM

      by bryan (29) <bryan@pipedot.org> on Monday April 07 2014, @07:47AM (#27323) Homepage Journal

      They just want to share pictures with their friends, so they have switched to Instagram or any of the other services to allow them to easily do that.

      Facebook owns Instagram :)

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday April 07 2014, @02:54PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Monday April 07 2014, @02:54PM (#27530)

      Any facebook user worth their salt should know that that's when you resort to the "I'm not interested in seeing any more of this friend's posts" button. If you want to see what they're up to, you can always manually visit their profile instead.

      But yeah, I sent an ultimatum that anyone caught posting more than 50% politicrap would be summarily unlistened :)

      #AdBlockTheWorld

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 0) by JohnnyComputer on Monday April 07 2014, @02:22AM

    by JohnnyComputer (3502) on Monday April 07 2014, @02:22AM (#27260)

    Facebook forgot that people are not data points. And it changed its privacy policies so frequently that users never know when Facebook might have opted them in for something.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday April 07 2014, @02:57PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Monday April 07 2014, @02:57PM (#27535)

      And it changed its privacy policies so frequently that users never know when Facebook might have opted them in for something.

      Not to mention that you're not sure whether if you go to update your privacy settings, they will have left them in place but made it impossible to set them *back* to that setting if you change them. I'm still not sure how to resolve this paradox...

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 1) by DNied on Monday April 07 2014, @11:46AM

    by DNied (3409) on Monday April 07 2014, @11:46AM (#27399)

    If anything, way too many trust it.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @01:51PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @01:51PM (#27474)

    "They trust me - dumb fucks," says Zuckerberg in one of the instant messages, first published by Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider.

    Why would any one want to be a member of such a select group?