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posted by janrinok on Sunday April 06 2014, @07:04PM   Printer-friendly
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."

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  • (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.

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  • (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) 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 [] 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.