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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: 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.
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