I already don’t use Facebook “correctly”. I don’t play any of those damn games, I don’t do pokes or buy drinks or any of that stuff. I neither pontificate nor chit-chat on it. I even stopped my blog from posting to it. It’s just kind of there for me as a way to keep up with friends and family.
I guess this has annoyed the Facebook people, because they’re on a new initiative called “Maybe you should use Facebook differently? And maybe more often?”
The first part of this is where I’m no longer allowed to just like something, have a job, have gone to a high school, or have a hometown. Those things can’t just exist on a list anymore. They have to be linked to pages for each one of those things. My option for not linking them to pages — let’s say I don’t particularly WANT to be a part of the Depeche Mode “community” — is to not display that particular interest/job/high school/whatever at all. It’s their way or the fairway, and if you don’t like it, we’ll see you on MySpace HA HA HA.
Now, a lot of folks are complaining about the fact that along with these changes came significant changes to Facebook’s privacy policies. FB has quit pretending it’s anything except a way to sell demographic data to advertisers, which is why its chat and message functions still suck, but it’s got state-of-the-art VendorSyncTM technology. I long ago gave up the idea of having any significant amount of privacy on Facebook, not because I don’t care, but because being mad at the barn door doesn’t bring the horses back.
The thing that gets me is just that it irks me that I’ve been given no choice in this matter, no way to have even basic interests and stuff listed without it having to be part of Facebook’s big deal. I don’t see any valid reason to not let me simply have “Riverdale High School” as my high school without having to link to the Riverdale High School page. In short, I’m being told that I have to change my behavior on Facebook for no reason except that I need to benefit their advertising clients more, and if I don’t want to, I don’t get to play at all.
I realize this is such No Big Deal, but it still pisses me off. And the second phase of their plan, where they integrate Facebook into other web pages so that you can get specialized content delivered to you blah blah blah is even more noisome and intrusive. I’m sorry, Facebook, that sometimes I’m not looking at your damn site. But deciding that the solution to this is plastering bits of your shit all over the rest of the web isn’t going to make me more of a team player, it just alienates me more.
I’m now down to the barest minimum of activity on Facebook. I won’t delete my account completely (yet), but I’m going to make it clear that it’s not the main or even a major point of contact for me.
Here are two articles from the EFF talking in more depth about these obnoxious forced changes: