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:

Facebook Further Reduces Your Control Over Personal Information

Six Things You Need to Know About Facebook Connections

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One Response to FACEBQQK

  1. pronoblem says:

    Facebook is the same as Myspace, Twitter, P2P, ICQ, Blogs, etc… it’s just some sort of internet technology… you try it for a while and either it works or it doesn’t for you. I have been using it… I’ve played some games on it but not Farm-o-rama or Grand Theft Auto or whatever people keep talking about and I have blocked everything that is application driven so I only get posts, links and such. No quizzes, games, etc.

    What I like about it is two things. One of those is actually many things rolled into one… There is a HUGE underground music scene in the area that puts on shows in warehouses, barns, basements and whatnot that previously I only heard about specific shows via word of mouth or random posters as they never had any press. On FB I know about all of these shows from the several people that organize them… I don’t know, previously I guess they could have dome emails lists or what not… but maybe it is the culture, or the fact that it allows RSVP – I am not sure why here and not another method but it is happening. Also, I have been promoting an event of my own and I bought advertising through FB. $0.09 got me 700 hits (the app told me I could reach 8,000 people if I targeted “friends of fans” within 50 miles, which is a good target.). I am thinking that this is a good deal?

    So… as much as I don’t like it I have found it useful. And as far as “Maybe you should use Facebook differently?”… I think I have been doing that all along. At least that is what it appears when I go to someones “wall” and I read about their virtual donkey giving birth or the brass knuckles that they found at the virtual strip club…