Friday, February 19, 2010

Officially Dumping Facebook this week.

I do not come to this decision lightly. I like Facebook... No, I don't... I enjoy Facebook. It's a great place to get online and chat with friends from long ago. But i am more and more convinced they are headed down a path I choose not to follow. Travel with me, if you will, down memory lane.

A few weeks ago, Facebook changed their interface. I don't mind it, but apparently just about everyone else does. It seems to be a massive bomb in the eyes of the users. Not a peep from Facebook about the interface, not even a comment that they're always trying to improve the user experience. Silence. This gets me thinking. Wasn't it just a little bit ago that Facebook changed its privacy settings? Defaulting everything to public?

Hmmm... So I did a little looking. I'm not sure I entirely understand all the settings restricting access in Facebook anymore. I did once upon a time, but now I'm not so sure. There are privacy settings governing every little thing. Some of the options are downright just confusing. (What does a Public post really mean? It means that anyone on the planet can see what you post, but it's easy to believe that it's just Facebook users).

So two things happened. Facebook opened everything up, and they shut themselves down. This made me nervous. When companies start ignoring their users because they will log in anyway, the system has a problem.

Today, the final straw. I cannot rationalize a Facebook membership anymore. They joined with a company, or rather purchased, that has a history of what is called information scraping. It is a process by which information is gathered in a moderately legal to somewhat shady maner. You might believe that I'm being paranoid, but you can check out a little about the company if you like. They were called Octazen. Now they're part of Facebook.

Now, Facebook insists that it's not buying the technology, but the talent. They insist they are shutting down the company, and using the workers. If a mechanic says that he's buying a chop-shop in order to shut it down, but he really thinks the talent is useful, would you frequent that mechanic? I have doubts that you would feel safe leaving your car at that establishment.

I do not feel safe leaving any information with a company that values an ability to scrap information from the web in any kind of sneaky way. There is no reason that a legitimate company needs to direct their traffic towards one site using multiple IP addresses.

Facebook, with their recent policy of increasing the transparency of everything that you do, while decreasing the transparency of everything they do, has lost my business. I firmly believe that a company who hires people with a dubious skill set is interested in using those skills for its own gain. I also firmly believe that anyone interested in their own privacy and online identity should drop Facebook like a bad habit.

1 comment:

Quitting Facebook said...

It is funny that a year on from this post and Facebook has changed its interface and meddled with the privacy options once again. This time however, they may have pushed their luck a bit too far as millions have joined you in your decision to leave. Of course you have to laugh sometimes at the timing of things as just a short couple of weeks after the mass exodus, Google+ is launched. I'm still waiting for my invite to come through but it certainly looks like a good reason for others to leave, me included.