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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cyberpimping Ain't Easy

  Facebook has just announced "Instant Personalization" , which is supposed to adapt your experiences of sites like Pandora and Yelp using information found on your Facebook page. These websites can link personal information, as well as your real name. Even if YOU never use any of these websites, your friends can "personalize" their experiences with your profile information. And Facebook is willing to "share" (read: sell) your information with new partners as they sign up and makes it extremely difficult to block these sites and applications. Luckily for us, the fine folks at have composed a how-to guide to make the process of blocking those fools a little less painful.

  While EFF is awesome, Facebook is hypocritical. This latest invasion comes only 2 days after FB decided to make "connections" pages - mandatory lists of all people based on their interests, hometowns, and employers. This information may have been on a private part of your profile previously, but these lists remove that protection. For example, if you work at Hot Rake Landscaping, there is now a page of all people who have listed Hot Rake Landscaping on their profile. While that really doesn't seem too controversial, if you put "gay marriage" , "tea party", or anything else hot button, you will be placed on a list opening you up to unwanted harassment and solicitations.
  Not-so-long ago, Facebook's privacy policy stated that your personal information would be only available to those you choose. This week they decided to do an about-face and sell your info off. If Facebook is a necessary part of your networking repertoire, you should remove all information and interests that you don't want data miners and other trolls seeing. E-mail their admin and complain. If this latest slap is too much for your conscience, delete your account. If enough people delete their accounts or even threaten to, the "connection" lists will be pulled.

  Either way, Facebook is yet another fun thing ruined by greed. No longer content to enjoy vast advertising revenues, they want more and will sell you for profit. These pimps are biting the hand that feeds and are destined to collapse under the weight of their own depravity.

  Facebook doesn't care about you. It's time we all stopped caring about Facebook.

****UPDATE**** - The "list" segment wasn't hyperbole. Facebook removed almost everything in my profile because I didn't want to be part of a few dozen public groups. It offers a warning that if you don't want to be listed, the info will be deleted. I clicked "ok" and it made everything from the city I live in to the place I work to the bands I dig vanish. So much for being able to share what you choose.

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