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The Facebook Blowup

They've turned evil? Facebook's great betrayal.

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Privacy advocates including the Electronic Frontier Foundation are increasingly up in arms over Facebook privacy policies. The murmurs of protest have grown into a deafening roar. But Facebook policy hasn't yet budged.

The matter is currently trending on Digg (but not on Twitter). The Digg article links through to a screed by Ryan Tate at Gawker's Valleywag.

'Facebook's privacy pullback isn't just outrageous; it's a landmark turning point for the social network', writes Tate. 'Facebook has blundered before, but the latest changes are far more calculated. The company has, in short, turned evil.'

Big shocker.

Gawker also provide a collection of articles about the history of Facebook and privacy 'betrayals'.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation have published an article entitled 'Facebook's New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly' which condemns Facebook as well but also provides guidelines for users smart enough to want to protect themselves.

'We at EFF are worried that today's changes will lead to Facebook users publishing to the world much more information about themselves than they ever intended', writes Kevin Bankston.

Dan Gillmor 'canceled' his account; even the Norwegians are getting into the act, challenging Facebook in much the same fashion they did with Twitter.

'But smiley face posturing aside, users should never forget that Facebook remains at heart not a community but a Silicon Valley startup, always hungry for exponential growth and new revenue streams', writes Ryan Tate.

Calling it 'great betrayal' is exaggerated as far as I'm concerned. They've had it coming for a long time - they just chose to not know about it because 1) people don't read the fine print in the privacy statements; and 2) people ignore warnings and 'don't go there' advice - and had plenty of time to take measures.

I'm ready to bet on the fact that nothing's going to change. OK, a few 'high-profile' bloggers will make their accounts inactive and hope their data won't be screwed before the accounts get deleted (read: 'archived and pulled offline') and a bunch of people will digg it and tweet it and salivate on it. But the masses will keep being ignorant and oblivious as always.
 - Dali Rău

See Also
Rants: Schneier on Schmidt
Digg: Facebook's Great Betrayal
Gawker: Facebook's Great Betrayal
Mediactive: Facebook: Starting Over
Gawker: Facebook Privacy Changes 2009
Assistant Privacy Commissioner of Canada: Commissioner's Findings
EFF: Facebook's New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Gawker: Facebook's New 'Privacy' Scheme Smells Like an Anti-Privacy Plot
Forbrukerrådet: Norwegian Consumer Council file complaints against Facebook

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