facebook tells all your friends what you're buying online.

Facebook is treading in some socially dangerous waters. Read
this post from Ethan Zuckerman about how when you buy something on Overstock, the purchase appears as an item in your NewsFeed.

Yes - you could stop it, change your settings to not allow it in the future...but, do you really want to have to do that with every retailer from here on in? Don't think so. Should you have to install some cookie cleaning scripts on your machine to combat this? Not fair to expect the general public to do that.

There are rants across the internation all about this, and protest groups on Facebook. Lots of unhappy noise.

Facebook friend Mave Gibson said it brilliantly:

"I am concerned because of what it means in terms of the cultural landscape. we need to speak out against these new things as they are happening, lest we allow precedents to be set that will inform what the internet of the future will look like.

what facebook has done is change the implicit understanding/precedent that has existed on the web to date regarding privacy and how sites can use/access information about us."

Here's something to consider.....Google would never do this. And it shows the value of Google's mission statement, "Don't be Evil."

1 comment:

Ben Kunz said...

Brilliant. And it points out Facebook is in a box. (A) The information it has on users is valuable, but (B) its key communication channel is users telling other users what they are doing.

The only way it can monetize its information (A) is to pump it through the user channel (B). Unfortunately, this breaks a bit of the user trust.

Advertisers love the concept, but if I buy my sweetie lingerie, I'm not sure I want the Facebook News Feed telling all my friends about it...

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