Could This Be the End of Facebook?

Ah, Facebook. A vital piece of some 400 million users online lives, the social networking tool that many of us boast to be early-adopters of has taken a quick turn down Creeper Street recently. The past few years of corporate buy-outs and less-than-transparent privacy setting changes has shaken some sense into the world, forcing them to realize the potential harm of loading personal information and somewhat incriminating pictures onto the great interwebs. Well duh.

While not yet reaching the sketchtastic levels of its predecessor MySpace, Facebook is consistently pushing the trust of its users. Protecting your information and photos used to be as easy as just making your profile private, and I have rolled my eyes at many a fear mongering professor warning me of the potential perils of posting such sensitive information.

After the most recent changes of policy, making it nearly impossible to protect your information without a how-to guide, many are trying to call Facebook on its bullshit. May 31st, 2010 has been deemed “Quit Facebook Day” and its organizers Matthew Milan and Joseph Dee are urging others to join in their cause to boycott the site as punishment for its not “being aligned with any positive future for the web.” While it seems an impossible feat, “How do I delete my Facebook account” has become a top search suggestion on Google, and the number of “Committed Facebook Quitters” is growing daily.

Harsh, Bro

All of this, as well as the recent public shunning of Facebook by Betty White, brings up some important questions in the minds of users. Hell, my mom joined and quit after a few months because she “just felt voyeuristic and gross.” Many employers and people in general seem to have chilled the fuck out about sleuthing around online trying to find dirt on everyone and their dog, and most seem to subscribe to the belief that there will never be privacy for anything you willingly post for any amount of the public to see.

So what is your stance? Are you fed up with feeling violated by Faceballs, or do you want everyone to just shut the hell up and deal? I personally think people should shit or get off the pot. If you feel weird about someone seeing your slipped nip pic from last spring break, then delete your account and go buy yourself an appletini. Otherwise, fly your awkward/shameful/freaky Facebook flag high, and stop whining about it. Discuss.

Photos from: burlingtonpol.com, thenextweb.com

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About the author

Alison Lambert - Half Price Headliner

Ali was born and raised in the Wholesome/Creepy capital of the world, Salt Lake City, UT. Once she was old enough to blow that pop stand she escaped to the place that was the anti-SLC: The Peoples Gay-public of Drugifornia aka San Francisco (holla 30 Rock!). You can now find her throughout this glorious city slurping Pho and scheming with her best friend Pinky doing what they do every night; try and take over the world.

7 Comments

  1. Brody says:

    As technology gets more advanced, privacy decreases. I figure that if people are WILLINGLY putting information on a for-profit website that exists to mine information, they get what they deserve. (What, you thought Facebook was a philanthropic organization that existed for your benefit? HA HA HA).

    If you don’t want something indexable, searchable, mine-able and sellable, don’t put it on the internet. Take responsibility for your own life. Complaining about a for-profit company doing “evil” things with the data you’ve willingly given them is sort of sad.

  2. J ROSS says:

    Look; it is really simple… don’t post anything on Facebook that you would not want anyone outside of a select few people to see. That goes for everything online

    Don’t give your real birthday
    Don’t give your real address or phone number
    Remove Tags for pictures you don’t want to be pulled up under your name
    Don’t post snarky comments about your co-workers, company, neighbor,etc.

    Facebook is actually a really good forum for sharing ideas… links to journals, articles, videos, etc. It is a great forum for online discussion. But use it as such.

    This is more an issue with user stupidity than it is with the platform. Although I may consider quitting if Facebook makes everything indexable outside of the site; please note that I probably wouldn’t however.

  3. jessica says:

    I used to be in the If-you-want-it-kept-private-then-don’t-put-it-online camp. But Facebook has breached online borders and made it so that information I never meant for even my friends to see can end up online.

    I recently found out that Facebook installed a TV Guide app and a Yelp app on my account without asking my permission. So now if I set my DVR to record “Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?” on Lifetime Network, is FB going to announce that shit to all my friends and coworkers? Of course, I tell all my friends that I watched that awesome movie, but what if it were something else? What other apps are they going to install to monitor my online activity and broadcast to the world the things I do in what otherwise would not be a public forum? How about a Drugstore.com app so my mom knows when I order condoms? Or maybe WebMD could update my status when I look up the symptoms of an STD?

  4. I’ve never really had much of an issue with Facebook’s privacy issue because there isn’t much I’m not willing to share… and those things I don’t want to share certainly wouldn’t end up on Facebook no matter what their settings were.

    My dislike of FB factors down to a few simple issues:

    It bums me out to see people abandon their blogs and websites because they feel they have to be on Facebook. If you are a store that posts about an artist signing or special event on Facebook and you don’t even post it to your own website… that’s problematic.

    It also bugs me that if somebody invites me to an event via FB, I have to log in to get any details. I have to log in to see that the event is in Delaware? Grrr!

    Finally, and this is a big one, I HATE that people try to contact me through Facebook when I’ve had the same email for 8 years. Is it really easier for people to reach me through Facebook? Does their phone/computer not have email built in? It certainly isn’t easier for me to go back in to find details from a private message. Fuck….

    Yeah, but privacy… I really don’t care about that.

  5. tuttle88 says:

    I agree that people shouldn’t put things on the internet they don’t want found out. But Facebook’s main problem is that they don’t let you decide what information they share. The default setting should always be either either a high privacy setting or somewhere in the middle. They shouldn’t change current users settings without telling them. It isn’t about privacy its about a freedom to decide who to share your personal information with.
    I took all the personal information I wasn’t comfortable sharing off Facebook, I’d love to quit but I’ve just moved overseas and it really is the only way I can keep up with what friends are doing.
    I’m not shy about information, I use twitter, I have a blog, I’m on forums but the information I share should always be my choice.

  6. Katink says:

    “the information I share should always be my choice.”

    It is. Don’t put it on the internet if you don’t want it shared. SIMPLE!

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