Hot off the presses, here is Facebook’s response to all the hub-bub, straight from the horse’s mouth. As in, Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote it himself and it’s on the Washington Post’s website.
My takeaway from this article is that basically Mr. Zuckerberg and the rest of Facebook don’t seem to really get it. Or, they may get it, but they’re trying to make it sound as though most of people’s concerns about the use of their personal information aren’t that big of a deal because Facebook has always respected their privacy; and if they fix the tangible, viewable parts of the site (ie, the fact that the current setup of the Privacy Settings are confusing to normal people) that the casual user has to deal with and is just - well - annoyed with, that all the yelling and screaming from the Internet at large will settle down to a low roar.
Also, people are leaving the site left and right, so I’m sure that has Facebook just a little concerned.
First, I ended up discovering just how oppressively difficult it is to quit Facebook.
For one, I found out that Facebook cleverly tries to get you to “deactivate” your account instead of permanently deleting it. For those of you out there reading this, there’s a big difference: and one that Facebook is apparently counting on you not noticing, since they made it relatively difficult for you to find a way to actually delete your account using the site itself.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s no way I’m deleting my account permanently until I take care of some business: I mean, the whole reason Facebook has us by the short hairs when we think of quitting is because they offer us so many services that we like and want to use. Once we use those features, we become so deeply entrenched in them because Facebook offers very limited ways out.
So, I’ve decided to jump ship.
I know, right? I mean… a couple of years ago when I joined Facebook, I was singing its praises as the intelligent social networking alternative to the then-much more oppressive (in my opinion) right hand of Rupert Murdoch that is MySpace. It was an easy transition, too: I wasn’t heavily invested in Myspace, many of my friends were already at Facebook, and even a handful of those had absolutely refused to ever join MySpace in the first place. Yet, in the end I find myself jumping on the bandwagon, betraying a site I had once actually defended at times. Why? Well, I’m sure in part it was all of the evidence proving everyone else right, but mostly I’m sure it’s because for the most part I hate people, and also I don’t trust anyone.
(Yeah, look out, Twitter. I love you now, but just wait until you fuck up.)