Facebook, their Troubles, and Washington


Facebook has done a lot of good for our society. It has brought people together, and created communities that previously didn’t exist. However, they have been pretty acting pretty naugthy past two years or so.

Mashable recently conducted a survey among their readers regarding their experience with Facebook and their rational for quitting it. The feedback from the users is interesting which I think it  applies to many of us including a few close friend of my own.  Not sure I will quit it anytime soon though.

31% of respondents proclaimed their intention to stick with Facebook, and approximately the same number cited access to personal information as their number-one reason for vamoosing.

I don’t think we can deny that this is definitely an addiction/obsession/compulsion for certain people using Facebook- be it that they are constantly checking messages or have become truly hooked on games. When a person becomes heavily reliant or emotionally invested in a virtual social site-there is a problem.

Playing games is fine but for some people, it is a form of escapism. If you want to know whether  you are addicted to Facebook – see how long you can go without logging in. That’s the challenge I pose to you- and that may give you your answer.

I can definitely see the pluses behind Facebook, but those pluses are not enough to keep me on the site, so I will eventually be joining the exodus.

So, with such a great service offering, why some people leaving Facebook? where did Facebook go wrong?

The topic of privacy  certainly has  a lot to do it.  Many people, including myself, are very active Facebook user. Facebook has changed our culture, and generally that change has been for the better.

Most of us skim over but do not read a particular organization’s “privacy policy” – we either a) expect institutions that have a privacy policy to respect our privacy, or b) simply don’t care about whether our privacy is protected. There’s also a generational element to privacy: it’s an intense and personal topic to many individuals over 35 – specifically, those of us who graduated from college before the proliferation of e-mail, mobile phones, the Internet, and Facebook.

Here’s four thoughts on where facebook gone wrong (SO FAR):

1. Facebook made consent an “opt out” feature.
2. Facebook made consent a complex “opt out” feature.
3. Facebook made consent a complex “opt out” feature without our consent.
4. Facebook made consent a complex “opt out” feature without our consent and without a hint of caution or conservatism.

The less cautious any social networking sites gets with their privacy policy, the less customers will engage, or worse, the more they will lie in their profiles. And a false or error-filled profile cannot be monetized for long.

To help with the launch of their “new suite of simpler and easier-to-use privacy tools,” Facebook is inviting House and Senate staff to the Capitol Visitors Center to “learn about what these tools mean for your constituents and the future of sharing online.” The briefing will take place on Thursday, May 27 at 4 p.m. ET and will include a Q&A.

Here’s Kara Swisher of All Things Digital on a tour of Facebook’s D.C. office back in November 2009, when Facebook’s primary reason for being in D.C. was “privacy, privacy, privacy.”
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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

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