Whose Laundry Is It Anyway? Part 1: Saving Face{book}

September 10, 2006 at 12:38 am 11 comments

This posting is an article written by the Resonance Partnership Blog
Lots going on in the world of social networking…as most everyone has probably heard Facebook made an announcement earlier this week heralding what they thought was a major innovation.

They announced two new features, Mini-feed and News Feed. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder said these new features would change the “Encyclopedic interface” of Facebook into something more like an RRS feed of information about the user’s friends that appears on the user’s homepage and lets the world (or FacebookWorld) know what they are doing in real time; the mini is, as the name implies, a smaller version that appears on the profile page and shows information only about that person.

In other words, one’s personal laundry, clean or dirty would be hanging right out there for everyone to read. As Time notes, “{It} looks like a glitzy laundry list. It chronicles every action a user’s friends have recently taken on Facebook…the mundane…the boring…the juicy. And in case it matters, each action is time-stamped to the minute.”

According to Techcrunch, “Like everything on Facebook, both of these products are subject to the standard Facebook privacy settings. This means only people you allow to view this data will be able to see it. What appears is based on who

you are, who they are and what rules are set” The Facebook Blog noted that, These features are not only different from anything we’ve had on Facebook before, but they’re quite unlike anything you can find on the web.

And the reaction was quite different that anything Facebook had ever anticipated. “Calm Down. Breathe. We Hear You,” was the title of the next Facebook announcement. I can only assume that these words were directed internally as well as externally.

A group was formed by Northwestern student Ben Parr, Students Against Facebook News Feeds (their Boomer parents should be proud) and by the day after the announcement they had 60,000 members; a Digg blurb says as of 9/7 there were 425,000 signatures…one can’t sign or even see the petition unless you are a member of Facebook, so I am only referencing Digg, not verifying the number.

Time Magazine reported that there was another online petition that is currently showing 108,290 signatures. Time ended their story with a comment that Gen Y had learned how to organize. Indeed. As Somewhat Frank noted, “There is also a call to “boycott” Facebook on September 12th“.

The next announcement from Max Zuckerberg started out with the following words: ” We really messed this one up….” It was a BIG apology and better still, he apologized and fixed the problem. With a bit of a face save, no less….

“This may sound silly, but I want to thank all of you who have written in and created groups and protested. Even though I wish I hadn’t made so many of you angry, I am glad we got to hear you. And I am also glad that News Feed highlighted all these groups so people could find them and share their opinions with each other as well.”

So, privacy wins, Facebook wins, transparency wins…laundry ownership wins.

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Entry filed under: blog, blogging, blogs, bookmarking, business network, community search, facebook, facebook.com, furl, internet, Mark Zuckerberg, News, online, online business, online community, online privacy, Online Privacy Protection Act, pirvacy, privacy, security, social, social networking, social software, social-bookmarking, student face, studentface, tech, TechCrunch, techn, Technology, Technology and Gadgets, technology news, technorati, the facebook, university, univillage, vivapop, web, web 2.0, weblog, widget, widgets.

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