Skip to comments.The 8 Ways Big Brother Facebook’s New Changes Alienate Its Users (Long Article)
Posted on 09/27/2011 12:51:47 PM PDT by Kaslin
By Michael van der Galien
Facebook is supposed to be one of the most innovative social networking websites on the Net. It is, at the very least, the biggest — by far.
But for how long will Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard project remain number one? It’s a fair question to ask now that the changes Facebook announced Thursday at its f8 conference are being criticized by virtually everybody — except for Zuckerberg himself, that is.
When Google+, the new social network of Google, was launched, many were critical. The criticism disappeared at the very moment people starting using it, however: all its new users fell in love with it immediately. This wasn’t just a “social network,” it was truly a new home on the Internet, especially for those who had grown tired of Facebook’s clutter and arrogance.
Facebook knew it had to strike back. First came video chat, which is a partnership with Skype. Then, this week, other innovations were rolled out: the biggest changes were a new news stream and the possibility to subscribe to users’ public posts. Then, Thursday, other changes were introduced that, Zuckerberg announced, would truly revolutionize your Internet experience.
But are these changes in the best interest of Facebook’s 800 million users? No. Not even almost.
8. The News Stream: Forcing Non-News Down Your Throat
Facebook changed the news stream to supposedly make it more interesting. You now see the most important and interesting posts first. The idea is wonderful. After all, it’s a bit time-consuming to go through all the updates from your friends — this especially goes for those of us who have hundreds or even thousands of them.
Sadly, however, the algorithm used by Facebook is anything but effective. Users immediately complained (link to Dutch website) that the recommended posts weren’t interesting at all. The nice thing about algorithms is that they can be more efficient than curation by humans. The bad thing is that they can be absolutely horrendous when they aren’t perfect. Facebook can do many things well, but curation isn’t one of them.
What’s more, even if the algorithm worked perfectly, social media users want to be the ones to decide what they will and won’t read. As one angry user put it:
I don’t like the way they decide for me what’s important or interesting, I’m the only one that can make these decisions. I want to decide if I want to see all, most or important updates of friends, which is set by default on “most.” What are the criteria to declare something a top story? Yesterday a story of a Serbian friend (in Serbian, with Serbian comments) was declared a top story. I can’t read that, does FB translate everything that is posted?
It’s rather ironic, but Facebook doesn’t quite get the meaning of social. Users want to be in charge; they want to choose how and what they share — and what they read. Facebook’s new news stream makes that more, not less, difficult.
7) The Subscribe Button Is Anti-Facebook
Facebook’s new subscribe button lets you subscribe to a person’s public posts, even if you aren’t his friend. The thinking behind this new feature is undoubtedly that this is what Twitter and Google+ are doing, that it’s a much appreciated feature there, and that, therefore, Facebook’s users will also love it.
It’s once again proof that Zuckerberg doesn’t know what his own website is all about. Ask yourself these questions: What do users expect from Facebook? Why do they log in? To read what people they don’t know have to say, or to catch up with friends and family members? The answer, of course, is the latter. If they want to enable non-friends (or: outsiders) to read their updates, they’ll post to Twitter or Google+.
Facebook wants to change that, however. If you activate the subscribe button, those who don’t know you can read your public messages. Although this feature isn’t shoved down your throat — you can choose not to allow it — Facebook obviously encourages it.
Additionally, many users worry that those who do activate this feature will start using Facebook like a second Twitter: quick, short updates that are meant to market and promote themselves (or their products), rather than personal messages aimed at their real-life friends. Of course you can simply defriend such people, but that isn’t what you want to do. After all, you came to Facebook to connect to them. That’s why you are spending hours a week talking to them, reading their status updates, and looking at their photos.
I’m about ready to dump Facebook. Zuckerberg’s nose is way up Obama’s rear end and I don’t need fascist propaganda forced on me via social networking. Ticks me off.
Facebook is the new myspace.
In other news: It has been reported that the world will still go on without Facebook.
I found a great alternative to Facebook...
It makes Facebook literally look like Twitter.
Not only a great social networking site, but phenomenal organizational / planning tools for groups.
Limbaugh’s site was changed up as well.
What do you think of that?
Facebook (or their computer) reads everything.
A few months ago I happen to mention I would be traveling to a different city. Soon there after I began getting ads feature hotels and events in that distance city. I did not think much about it at the time, but when at a later date I mentioned another city, out popped an ad for that city.
I then started play games with it. I would list a city and see how long it took for an ad to appear. Usually within seconds. At most a minute.
I then noticed when I was posting photos it was “helping” by tagging the photos for me. WTF!!!! I almost missed that one. How do they know who these people are? The answer, they are building a database of photos and peoples names. You then include all the personal information put on Facebook they soon know more about you then your own family.
I started playing games with them. I started posting old photos of strangers and tagging myself in them. They are going to play hell trying to figure out which is which.
I took it one step further and did a google search on my name and then images. I posted about 50 photos of people with my name and tagged them all. The funny thing is the name is correct but now they have to figure out which is the real me.
I do not post much anymore on Facebook, I do read what others are putting up but I am planning on closing my account after the holidays.
I have been rather amazed at FB’s attitude throughout; they seem to imagine that their user base will never migrate elsewhere no matter how much they alienate them.
They should ask Myspace about competition.
In case anyone else hasn’t noticed, any comments about obama on face book goes to his fb page.
He now knows that I know that he is an illegal president.
I put in the Facebook report abuse phone number as my own. I wonder how many calls I have gotten there.
LOL... that’s a good one.
That was just using cookies. They link their comment section to FB and shunt the data through the cookie, they don’t actually get any of your FB data. Kind of weird at first but it keeps you from having to have a separate logon with every site you might want to comment on.
It’s targeted advertising, the strength of the internet as far as advertisers are concerned. Key word searching to decide which ads hook up. A bit more dynamic than the old method (picking ads based on the content of the story you clicked on) but not really a big deal. I use Ad Block Plus, no idea what ads I’m triggering.
According to the article, English(UK) kills the scroller... it does not. English(Pirate) is amusing, however.
The facial recognition thing on FB creeped me out and I deleted all photos of myself and de-activated. When I tried to notify friends by posting an article about Google facial recognition on my FB wall, the post disappeared within seconds.
I notice that Google is also way too nosy. I’m shutting down gmail too. If you’re not careful to close gmail, they track everything you do on the web.
Oh, also, when I was on FB, I would sign out when done, then look at some other sites. I was on a news site, and given the opportunity to post a comment. My FB profile pic, name and comment box appeared under the article. This was AFTER I had signed out of FB.....
I meant to say “ about FB facial recognition” instead of “Google facial recognition.”
Photobucket and Flickr are still available for sharing photos, although email still works just fine for that also.
I don't know much about it. Can anyone here fill me in?
So, what is your point?
You might think this silly or perhaps even impossible, but it's easy once your in the habit of doing it. For example, use your initials as a first name, and your last name spelled backwards, or switch around the letters of your name to spell something else, use your pets name or just about anything you'll remember, and folks you know and want to have your info can easily identify with you, but no one else will.
As for photo's, that's easy too, always be the one to volunteer to take them, rather then be in them, if one happens to be posted, make sure the name tagged to it is your Internet name, or a first name only.
Guard your privacy as you would your life! You may think all of this is silly and a pain to do, but having been a victim of identity theft twice, trust me, I guard my information very carefully. These suggestions aren't perfect, and perhaps won't work 100% of the time, but they will work 60-80% of the time, and that is a whole lot better then nothing.
Until one’s privacy is invaded in a way that profoundly effects your own life or the lives of your loved ones, it's difficult to imagine how traumatic or even life altering it can be.
Protect yourselves, and teach your children to as well!
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