One less Facebook user

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After giving it considerable thought over the last few weeks, and with the advent and somewhat-demise of Beacon, I’ve decided that I’m going to go through the pain-in-the-ass process of deleting my Facebook account tonight. Some of the reasons include what Amy Tiemann said in this CNET piece:

You remember the old story about the frog placed in a pot of water that was slowly heated up, until it was cooked? When I read the about Facebook’s reaction to the anti-Beacon protests, my first impression is that Facebook’s concessions are essentially along the lines of, “OK, we turned up the heat a bit too much on this one, so we’ll turn it back down a little bit–for now.” Are marketers counting on the fact that we’ll get used to the warm bath, then the hot tub, calibrating their fine-tuned ability to stop just short of the lobster pot?

Moreover, while the web allows a largely indiscriminate flow of information, which has benefitted millions, certainly, the door swings both ways. And what little information I’ve been able to glean and share about my friends and acquaintances (willingly or not) during my short stint on Facebook (about a year), I’m growing old and curmugeonly, and am far less interested in what some douche from grade school is up to these days than I might have been a few months ago.

Ultimately, I just don’t feel comfortable with the lack of transparency around what Facebook is up to. If they were just straight and honest with their users, I might stick around. But right now, the risk of having my personal info up there, surrounded by all the uncertainly with what’s happening with that info, is unsettling.

I’ll just stick to emailing my close friends, thanks.

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6 Responses to “One less Facebook user”

  1. Fish
    December 4, 2007 at 4:07 pm #

    I’ve just deleted mine. It’s a useful site for keeping in touch with people, BUT, do I really need to be “friends” with an acquaintance from high school who I never speak to, and rarely spoke to, now, and back then?

    That was a terrible sentence.

  2. Adam
    December 4, 2007 at 4:16 pm #

    It was terrible. But so is facebook. Your distress is understandable. 😉

  3. Adam
    December 4, 2007 at 6:57 pm #

    It’s done. I’m out. and the email account i used to zap my original is gone as well. i bet Fb keeps my info on their system, because they’re douchebags. but if they use my information now without my permission, when I have no reason to believe they’d keep my info, i now have recourse.

  4. Matt
    December 5, 2007 at 10:43 am #

    Certainly my latest complaint with facebook is that the news feed occasionally comes up with wall posts from two of my friends who inadvertently inform me they are going to a party I wasn’t invited to. Eavesdropping in the digital age has it’s drawbacks.

  5. geoff
    December 8, 2007 at 4:28 pm #

    I’ve been thinking about doing this, too, but am too scared that facebook is the new social order, and by taking myself off of it, i will become some kind of pariah. But maybe being an outcast is better than making decisions based on e-peer pressure…

  6. Andrea
    December 8, 2007 at 4:32 pm #

    Hmmmm, as a marketing ninja, I am perhaps slightly more evil than most… however, I do think the facebook beacon is a little over the top. It doesn’t have to be though. Sites using the beacon should have an opt in mechanism. The problem here is user control – not the actual function of the beacon.

    Now facebook ads on the other hand – Love them. Say I’m starting a website aimed at recently engaged or married females… I can target females of particular age ranges, in specific cities who have recently updated their status to engaged or married. It doesn’t get better than that (or more expensive probably). With increased targeting, whether contextual like google ad words or behavioral like the ad.com network, ads don’t have to be a total pain to users, they might actually be beneficial. Imagine.