Thus Spake Zuckerberg

From the official Facebook Blog (yeah, there is such a thing)

We’re not oblivious of the Facebook groups popping up about this…. And we agree, stalking isn’t cool; but being able to know what’s going on in your friends’ lives is. This is information people used to dig for on a daily basis, nicely reorganized and summarized so people can learn about the people they care about. You don’t miss the photo album about your friend’s trip to Nepal. Maybe if your friends are all going to a party, you want to know so you can go too. Facebook is about real connections to actual friends, so the stories coming in are of interest to the people receiving them, since they are significant to the person creating them.

We didn’t take away any privacy options. [Your privacy options remain the same.] The privacy rules haven’t changed. None of your information is visible to anyone who couldn’t see it before the changes. If you turned off your wall to non-friends, no one who is not your friend will be able to see a post on your wall. Your friends can still see it; it hasn’t changed. Secret groups and secret events remain secret from other people. Pokes and messages remain as private interactions. Nothing you do is being broadcast; rather, it is being shared with people who care about what you do—your friends.

I agree with his logic. Technically, it’s not a breach of trust–you could find out all that information before the change. It’s just that people didn’t really want to find that information.

So the apparent “privacy” issue isn’t what steams me about the new feed. What steams my beans, however, are the following reasons:

  • I do not care if Joe John removed Pecker from his favorite movies at 9:59 this morning.
  • I do not care if Nick Russell ’08 and Sam Grover ’08 are no longer in a relationship because they’re both straight guys who were never in a relationship with each other to begin with.
  • To be bluntly fair, most changes people make to their facebook I do not care about, even the changes made by my closest friends. You see, I actually talk to my friends and find out their interests and relationship status. It’s actually how humanity found out most information before the advent of Facebook. I’m sure it’ll be how humanity returns to finding out such information after civilization as we know it collapses upon itself (ironically probably because of Facebook).
  • Facebook’s conquest of the college social sphere in general. It was fun at first, then the novelty wore off pretty quickly. Then they added the photo feature, which was good fun. Then the novelty of that kind of wore off. So Facebook’s strategy was to come up with some new feature every couple of months to keep people on their site. Most of the features have been utterly lame and this one just takes the cake, but it’s not because of issues of privacy. More probable is that people who added lots of people to their friends’ list in the hopes of appearing “popular” are now bombarded with the daily updates of 500 people they don’t even know and are kicking themselve in the gullet. That or they’re like me and find the feed obnoxiously useless when one still relies on phone calls and face-to-face socialization.

2 thoughts on “Thus Spake Zuckerberg

  1. Sharpie

    while I don’t believe facebook will ever be obsolete in the college sphere, I think it will almost always be more useful for getting a general sense about someone new and/or quick, reallly informal communication with a casual acquaintance than it ever was for finding out about changes in people’s lives. If you care about seeing so-and-so in Nepal, you’d know they’d gone to Nepal and would be bugging them to upload the pictures somewhere. If you care about Joe John’s movies, you talk to him about them. the only reason I compulsively check my friends page is because a few of my friends have taken to using their facebook profiles as outlets for comedy, and I like to be amused.

  2. Sharpie

    while I don’t believe facebook will ever be obsolete in the college sphere, I think it will almost always be more useful for getting a general sense about someone new and/or quick, reallly informal communication with a casual acquaintance than it ever was for finding out about changes in people’s lives. If you care about seeing so-and-so in Nepal, you’d know they’d gone to Nepal and would be bugging them to upload the pictures somewhere. If you care about Joe John’s movies, you talk to him about them. the only reason I compulsively check my friends page is because a few of my friends have taken to using their facebook profiles as outlets for comedy, and I like to be amused.

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