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Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future 218

redletterdave (2493036) writes "Facebook owns virtually all the aspects of the social experience—photos (Instagram), status updates (Facebook), location services (Places)—but now, Facebook is transitioning from a simple social network to a full-fledged technology company that rivals Google, moonshot for moonshot. Yet, it's Facebook's corporate control of traffic that leads many to distrust the company. In a sense, people are stuck. When the time comes for someone to abandon Facebook, whether over privacy concerns or frustration with the company, Facebook intentionally makes it hard to leave. Even if you delete your account, your ghost remains—even when you die, Facebook can still make money off you. And that's not behavior fit for a company that's poised to take over the future."
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Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 05, 2014 @03:37PM (#46671603)

    Not to mention the social backlash you could face when all of your Facebook 'friends' discover that you are no longer on their friend list. I think that is the biggest reason why it is so persistent and why it is so hard to leave even when one wants to ditch the social networking super giant.

    I feel the only way people will be able to start leaving the network without fear of social backlash is when there is an 'organic' event where everyone you know is leaving for possibly the next best thing at which time you feel ok to disengage with Facebook because everyone else you know is doing it.

  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @03:49PM (#46671699) Homepage Journal

    Well, there's at least one sentence that's essentially different: "even when you die, Facebook can still make money off you."

    Google doesn't (as far as I know) sell user information to advertisers. They exclusively use their own analytics; all an advertiser can do is submit their target demographics and keywords, and let Google do the math. While they're both huge storehouses of personal information, the big G is monolithic and generally non-porous—unless you're a malignant security agency, at least. If you're not using their services (at least passively), you're definitely not making them money.

    This doesn't make them Totally Cool Groovy Guys You Should Trust With Anything, but it does make them naive ideologues surfing along the edge of a slippery slope rather than the outright thuggery of Facebook and other traditional advertisers—FB is more like a spam subscription; once you get signed up, you can be certain that your private information will propagate across the cosmos for eternity.

  • Re:Getting blocked? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @04:00PM (#46671773)

    Your account may be blocked, but your info on Facebook servers? That's forever. Every day I'm more and more glad that I have never had an account, and never will.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @04:01PM (#46671777)

    Google doesn't (as far as I know) sell user information to advertisers

    If you really believe this, I'll tell you a little story:

    A few years ago, I was working for a manufacturer in R+D, developing an accessory for one of our products. One of the parts of that accessory required a plastic part with very specific features (it was a living hinge, but with certain requirements that made polypropylene unsuitable).

    I used Google to find out what other types of plastics might be suitable, and quickly finally found a material that would work. A rather obscure, rather expensive plastic with a barbaric name. I Googled some more about that plastic, then called it a day and went home.

    The VERY NEXT DAY, I got a spam in my work mailbox from a Chinese manufacturer of that very plastic, offering me prices by the ton.

    I had never heard of that plastic before Googling it.


  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @04:04PM (#46671805) Journal
    Realistically, Google wasn't founded by a guy who stole passwords to read other people's email. It wasn't founded by a guy who told some people he would build their idea, then went around and built it for himself, lying to them to the last possible minute. Facebook was founded by, and is still run by that guy. Furthermore there is no reason to believe he's changed.

    Google at least attempts to be non-evil, and have sacrificed profit for their principles. People who are upset with them mainly disagree that collecting personal information for the purpose of custom-tailored ad-serving is evil, but that's controversial (really, people who do it feel they are helping users). My primary complaints with Google is that they have too many bugs in their software and don't support backwards compatibility, but that's off-topic.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @04:10PM (#46671859) Homepage

    Neither Google nor Facebook has ever successfully built a product users will actually pay for. (Google's Nexus phones are rebranded LG, Samsung, and Asus products). For both, all significant revenue is from ads. Yet both have now acquired hardware companies. Now they have to make a business out of them. They may not succeed.

    Google acquired Motorola and had no idea what to do with it. Now they're selling it. Google has an automatic driving R&D project, but they acquired DARPA Grand Challenge technology and seem no closer to deployment than a few years ago. Google acquired a half dozen advanced robotics R&D firms, but none of those have commercial products or profits yet. Google now has to build an entire industrial business in robotics, which is slow, hard, and will take years to pay off. Google hasn't shown the corporate patience for that. Google products that didn't take off quickly are usually killed. I'm worried that Google will end up trashing the US robotics industry once they realize it's not a Make Money Fast business.

    Facebook hasn't really tried yet in hardware. But they have no expertise at it. The Oculus Rift is still a prototype/low volume device. Facebook has never run a factory. They'll have to outsource manufacturing, which means everybody else will be making goggles if it turns out to be profitable to do so.

  • by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @04:34PM (#46672007) Homepage

    Seriously anyone who has been on the "public" internet since say 1995 knows there are plenty of places to have "social" experiences on the internet from IRC chat to community forums. I see dedicated Facebook users as social retards who just follow the new cool trends and are too lazy to be involved in several "social" fronts on the intertubes. There``s no helping them they are who they are and will follow other to the next cool thing.

    I get more than enough social experience from running game servers and interacting with the game players, chatting on irc and visiting and posting on different interest forums.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @04:44PM (#46672053)

    Cookies are disabled on all my browsers, except on certain whitelisted sites I trust, and Google sites aren't on it.

    Also, I got a spam mail, not an ad on a webpage.

  • by labnet ( 457441 ) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @05:26PM (#46672283)

    Which is why we need a pure peer to peer social messaging system. Call it torrents for facebook. There is no reason for centralisation of social data. Features like
    - meta data and messaging data is spread around different peers as encrypted chunks so it can be rebuit on any new device you sign up to.
    - grouping like google circles.
    - expiry option on messages and images.

    Perhaps there is already someone doing this?

  • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Saturday April 05, 2014 @06:10PM (#46672515) Journal

    Facebook explicitly says they do not allow you to delete your account.

    I left Facebook a few months ago and specifically requested deletion, not deactivation. There was a 14 day waiting period, during which time I could log back into my account and reset the clock, but supposedly at the end of those 14 days my account was gone for good. From what I can tell [] they still allow you to do this: "If you don't think you'll use Facebook again, you can request to have your account permanently deleted. Please keep in mind that you won't be able to reactivate your account or retrieve anything you've added."

    Frankly leaving social media was the best thing I ever did. It's a bit of a PITA with regards to those friends who seemingly only know how to communicate via FB, but even they eventually came around and started calling, texting, or e-mailing me. Only one of my friends really whined about it, because she doesn't have a cell and can't text, but she eventually got used to e-mailing me.

  • by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <VortexCortex AT ... trograde DOT com> on Saturday April 05, 2014 @10:48PM (#46673737)

    You're more fucking delusional than Tinkerbell on acid if you think for one second an entire generation is going to step away from the "Free" button when paying for anything online.


    Seriously, I can't stop laughing over the absurdity of this...this brings ignorance to a whole new level.


    And you might want to trace the money and ownership of most of the shit you use online before making claims as to where monopolies exist and where they do not.


The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.