Facebook Backlash

Let the backlash begin. My post this morning on Facebook’s release of two new features has bombed in student opinion within the last 24-36 hours, as the millions of Facebook users signed on. Mini-feed and News Feed are advanced features that dramatically changed the user experience and the students overwhelmingly don’t like it (or at least they say they don’t).

Ironically, there have been numerous groups formed on Facebook protesting the further use of Facebook because of the new features. As of this posting, the largest group I’ve seen includes 8,373 members proporting to back a petition asking Facebook to roll back its latest feature enhancements. Other similar groups range in the 2-3,000 member range with names such as “Students against the Degredation [sic] of Facebook.” The message is the same: bring back the “old” Facebook, clean and simple.

Complaints on the latest two features focus directly on the fact that Facebook is becoming a “stalking tool.” In fact, it has been said that Facebook “stalks FOR you.” Other quotes from users:

“I HATE THIS NEW FACEBOOK THINGIE!”

“it confuses me to no end”

“Does anyone else feel ridiculously exposed with this new mini feed thing?”

“FACEBOOK FEED. CREEPY. TELLS YOU EVERYTHING THAT EVERYONE HAS DONE.”

“Too much information!”

I agree mostly with the fact it’s a little unsettling to know that everyone knows everything in your online life. There’s something to be said, though, for the fact that Facebook is not violating anyone’s privacy. If someone wants to stalk you, there going to get this information anyway by sleuthing around. Facebook is making that habit easier and that is really want gets people going. I think the intention and idea are right but Facebook should move quickly to allow customization of feeds controlling/limiting the flow of information. A user should be able to not publish a feed or limit the feed to whatever they see fit. They should also be able to choose what items come into their inbox feed from others. The sooner Facebook makes customization possible, the sooner they quell the masses and turn them into happy campers.

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4 thoughts on “Facebook Backlash”

  1. I sent Facebook a comment where I pointed out that reminded me a lot of the government’s idea of “classification by compilation,” where normally declassified materials become classified if you put them all together in one place–i.e., the power grid overlaid over fertilizer stores, who knows. But in the same fashion, even though the information was there before, it’s wasn’t nearly as accessible as before. If this were opt-out I wouldn’t mind, but removing every item from your mini feed doesn’t quite do the trick, in my mind. I resent the new features and FB has done the stupid thing of “big update all at once” as opposed to “Gradual implementation,” the latter of which has been shown to be more successful on the web. Goooo lame.

    Then again, I’ll confess I have the FBstalker plugin installed, which did this for me all before. Ha, ha, ha… fbstalker.com.

  2. Honestly, I don’t really have a problem with it– as Mark Zuckerberg stated in the latest blog post, your privacy settings are still intact. For me, it’s more of an annoyance than anything, because I don’t really care that friend X is now friends with Joe Schmo or that friend Y has left the group “Joe Camel ’08”. I do agree that this should be an opt-in feature.

  3. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t really exist in the capacity you think. His image is a tool for facebook.

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