Hey, Mark Zuckerberg, We Need an Alternative to Facebook

NEW YORK | Monday, May 10th, 2010 12:19pm EDT

Facebook has gone rogue, drunk on founder Mark Zuckerberg’s dreams of world domination, writes Ryan Singel on Wired.com. Mark Zuckerberg may think privacy is an outdated concept, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to play along.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg 570x332

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Flickr

Facebook has gone rogue, drunk on founder Mark Zuckerberg’s dreams of world domination, writes Ryan Singel on Wired.com. Mark Zuckerberg may think privacy is an outdated concept, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to play along.

Singel wrote: “Facebook used to be a place to share photos and thoughts with friends and family and maybe play a few stupid games that let you pretend you were a mafia don or a homesteader. It became a very useful way to connect with your friends, long-lost friends and family members. Even if you didn’t really want to keep up with them.”

He continued: “Then Facebook decided to turn “your” profile page into your identity online — figuring, rightly, that there’s money and power in being the place where people define themselves. In December, with the help of newly hired Beltway privacy experts, it reneged on its privacy promises and made much of your profile information public by default. That includes the city that you live in, your name, your photo, the names of your friends and the causes you’ve signed onto.”

“This spring Facebook took that even further. All the items you list as things you like must become public and linked to public profile pages. If you don’t want them linked and made public, then you don’t get them — though Facebook nicely hangs onto them in its database in order to let advertisers target you,” he added.

Singel wants the “best of the tech community to find a way to let people control what and how they’d like to share,” he says. “Facebook’s basic functions can be turned into protocols, and a whole set of interoperating software and services can flourish.” Of course, Facebook could head this off with “respectful” changes of its own. “But Facebook isn’t about respect—it’s about re-configuring the world’s notion of what’s public and private.” [via Wired]

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