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Facebook…To Love It Or Leave It? 30 May 2010

Posted by elisemchisholm in Privacy, Reflection, Trends.

Despite a wave of negative press in recent months over loose/deceptive privacy standards, Facebook’s growth has remained relatively steady. According to a May 26 Bloomberg article, Facebook had more than 519 million users as of last month, up from 411 million in September.

There’s an organized boycott underway called “We’re Quitting Facebook,” but the 25,000 people who have pledged to deactivate tomorrow, May 31, are a drop in the bucket when you consider the total user base.

Inspired by a post from Read Write Web, I tiptoed to the cliff of Facebook deactivation this morning, and was amused by the service’s strategy to keep me from jumping. A headline on the page asks me if I’m sure, then boldly states that my 195 friends will no longer be able to keep in touch with me. Apparently Facebook hasn’t taken into account that I also have a phone, several email accounts, and access to a handy tool called Twitter.

To drive its point home, Facebook provides images of five friends who will miss me, including a close friend, a coworker, and three family members – one of whom is my sister. The images aren’t profile pictures, but selections where we’re both tagged.

While I’m annoyed by Facebook’s arrogance and am also concerned about how my personal information is being used by the service, I’ve chosen to back away from the cliff for now. The fact is, Facebook is an efficient way to stay connected with a wide variety of contacts and there is no equally robust alternative on the market…yet.



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