Award-Winning Franchise BlogStart Here

Does Facebook Need To Go Bye-Bye?

I’ve just about had it. Mark Zuckerberg, and his filthy-rich team of Facebook executives, are putting all of us at risk, and they just don’t seem to care. They’re in some kind of sick race for the crown with Twitter, LinkedIn, and any and all other social media platform that have millions of members.

What’s in that crown, anyway? (I have a sneaky suspicion that it’s a greenish color)

Mark_Zuckerberg_-_South_by_Southwest_2008

(http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Zuckerberg_-_South_by_Southwest_2008.jpg,)


I’ve seen that smile before.
It’s the smile of a millionaire billionaire.


This
billionaire is different, though. This guy just doesn’t care. The words, “opt-in” are just not in this dude’s vocabulary. Zuckerberg and his merry band of Ferrari-driving cohorts don’t ask it’s millions of customers-that’s right, customers, permission for anything. These folks just come up with a new idea, a new tool, and shove it down our throats until we bitch loudly enough. Then, and only then, they have week-long meetings, (somewhere with turquoise water as a backdrop, I’ll bet) and decide to give us some convoluted way to “adjust” our privacy settings. Thanks, guys. You rock.

IStock_000005857117XSmall

Now, I’m certainly a lot more geeky (technology-wise-take it easy there, friends) than I ever thought I’d be. I’m online like 10-12 hours a day for my franchise advisory business, writing, Tweeting, designing, tweaking, you name it, and I can barely figure out Facebook’s “privacy settings of the week.” Then there’s my daughter. This is where it gets serious.


Mari Smith; I’m Sorry.

I’m not trying to hurt Mari’s pocketbook. I met Mari, (The resident Facebook Guru-Queen) last year. Nice lady. Spunky. Sharp. She’s making a very nice living because of Facebook. She does lots of speaking and consulting around it, and as far as I can tell, she’s bringing home some nice bacon strips. (And helping companies grow)

Butand here’s the biggest but of all; Facebook is messing with my girl. Not a good idea.

Because of Facebook’s super-aggressive, reckless, and selfish policies regarding my teenage daughter’s privacy, I have to constantly try to figure out how “private” her privacy settings are, on any given day.

Now, of course the privacy stuff doesn’t seem to phase her; she’s a teenager, and in her innocent eyes, she’s bulletproof, and “nothing weird or bad will ever happen.”

But, I know better, and so do you.

A Little History

Facebook used to be a place to just share photos and thoughts with friends and family. For awhile, it became a useful way to connect with your long-lost friends and family members. It’s a tad different now.


What Facebook is “Like” Now

If you’re a small business owner like me, you’ve probably created some Facebook Fan pages, “Likepages-whatever, for your company. Maybe you’ve even gained a client or customer for your efforts.

There’s games to play, quizzes to take, and millions of things to “Like” or join.

Facebook knows what you “Like”, what causes you’ve joined, and even what “Like’s” and causes your friends and friends of friends are hooked into.


December

According to Wired magazine, “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.”


Spring

Wired magazine then shared that, “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. This includes your music preferences, employment information, reading preferences, schools, etc. All the things that make up your profile. They all must be public — and linked to public pages for each of those bits of info — or you don’t get them at all. That’s hardly a choice, and the whole system is maddeningly complex. “

Too darn complex. And too scary.

Are you at risk of losing irreplaceable files? Onsite backup is not enough. Choose the Carbonite Online Backup Service!

 

Back To My Daughter

Not only am I seriously worried about my daughter’s safety, as she hangs out on Facebook, but I’m starting to get really, really, resentful.

  • I’m resentful of the fact that I have to constantly look for posts about Facebook’s newest privacy intrusions.
  • I’m resentful of the fact that at least once a month, I have to log on to my daughter’s Facebook account, and pretend that I really am a web geek, and figure out what to include and not include on her privacy settings.
  • I’m resentful that the selfish little executives at Facebook don’t let any of us “opt in” to their new additions. They just spring these new things, (Like Facebook Places) on us, without asking if we’re ok with Facebook sharing our stuff.

(If I understand “Facebook Places” correctly, everybody reading this, who is on Facebook, and accesses me, (or my child) will know where I am).


Lisa Barone wrote over at Small Business Trends that, “Facebook Places allows you to see where your friends are and to share your location with the real world. You can see which of your friends are nearby, tag the people you’re with and leave comments on their updates.”


Bad Stuff Happens

Facebook obviously attracts the seedy types, and it seems that there are tragic stories popping up more often. CNN just reported that “three teens who were on a 69-name hit list posted on Facebook have been killed in the past 10 days in a southwestern Colombian town.”

A “hit list” was posted on Facebook?

How about the “redheaded” teen who was beaten, because of a Facebook posting. (Supposedly)


My “Place” is None Of Your Business


I don’t want you to know exactly where I am, and I certainly don’t want you to know where my daughter is
.

Unless I choose to let you know where I am. Or where she is.


And, my daughter shouldn’t have to “accidentally” find out that people do know where she’s at, just because I couldn’t keep up, and/or figure out how to change the privacy setting on her account.


An Open Letter To Mr. Zuckerberg


Mr. Zuckerberg,

You don’t get to choose, anymore. No way. No how.

Yes, I know that your service is free, and that since it’s free, you feel that you get to control everything. You’re wrong. You see, I’m your customer. You make money from me. You get to broadcast that you have “300 million subscribers,” and get all that free PR, because of me. (And because of the other 299.999 million subscribers)

You get to make oodles of money on your ads, because of me, and because you now have enough information to target what I “like” etc.

You now have way too much information about my teenage daughter. (Teenage girls are often targets of cyber-crimes, including stalkers who would like nothing else than to rape her, or worse.) How dare you.

Do you sleep well at night? Do you ever feel even a little guilty about how you are choosing to do business?


Is all the money that you’re making, and that you’re going to make, worth it, if a kid gets killed, or raped, because of your really dangerous privacy policies?


Here’s what I’d like need you to do;


  • Revert every personal and business account’s privacy settings to “private”
  • Make it super-easy to opt-in to every privacy question, including simple explanations, with some examples of some worse-case scenarios that could happen if we opt-in to a “make public” button.
  • When you introduce any new platform changes/tools, (like Places) don’t assume that we want to “opt-in.” Ask us. One more time;ask us.
  • Develop a conscience. And be totally transparent. It will work out fine for you. You’ll still make tons of money. (Maybe even more money)

Get it together. Fast. Too many people can get hurt.

Seriously,

Joel Libava

***********************************************************************************************************************

Finally, in an interesting twist, I tried to find a picture of Mr. Zuckerberg’s house. (I even searched for an image of his car)

I couldn’t find anything.

Zuckerbeg must really like his privacy.

Please follow me on Twitter. You’ll be glad you did.

@FranchiseKing

***** Before I switched from Typepad’s comment tool to Intense Debate (What I’m using now) I saved some of the comments that I received from this Facebook post. Here they are; 

 

Thanks for the Reply, honestly, we need to learn to be responsible for out own actions. If I go on Facebook that’s a choice I make and it’s not Facebook’s fault. it’s basic common sense, if you don’t want people to know things about you, don’t share them on the internet simple as that. as for my Privacy, I am completely aware that anything I share on the internet could be accessed by anyone at any moment which is why I am tactful about what I share. it really all boils down to people taking responsibility for their own actions and to stop blaming websites for using information we put on silver platters for them.

 

 

Perhaps you should spend more time educating your daughter on the realities of online networking than just researching security settings weekly. The reality of the internet is that regardless of privacy settings, people are much more tech-savvy and can bypass these settings entirely. I’m not someone who can hack accounts or software, but I do know your full name. You also list the city you live in on your own Facebook profile. As a result, without the help of Facebook Places or FourSquare, you are helping all the rapists locate your daughter. Look, it’s simple. We can’t avoid all the sociopaths in the world so we have to understand how to best protect ourselves against these threats. Maybe this is a defeatist attitude, but it’s also reality. Sending Zuckerberg letters crying rape is not going to resolve anything today or tomorrow, so I stick to reality. It is not a requirement to list any personal information on your profile. You don’t even have to use your real name. Limit what you put online and if it scares you to the point of rapists lurking outside your home, get off the internet. Understand that this is coming from a young female professional who has been on social media sites since a young teen. It is not impossible to educate teenagers so do not overlook your responsibility as a parent and blame it on the rich. No one has chained you or your kin to a computer chair.

 

 

Thanks for chiming in. Here’s the skinny; Free and Privacy don’t go hand in hand. The folks at Facebook have an attitude problem. Period. They don’t seem to be very concerned about your privacy either, by the way. Yes, it’s my choice to stay or go. FB does’nt impact my life too much, so if I do split, I won’t lose any sleep. The Franchise King®

 

 

I don’t understand why Facebook privacy is such a big issue. We all make the choice to post on Facebook, update our statuses, add friends and do those oh so annoying quizzes, so what makes Facebook responsible? May I remind everyone that Facebook is a free platform for sharing and networking, if we are honestly that concerned about our privacy we should just stop using Facebook…. it’s as simple as that.

 

 

Joe, Thanks for your comment.I’ve had to make sure that ALL privacy controls were cool several times since April. And yes, it may be time to leave FB. Saundra, Thanks for your support. Zuckerberg may be too smart to kill his goose. (By himself) FB is cool, but really, I don’t remember that many meaningful things that have happened in my life, because of Facebook. I have a funny feeling that I wouldn’t miss too much if it was gone. The Franchise King®

 

 

Joel, If your open letter to Zuckerberg were a petition I’d sign it (but not on Facebook!); it says everything I want to say to him. Each Facebook “improvement” makes it harder and harder for sensible people and reputable businesses to use it safely. Do you suppose that one day, in an effort to get more gold out of the goose, Mark Zuckerberg will kill accidentally kill it instead?

 

 

From @MariSmith- @Joel – wow, whew, yes that is very very scary. I would dissuade your daughter from using Facebook Places until we all know much more about the safety of the app for minors. It is certainly frustrating to not be able to switch off 100% – we are at the mercy of Facebook’s decision as to what they deem okay to share publicly. By the way, sites like http://youropenbook.org and http://kurrently.com pull up any content that is viewable by everyone.

 

 

Very transparent and balanced look at this topic, don’t you think? People need to be more conscious about what they are posting on Facebook. If you don’t want something to be public, don’t be a damn fool and post it without thinking of what it may impact. Last update on their privacy policy was in April. Not exactly something you need to “continually check” I’d assume. If you are so worried about your daughter’s safety and using Places, be a parent and explain to her the possible dangers. Last, if you are totally against Facebook – simply stop using it.

 

 

Loved this post. I try to be super careful about what I post on Facebook. You never know when they’re going to release the next version which overrides all your previous privacy settings. I read a news article yesterday (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11108891) about another social network that will be launching later this year with the intent of protecting user’s privacy. I’m personally looking forward to that. On another note, I’m not just worried about teens, I’m worried about people like my parents and the older generation who don’t understand online security risks. The older generation who use it always post personal things and don’t even think about privacy. Yikes!

 

 

***********************************************************************************************************
 

SEO Copywriting Report
 





About The Franchise King®

My name is Joel Libava, and I'm the author of Become a Franchise Owner! In addition, I'm a franchise ownership advisor. I teach people the best way to choose, research, and buy franchises.

  • J. Bailey

    WOW! I had no idea that facebook had a bit of an attitude problem.
    Interesting, and also a little scary. (This privacy thing)
    Thanks for the solid information, King
    J. Bailey

  • http://www.HartmanInventory.com Cindy Hartman

    Joel,
    What a great post! I totally agree with every point you made, and will share this with my social media peeps.
    As always – well thought out, and well said!

  • http://www.m4bmarketing.com Susan Oakes

    Excellent article Joel and you have clearly pointed out the problems.
    What they do not realise some people actually like to have some privacy. The other problem is those who are opnion leaders in this area keep saying the lack of privacy is good as it makes you transparent etc. This is such a generalisation that they do not consider the consequences such as the safety of teenage girls.

  • http://www.focustwo.com/my41 questwin

    Wow, I am so excited in Sept.1, 2010 because I already have 278.529 in my group downline, 2,163 in my team http://bit.ly/cd2mOs

  • http://profile.typepad.com/franpro The Franchise King

    Susan,
    Thanks for stopping by The Franchise King blog. (All the way from Australia) I’m not as worried about me, as I am my teenage daughter.
    There has to come a time where being responsible gets more important than making money.
    Cindy,
    How are you? Thanks for your comment. Yes, I’m looking for folks like you to share this post.
    J. Bailey,
    It’s just that we don’t have the control. (In some cases)
    WE are the customer. We have some clout.
    The Franchise King®

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570a6671e970b Mari Smith

    Hey Joel – if your daughter is under 18, Facebook has this in their terms about protecting minors:
    “We are committed to protecting minors who use Facebook. Until their eighteenth birthday, minors don’t have public search listings created for them, and the visibility of their information is limited to friends of friends and networks, even if they’ve chosen to make it available to everyone. This does not apply to name, profile picture, gender and networks, which are visible to everyone so real world friends can recognize them.”
    Thanks for your kind props, btw! This is a super sensitive and uber important matter for so many folks.
    Cheers
    @marismith

  • http://profile.typepad.com/franpro The Franchise King

    Mari,
    Thank you so much for sharing that info!
    But….(You know I had to throw THAT “but” in) this still worries me;
    “This does not apply to name, profile picture, gender and networks, which are visible to everyone so real world friends can recognize them.”
    I think they could make that stronger.
    Can FB get my kid’s “Places” info from her phone, and use it to identify her location?
    (Yet?)
    The Franchise King®

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570a6671e970b Mari Smith

    @Joel – wow, whew, yes that is very very scary. I would dissuade your daughter from using Facebook Places until we all know much more about the safety of the app for minors.
    It is certainly frustrating to not be able to switch off 100% – we are at the mercy of Facebook’s decision as to what they deem okay to share publicly.
    By the way, sites like http://youropenbook.org and http://kurrently.com pull up any content that is viewable by everyone.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/toddweisscfa ToddWeissCFA

    Joel:
    Going into an OP-Ed piece. Glad to see it. I am not to crazy about Facebook. Frankly it has become a tad annoying. The initial platform was a great way to reconnect with friends. All the other apps and games and suggested you like stuff is spam. I prefer Twitter and Linked in. Much easier to network and connect. Thanks for sharing. TW

  • http://profile.typepad.com/franpro The Franchise King

    Mari,
    Thanks for the warning about Facebook Places. I’ll do as you suggested. Your tips have been wonderful. Thanks!
    Todd,
    I’ve been on Facebook a lot less in the past few months. I think it’s because of all the changes relating to our privacy.
    I just don’t like their whole attitude.
    The Franchise King®

  • http://profile.typepad.com/franpro The Franchise King

    Chris,
    Thanks for stopping by, and chiming in.
    You brought up a very good point about some of the senior citizens that are online, and on Facebook. They’re always a favorite target for the scammers in the world, and folks like that lie in wait for private information to be disclosed.
    Fantastic.
    The Franchise King®

  • http://www.chrismower.com Chris Mower

    Loved this post. I try to be super careful about what I post on Facebook. You never know when they’re going to release the next version which overrides all your previous privacy settings.
    I read a news article yesterday (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11108891) about another social network that will be launching later this year with the intent of protecting user’s privacy. I’m personally looking forward to that.
    On another note, I’m not just worried about teens, I’m worried about people like my parents and the older generation who don’t understand online security risks. The older generation who use it always post personal things and don’t even think about privacy. Yikes!

  • http://smallbiztrends.com Anita Campbell

    Hi Joel,
    Important post!
    After spending a frustrating 15 minutes just hunting for a way to add an administrator on a Facebook Page, I told my colleague “Facebook was designed by a madman.” But I’m wondering if that designer simply wasn’t “crazy like a fox,” deliberately confusing us so that we unwittingly reveal more than we want to, all in the name of gathering marketing data. And in the process, exposing minors to unwarranted risks and exposing the rest of us to potential identify theft and other issues….
    – Anita

  • http://profile.typepad.com/franpro The Franchise King

    Anita,
    Thank you for your comment. I thought that it was just me!
    You’ve been active in the online space longer than me, and just hearing that it even takes YOU a while to figure out Facebook’s interface, makes me feel like it’s not just me.
    The folks at Facebook seem to make everything so difficult. But, the little stuff I can deal with.
    It’s the privacy stuff, and the way that they are (I feel) putting all of our private data in jeopardy.
    You’re a serious thought-leader in the world of small business, and I was anxious to hear your view on this.
    Thanks!
    The Franchise King®

  • Joe

    Very transparent and balanced look at this topic, don’t you think? People need to be more conscious about what they are posting on Facebook. If you don’t want something to be public, don’t be a damn fool and post it without thinking of what it may impact.
    Last update on their privacy policy was in April. Not exactly something you need to “continually check” I’d assume.
    If you are so worried about your daughter’s safety and using Places, be a parent and explain to her the possible dangers.
    Last, if you are totally against Facebook – simply stop using it.

  • http://www.techtools4re.com Saundra Washington

    Joel,
    If your open letter to Zuckerberg were a petition I’d sign it (but not on Facebook!); it says everything I want to say to him. Each Facebook “improvement” makes it harder and harder for sensible people and reputable businesses to use it safely. Do you suppose that one day, in an effort to get more gold out of the goose, Mark Zuckerberg will kill accidentally kill it instead?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/franpro The Franchise King

    Joe,
    Thanks for your comment.I’ve had to make sure that ALL privacy controls were cool several times since April.
    And yes, it may be time to leave FB.
    Saundra,
    Thanks for your support. Zuckerberg may be too smart to kill his goose.
    (By himself)
    FB is cool, but really, I don’t remember that many meaningful things that have happened in my life, because of Facebook.
    I have a funny feeling that I wouldn’t miss too much if it was gone.
    The Franchise King®

  • TS

    I don’t understand why Facebook privacy is such a big issue.
    We all make the choice to post on Facebook, update our statuses, add friends and do those oh so annoying quizzes, so what makes Facebook responsible?
    May I remind everyone that Facebook is a free platform for sharing and networking, if we are honestly that concerned about our privacy we should just stop using Facebook…. it’s as simple as that.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/franpro The Franchise King

    TS,
    Thanks for chiming in.
    Here’s the skinny;
    Free and Privacy don’t go hand in hand. The folks at Facebook have an attitude problem. Period.
    They don’t seem to be very concerned about your privacy either, by the way.
    Yes, it’s my choice to stay or go. FB does’nt impact my life too much, so if I do split, I won’t lose any sleep.
    The Franchise King®

  • Why_is_my_name_required?

    Perhaps you should spend more time educating your daughter on the realities of online networking than just researching security settings weekly. The reality of the internet is that regardless of privacy settings, people are much more tech-savvy and can bypass these settings entirely.
    I’m not someone who can hack accounts or software, but I do know your full name. You also list the city you live in on your own Facebook profile. As a result, without the help of Facebook Places or FourSquare, you are helping all the rapists locate your daughter.
    Look, it’s simple. We can’t avoid all the sociopaths in the world so we have to understand how to best protect ourselves against these threats. Maybe this is a defeatist attitude, but it’s also reality. Sending Zuckerberg letters crying rape is not going to resolve anything today or tomorrow, so I stick to reality. It is not a requirement to list any personal information on your profile. You don’t even have to use your real name. Limit what you put online and if it scares you to the point of rapists lurking outside your home, get off the internet.
    Understand that this is coming from a young female professional who has been on social media sites since a young teen. It is not impossible to educate teenagers so do not overlook your responsibility as a parent and blame it on the rich. No one has chained you or your kin to a computer chair.

  • TS

    Thanks for the Reply,
    honestly, we need to learn to be responsible for out own actions. If I go on Facebook that’s a choice I make and it’s not Facebook’s fault. it’s basic common sense, if you don’t want people to know things about you, don’t share them on the internet simple as that.
    as for my Privacy, I am completely aware that anything I share on the internet could be accessed by anyone at any moment which is why I am tactful about what I share.
    it really all boils down to people taking responsibility for their own actions and to stop blaming websites for using information we put on silver platters for them.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/franpro The Franchise King

    So TS,
    Do you you work for a PR agency’s of Facebook, or are you one of those Ferarri-driving execs that I talked about in the post?
    The issue with Facebook is privacy. And they know it.
    Facebook is kind of fun, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that important.
    The Franchise King®

  • Moi

    Sounds to me like you’re just jealous that someone has more money than you. I don’t think this is a privacy issue, I think it’s a ‘small man syndrome’ issue. Parent your daughter instead of worrying about Mark and his “filthy-rich team of Facebook executives”. Pathetic.

  • http://www.viphomedesign.net/bathrooms/index.html Bathroom Vanity Cabinet

    Facebook privacy has no problem for me.,Anyways, I just love facebook that I always spend nearly 4 hours a day.

  • vkodass

    I agree with you but from my personal experience, it bought 4000 Facebook fans from http://www.socialkik.com and they added them to my page in a little over 1 month. All the fans appeared to be real and some of them turned out to be great customers.
    You should use http://www.socialkik.com to buy Facebook fans… we purchased 10,000 Facebook fans and we’re quite satisfied with the results. It’s completely legal because the fans are real and they don’t join your page until they check it and find it interestings. Socialkik.com keeps sending suggestions to become a fan until the order is fulfilled.