Apr 2011

Is Facebook more evil than Google?Is this the right way to go?

I've added Facebook "like" buttons to every page with content. And it has me wondering; is this a good idea?

Is Facebook more evil than Google?

It's not easy to say, but I think so. In fact, the EU wanted to create some strict rules for websites in general (and social networks in particular) that would immediately point out why Google has a few very important advantages over Facebook.

Please note that I am not disputing both Google's and Facebook's tendency to be privacy vacuum cleaners.

  • The right to be forgotten. - Not like Sony Online Entertainment where, even if you die, you cannot under any circumstance, delete your account.
  • Privacy by default - More like Google where you have to enable things to be shared, rather than Facebook's "Everything is public unless you turn it off, including new features." policy.
  • Transparency - Be open to your customers about what happens, when and how. And don't pull a Facebook where you suddenly share gender preferences without telling.
  • Protection regardless of the data's location. - A company in the US is not exempt from EU law when it has customers in the EU.

Should one avoid Facebook altogether?

Hah! If only. Personally I prefer more anonymous sites. While it's easy to see that anonymous actions means a -lot- of crap, it also means more surprises and variety, and surprisingly less spam. On Facebook, my block-list is enormous as I have no desire to see random messages from "Hey, check how well you match with that" or "Someone wants you to help out their meager existence in Farm-ville" or whatever is the game of the week.

But one cannot deny how much traffic is generated by something as simple as an "I like" button. One can only hope that Google's social network (the upcoming one, not Buzz or Wave) will have a chance at survival.

So, what now?

There's like buttons on this or any other page on which people can comment. Well I also changed the design of the site somewhat and more changes are incoming, but it's not like anyone notices... Or do you?

A little bonus

If you wish to disable Facebook on any other page than Facebook itself (so no like buttons, no 'comment here with your facebook acccount, etc.) all you need to do is us a proper browser, like Opera, Chrome or Firefox, and use AdBlock Plus. Add a rule with the following code to get rid of it completely, while facebook.com keeps working.

(You have to use the whole next line.)