If you aren’t a geek that pays attention to this sort of stuff, you might be only vaguely aware that Facebook has been all over the news recently as the roll out “enhancements” to the service. And by enhancement, they mean, “Stuff that will help Facebook’s customers sell even more stuff to you.” In no particular order…
That stupid news ticker: I used Adblock to get rid of one day 1. It’s there for one reason, to encourage you to be more active and give Facebook more data to use in targeting ads at you.
The new Profile page: It’s pretty, I’ll give them that. However, notice how so many of the specific things that they want to highlight in your timeline are events that present some opportunity to sell something to you. If you think that is a coincidence call me. I’ve got a bridge I’m selling.
Privacy Changes: All my privacy settings seemed to be ok, but there were lots of reports of unexpected sharing with the new and improved Facebook.
Frictionless Sharing: This is Facebook weasel words for the ability of entities to update your profile, without your active participation. Apparently, you don’t even need to be logged in to Facebook.
So, what do you do? You could delete your account. I’ve been thinking about it, but I really do like keeping in touch with people, and Facebook still does a fairly decent job of enabling that. So I’m not bailing. Yet.
What I am doing, effective today is this. I’m dedicating one web browser as my Facebook browser. That way Facebook can’t track me around the web, and I don’t have to worry about “Frictionless Sharing” telling the world that I just watched 10 Debbie Gibson videos. If you are a Windows person, you may have already tainted both Firefox and IE. So download Opera, and use it only for Facebook. Then delete every Facebook cookie in your primary browser.
The Debbie Gibson example was just a silly example, chosen specifically for its ridiculousness. I would never do that. I was over that crush years ago. Really, I was.