71 Comments

Summary:

Update: It’s mea culpa time for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. The social networking site’s founder and CEO has finally succumbed to the criticism of its ad platform, Beacon, and delivered a confessional worthy of “Oprah.” We say better late than never. But is that enough? Probably not, and here is why.

Update: Frankly, I am myself getting sick and tired of repeating myself about the all-important “information transmission from partner sites” aspect of Beacon. That question remains unanswered in Zuckerberg’s blog post, which upon second read is rather scant on actual privacy information. Here is what he writes:

If you select that you don’t want to share some Beacon actions or if you turn off Beacon, then Facebook won’t store those actions even when partners send them to Facebook.”

So essentially he’s saying the information transmitted won’t be stored but will perhaps be interpreted. Will this happen in real time? If that is the case, then the advertising “optimization” that results from “transmissions” is going to continue. Right!

If they were making massive changes, one would have seen options like “Don’t allow any web sites to send stories to Facebook” or “Don’t track my actions outside of Facebook” in this image below.

facebookprivacy.png

I think Facebook needs to clarify this point further, because currently, despite this mea culpa, I don’t think it’s easy to trust Facebook to do the right thing with the information they continue to collect. You can also share your thoughts on our Facebook Question of the Day Application. (Original post below the fold.)

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, after taking it on the chin for nearly two weeks, is apologizing about the company’s Beacon advertising platform fiasco. In his blog post, in which he explains his side of the story and rationalizes his reasoning, there is one paragraph which says it all:

We’ve made a lot of mistakes building this feature, but we’ve made even more with how we’ve handled them. We simply did a bad job with this release, and I apologize for it. While I am disappointed with our mistakes, we appreciate all the feedback we have received from our users.

He goes onto say that while he thought Beacon was a great idea, the company might have gone overboard.

The problem with our initial approach of making it an opt-out system instead of opt-in was that if someone forgot to decline to share something, Beacon still went ahead and shared it with their friends.

No shit! I think they tried to push the limits, and got some push back, and that’s that. Regardless, had people not contacted them, as Zuckerberg puts it, they would have gotten away with it.

Instead of acting quickly, we took too long to decide on the right solution. I’m not proud of the way we’ve handled this situation and I know we can do better.

I think this is a good move by Zuckerberg and I hope his team learns from it. This is the second time they have tried to test the limits of their community and gotten some flack for it. It would be better if they asked — they are a social community — and being social means listening and talking with each other first, not after the fact.

Our entire coverage of the Beacon Gate

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  1. I was starting to think the apology wouldn’t come. Better late than never I guess.

  2. Zuckerberg Apologizes: Facebook Changes Beacon To Respect Privacy » Webomatica – Technology and Entertainment Digest Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] Reading: GigaOm, WebProNews, [...]

  3. Your last line really hits the nail on the head. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and each time it happens again it makes people more skeptical/wary of what Facebook is doing. It would be really easy to get user opinion beforehand as they already have the tools to do so…why they wouldn’t do something so seemingly obvious is beyond me. Hell, they’d probably even get suggestions on improving such ideas (and they’d be free!).

  4. Jordan Mitchell Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    Really ironic to see a DoubleClick ad on a post about Beacon, since (to my mind) they were the last company to merge PII with anonymous browsing behavior, and you know what happened there! (see http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=1455141)

  5. If no one makes a mistake how can we learn? The user how to take the drivers seat and / or the service provider how to provide a service user want …

  6. Beacon: Zuckerberg brings the mea culpa – – mathewingram.com/work Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] to wonder: how many more times are they going to get whacked for similar ventures? I think Om Malik has a good point: if Facebook is a social network, then why not ask users what they would or wouldn’t be [...]

  7. Well, to late. I shut down my profile. This company can not be trusted. Zuckerberg has a brite future but he needs to really grow up and gain some experience before he can run a company this size.
    The generic PR template that “we are sorry” just does not cut it.

    This company in no different than Club Penguin targeting teens and young adults whose greatest asset is time, not money. Time will tell, but they will NEVER become the next Google. There are already far to many companies doing the same thing and their “offering” is NOT disruptive imo.

  8. well. i already close my profile. I dun trust someone who lie and find so much excuses.

  9. Zuckerberg’s post isn’t an admission that FB did anything wrong; it’s just him say they didn’t do it properly.

  10. Occam’s Razor might encourage us to believe that Beacon wasn’t some attempt to get away with something, but the result of a really young CEO’s assumption that all people share his (and his generation’s) disregard for privacy.

    But does Zuckerberg’s motivation matter when you’re deciding whether to trust Facebook? Beacon, and the way Facebook has tried to recover from user reactions (and the way Facebook has managed app invitations) suggests that at some fundamental level the Facebook management team just doesn’t respect user privacy. Maybe we can force fixes for the mistakes we can see, but the company will probably just keep trying to share more of our info without our knowledge, and some of these attempts will be invisible to us.

    If they want to build user trust they should announce a company philosophy of complete transparency and user control over personal information, and then they should back up that philosophy with re-designed features, interface and internal processes. Otherwise, next!

  11. Fiascobook, Redux | Digital Daily | John Paczkowski | AllThingsD Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] he’s saying the information transmitted won’t be stored but will perhaps be interpreted,” writes Om Malik. “Will this happen in real time? If that is the case, then the advertising “optimization” [...]

  12. Has anyone else notice that he has NOT addressed the issue of affiliates transmitting data about NON-FB users. Frankly, “…saying the information transmitted won’t be stored…” doesn’t cut it!

  13. Oh Om, you’re such a cynic. But thank heavens there is at least one cynic in the blogosphere.

    Looking at all of the “coverage” via Techmeme, you’re the only one still asking questions. Everyone else seems in a hurry to forgive and forget.

    You’re right. Why are Beacon partners sending data to Facebook when people have opted out? Even more pertinent, why are they sending information on people who don’t even have a Facebook profile?

    I have the list of Beacon partners pasted on the wall behind my monitor, just as a reminder of which sites not to visit.

    From what I’ve learned reading the court documents and Zuckerberg’s own testimony, Facebook owes its existence to deception. I have no reason to believe that anything has changed.

  14. For all the respect you built up with your insights and analysis in the techbiz space, I am dissappointed to see you sink to this level

    get your ego out of the way for being not responded to in a timely manner and let this go

    privacy is a red herring, use any of the other services out there if you dont like what Facebook does

    for the immense value i get from having siblings, university friends and business contacts all on one of the most successful and powerful networking platforms and it is fun and I enjoy being on there all the time

    if they have to share my birthday with coca-cola to provide all that value FREE, then by all means go ahead, i consciously and willingly put it in there

    like the man says: this is an ad-supported business or does the great OM carry the cost for his little media empire himself
    or maybe there’s a deeper issue here: Zuckerberg vs. Malik, there is a lot of meaning to be derived from those names or maybe it has more to do with Palestine not being recognised on Facebook

    tin foil hat aside be careful not to overplay your hand, the american dream worked out for you, dont mess it up

  15. Mario,

    Obviously you’re into conspiracy theories, so perhaps your time might be better spent actually analyzing the facts of this particular situation instead of invoking innuendo to hide your obvious xenophobic tendencies. See a shrink, man.

  16. Zuckerberg Responds To Controversy – HaikuBlogging Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] Thoughts on Beacon (The Facebook Blog) Zuckerberg Saves Face, Apologies For Beacon (TechCrunch) Zuckerberg’s Mea Culpa, Not Enough [...]

  17. Mark Zuckerberg Apologizes– bub.blicio.us Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] However, there is still an issue that remains, and that is, what happens to the information that is gathered on the advertiser’s side. Even though, it’s not getting sent back to Facebook for an “opt out,” where is it going? Read Om Malik’s post about it here. [...]

  18. Now it becomes incumbent on the partner sites to state their privacy policy regarding Beacon – whether they will share their information with FB or not as a default. I am assuming here that third parties can not access FB cookie to being with.

  19. Excellent post OM, i think the only one who reads thru the BS re: behavioral targeting etc…

  20. Not sure I understand why FaceBook is taking so much heat for what other firms actively engage in all the time. Tacoda’s entire business model is built on behavioral targeting. There would be absolutely no difference in the latent interpretation and ad optimization (aka targeting) behavior if FB decided to become a paying customer of Tacoda or any of the other behavioral targeting firms. The only difference here is they built beacon themselves.

    Granted… FB does use some borderline grey hat techniques to actually exchange the data without getting knocked down as XSS (for more info check out http://www.radiantcore.com/blog/archives/23/11/2007/deconstructingfacebookbeaconjavascript
    ), but I view that as pretty darn innovative.

    If you are going to bash FB… bash the behavioral targeting industry as a whole.. and include all of Tacoda’s customers on your blacklists (which would basically mean not visiting any of the Internet top 10)

  21. So what will happen if behavioral ads becomes the de facto form of online advertising. It basically follows you around. should we stop using the internet? On the other hand, Google knows more about you than Facebook. How do we opt-out of Google? That lovely search bar on your Firefox does more than you think. It’s a spyware.

  22. Question for Facebook: Better to Ask First, or Apologize Later? « FoundRead Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] weeks on, Beacon is now “opt-in” and has a privacy control to omit Beacon completely. Om thinks this is too little, too late and writing: “This is the second time they have tried to test the limits of their community [...]

  23. Bottom line is that the core group could care less what FB does with their data.

  24. Breaking up with Facebook « Mi Neurosis, Su Neurosis. Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] Dude, I’m sorry, ok? What do you want me to say? One of my buddies was asking where you were at, so I had to tell him [...]

  25. You set too high a standard for a profit company. Good social network ads will need to come indirectly – perhaps from Open Social.

  26. Amazing, please Om, educate us on your thought about doubleclick, and google and their privacy practices. How come they get a pass?

  27. Facebook Beacon already forgotten by all but the blogOspheric chattering nonsense. « Joe Duck Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] Beacon already forgotten by all but the blogOspheric chattering nonsense. Om Malik and Matt Ingram are asking why Facebook doesn’t simply ask their 40+ million users to [...]

  28. Om:

    I completely agree.

    Opt-Out still makes members initiate the process. I would argue that most FB members are completely unaware of what’s going on or how their data is being used. For Opt-Out to work, FB will need to inform the community of what that actually means and how member data is being used. Without educating, FB isn’t listening, they are still duping the majority of the members, IMHO.

  29. @NickH

    To my knowledge, those sites do not involve the transmission of data from one site to another. Google, as far a I know, relies heavily on cookies, which can be controlled by the user in their browse. Beacon does not.

  30. Zuckerberg’s mea culpa « Bob Morris: Investing, tech, coffee. Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] mea culpa December 5, 2007 — Bob Morris Not enough says Gigaom, because we need a complete and total opt-out, not another sort-of, semi, maybe opt-out. Which is [...]

  31. Love–and Being a CEO–Means Always Having To Say You’re Sorry | BoomTown | Kara Swisher | AllThingsD Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] one hand, Om Malik of GigaOm, who is calling it Beacon Gate, noted: “I think this is a good move by Zuckerberg and I hope his team learns from it. This is the [...]

  32. Facebook Not Understanding Opt-In is Like Universal Missing Digital Music: Purely Clueless | Chris Heuer’s Idea Engine Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] are a lot of smart people who have weighed in on the Facebook Beacon issue and Mark Zuckerberg’s apology today, and [...]

  33. Chris,

    So because facebook is doing this inline and doubleclick / google / tacoda only do this on the back end, this makes facebook significantly worse? What am I missing?

  34. Behavioral targeting is fine under the following conditions: it is my behavior; so I must be in control of it. So let them subscribe to principles advocated by AttentionTrust.org.

  35. @Mario,

    You are way off base here. Not sure where the unrelated comments originate, but Om’s points are on point as far as transparency is concerned. If you’re not clear here, try business school, law school, or some college of any sort that may teach you the fundamentals of critical analysis.

    It’s okay to disagree with Om’s points, or any of the readers points. However, don’t attack race, religion, preference, or someone’s choice of shoes. It isn’t necessary, intelligent, practical, or useful.

    This said, be respectful in your disagreements. This would be warmly welcomed by all.

  36. Om,

    Though you raise valid points, which many users have argued for and against, the primary difference in the Beacon ad platform isn’t just serving ads based on your behavior, it is reporting and ad serving to your network based on your behavior. Beacon is a clumsy and wreckless attempt at monetizing word of mouth marketing based on a given user’s buying behavior. Conventional ad wisdom purports that an advertiser optimize ad messaging based on the target customer’s behavior. Beacon assumes that this behavior maps to the customer’s social network online, and that the user would not object to sharing their buying behavior with their social network. This conflicts with conventional ad wisdom given that word of mouth validation is lacking in Beacon, AND the sharing of the customer’s buying behavior is HUGELY intrusive.

    Personal preferences are… well personal! Word of mouth, on the other hand, is somewhat sacred in that it is part of what makes real social interaction REAL. What a novel concept. Perhaps if the management of Facebook were more experienced and knowledgeable (both education and business experience), then perhaps they would not have made such a green marketing mistake with Beacon.

    Facebook could have also done market testing with both focus groups and customer surveys. It is doubtful that Beacon would have survived market testing. This is marketing 1, and Facebook gets an F.

  37. Darren Herman – Marketing, Advertising, Media and Technology Blog » Blog Archive » The Kid’s Human Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    [...] human. You’re human. Zuckerberg is human. Not every decision we make on a daily basis can be the correct one and we’re seeing a side [...]

  38. @NickH First off, Beacon partners send data to Facebook even if you have opted out and are logged out of Facebook.

    Second, Google’s practices are completely transparent. They explain it all to you and you can get there on the main page. Google even shows you how you can do it.

    Third, Google can’t datamine your info the same way facebook can: Google knows what you surf, but not who you are. Facebook knows everything that you tell it.

    Fourth, Google’s cookies can be cleared or blocked DIRECTLY on your browser. Facebook avoids that entirely.

    Fifth,facebook lied to the press several times leading up to today and Zuckerberg still hasn’t addressed the data transmission for those who’ve opted out except by saying it doesn’t store the information. If that is the case, why do they send it?

  39. Zuck: Facebook has succeeded so far in part because it gives people control over what and how they share information
    Me: Oh really like NewsFeeds which was unilaterally released without user approval and Beacon which gives no control to users – who the zuck are you kidding?
    What the zuck are you smoking – no one else believes this but you.

    Zuck: The problem with our initial approach of making it an opt-out system instead of opt-in was that if someone forgot to decline to share something, Beacon still went ahead and shared it with their friends.
    Me: Commonly known as “hubris”. Not a good trait on the ‘net.
    Email lists learned this lesson when you were in middle school – instead of dissing older people because they are dumb you may want to look at history and learn so you don’t have to make the same mistakes over and over again with an audience of N x 10million users. Catch up with this century’s privacy standards when you have a moment out of the echo chamber, dude.

    Zuck: But we missed the right balance. At first we tried to make it very lightweight so people wouldn’t have to touch it for it to work.
    Me: WTZ? You mean you made it so slimy that no one would know you were doing it until it turned up on publicly viewable pages. And you actually thought N x 10 million people would just go along with this because….? Just plain zucking dumbness and blindness of arrogance comes to mind …

  40. Dragoljub Profirovic Thursday, December 6, 2007

    I can’t stand to see that Facebook is turning on it’s user base to create relationships with companies. It’s as though they feel they have reached a critical mass of users to sell out.

  41. I hope the masses revolt from Facebook. Frankly, the whole platform and site annoy me. And the arrogance attitude along with its privacy practices of the company just is icing on the cake.

    The amount of press written over this company is astonishing. And for what? A company that is basically Friendster connecting people together, with blaring ads all over the place, and practices that mislead people and violate every known privacy practice on the web?

    Does anyone just say hey wait a minute – Is this really that revolutionary? The problem they are solving is quick communication to friends, something the world solves with a simple email distribution list. Everything else including the silly apps, don’t do a lot for me. I could care less about virtual teddy bears, and other trinkets, or that my friends like or don’t like those trinkets.

    Sure their grown is impressive. So, was MySpace, until it became yesterday’s news.

  42. This whole Beacon episode if you notice from radical product launch to privacy outcry to sober apology. All this has been remarkably similar to the progression of events that accompanied Facebook’s introduction of the News Feed last year. Indeed, the combination of reckless product launch and considered response appears to be a Facebook trademark. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
    What they learned was that if you put something out there, people complain about it, you fix it and then people embrace it.

    Common lets all of us stop cribbing about this. There are a whole of other user expectations Facebook lives up to.

    Parul
    http://www.bhopu.com

  43. robhyndman.com » Blog Archive » Mea Culpa – Maybe Thursday, December 6, 2007

    [...] media gods. And second, there’s the question of what exactly Facebook is retreating to. As Om notes, it’s not exactly [...]

  44. Bizzen – IT & Business » Blogarkiv » Errosion af image: Facebook Thursday, December 6, 2007

    [...] der har meldt fra. Men data SENDES altså ud over nettet, påpeger en af de mest kendte bloggere Om Malik, der synes, at det er himmelråbende, at Facebook ikke blot siger til butikken, at den slet ikke [...]

  45. RIP Facebook? | Michael Gracie Thursday, December 6, 2007

    [...] 2: Hold the presses – Om Malik gets a word in edgewise: So essentially he’s saying the information transmitted won’t be stored [...]

  46. Facebook’s goal, like all other corps, is to maximize profits and longevity for it’s owners. So they are pushing the boundary of what they can get away with to increase viral growth of their platform. It’s the correct thing to do for them, and their owners. Hopefully they did an assessment of the ROI and decided that the benefits of viral growth from beacon in spite of the backlash would be worth it.

    It’s just like Microsoft and open source OS’s.

    A small number of people will complain a lot and move over to linux, opensolaris, etc. 95% will shrug and stick with the dominant player.

    Microsoft should continue to push the limits to maximize profits for it’s owners as it’s obligated too. Government needs to step in to place the hard limits, and to adjust the ROI equation with penalties and credits for a corp’s behaviour.

    Cheers,
    Rajesh.

  47. I used to be a big fan of Facebook’s, I’m not so sure, anymore. Last week FB deleted my account (that I had had over 1 year and had approx. 200 friends), with no warning/explanation.
    During email contacts with 4 FB “Customer Support” Reps over the week, I found FB to be arrogant, and, ironically being as FB is a communications company, very difficult/nearly impossible to communicate.

    Finally, FB sent me a curt “your account has been restored, sorry for any inconvience” form email. they gave no explanation at all.
    I’m glad to be on FB, but will I ever trust ‘em again? That’s hard to say.
    http://FacebookEconomy.com

  48. I think people in general underestimate the data leakage which occurs in normal web use already. Just on top of my head, lets see what Google (really doesn’t matter) can find out about me. I don not have a Google account, email or what not, I also clean out all cookies on browser close.
    Anyway, I use Google maps to find directions to unknown addresses in the area, just to find out how long it will take to get there. If I use my home address repeatedly as a starting point for directions.
    A simple correlation with the origin of my ip address will show that this is most likely my home address.
    Looking up who lives there they know who I am.
    They know the avg. income of my neighbor hood.
    They can find my mortgage rate and which car I drive and how old it is.
    And …..

    Just by using my home address as a starting point for directions.
    Well come to the world of data mining.

  49. Runes blogg » Blog Arkiv » Facebook Thursday, December 6, 2007

    [...] GigaOM [...]

  50. You can use a Greasemonkey plugin in Firefox to block calls to Beacon from partner sites: http://www.ideashower.com/blog/block-facebook-beacon/

  51. Chris Spinchange Thursday, December 6, 2007

    Om, it’s refreshing to see you post this! As some other’s point out, many (even otherwise reputable) tech blogs, are heralding this half-measure as a fix and applauding Zuckerberg for “stepping up” Thank you for pointing out that this actually just obfuscates the real privacy issues which have not at all been addressed.

    After all, just because you can block the display of something (in this case beacon data) doesn’t mean it stopped being transmitted. On top of that, it’s very hard to “trust” that nothing is being done with the data, when they’ve already lied about getting it in the first place!

  52. Thunk Different. Thursday, December 6, 2007

    It seems to a lot of people, that what he is really saying is, “I tried to be tricky and take your money, now i am being less tricky but still want your money.”

    wrote a blog about it…
    http://www.ThunkDifferent.com

  53. In Europe, the privacy directive that made the Passenger Name Record transmissions so difficult when the US decided to tighten up border security may actually allow the European Union to bring legal charges against the Beacon platform. Europeans have a far different concept of privacy rights than Americans. It will be interesting to see how the EU reacts to the (illegal) violation of the privacy of European citizens online.

  54. Is Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg a deceptive, lying, dumbass? « Hone Watson Bookmarks Friday, December 7, 2007

    [...] People say Google have way more data than Facebook but Chris Apollo Lynn made some great points about Facebook vs Google: [...]

  55. Kamla Bhatt Blog » Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Post About Beacon Friday, December 7, 2007

    [...] case clearly illustrates that in this interactive world users are not shy to air their opinion and participating in social networking site does not mean they [...]

  56.   Facebook Beacon attracts disdain, not dollars — Instant Web Meetings.COM – Video Conference, Collaboration, E Learning, Unified Communications Sunday, December 9, 2007

    [...] Malik calls ([1] [2] [3]) Facebook Beacon a “privacy nightmare”, a “fiasco”, and a [...]

  57. Brands Create Customers » Blog Archive » Is respecting (and protecting) customer privacy a part of the brand? Saturday, December 15, 2007

    [...] After several weeks of mounting criticism (see here, here and here) Facebook’s CEO issued a public apology, and began steps to make Beacon elective for Facebook users through a more direct opt in process. This was a major step in clarifying what the Facebook brand stands for, although some critics argue that Facebook still needs to do more. [...]

  58. Maybe I’m seeing the glass 1 percent full but Facebook has performed a great service by raising the consciousness over what’s happening with privacy on the Internet. All this free content that we’re used to is being supported by advertising. But one of the prices we’re all paying is giving the ad engines lots of data about ourselves. That’s fine so long as we’re aware of it and can decide whether this is a good deal or a devil’s bargain. Lots of members of the Facebook community decided it was the latter. Of course if too many do then Zuckerberg’s going to have to figure out a better way to make money off of the fabulous community he’s built up.

  59. Is Facebook Selling Out its Users? The Problem with Monetizing Social Networks After the Fact… | AjaxNinja Saturday, January 5, 2008

    [...] Beacon is an even grosser violation of user privacy, as many bloggers have pointed out. Not only did Facebook mislead its advertising partners about the opt-in/opt-out nature of the [...]

  60. LanceWillett.com » Blog Archive » Goodbye Facebook Tuesday, January 22, 2008

    [...] decided to cancel my account even before news of the Beacon catastrophe hit the interwebs, though that exposure certainly helped sealed the deal. As Jeremy Keith pointed out in Facebooked [...]

  61. Zuckerberg and Facebook Both Have Growing Pains – GigaOM Wednesday, March 5, 2008

    [...] apologizing for his mistakes, but opts to go out and act differently. Those of us in the real world can fault him for that, but that mindset isn’t as much a function of age as it is a hallmark of an [...]

  62. Because Facebook Still Sucks Sunday, March 9, 2008

    [...] is, everyone complains out it all the time. Beacon is slammed. It might be popular as hell with my high school cousin and for shits and giggles, but [...]

  63. Who is Robert Knox? Name uses in social services — Why UI? Saturday, March 29, 2008

    [...] in the event – I get a social benefit on top of the activity it self. Facebook has taken this a bit too far with their "Beacon" advertising platform when they used people identity to promote [...]

  64. December 6, 2007 | TechTV Update Monday, March 31, 2008

    [...] Japan does it better. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologized to unhappy users of Beacon. Om Malik says the apology isn’t enough. Robert Scoble says the apology is the sign of a real leader. [...]

  65. The 5 Stages of a Consumer Web Startup – GigaOM Friday, May 9, 2008

    [...] the ad unit might be something novel like a widget, pre-roll voice ads on a mobile phone, or Beacon. Otherwise it’s generally based on banners and Google AdWords with promises of more to [...]

  66. Web 2.0 Predictions for 2008 « Think Cow Monday, July 7, 2008

    [...] their traffic but struggle to ignite significant revenue growth. Facebook’s widely covered struggles late last year with the business model of its Beacon product is somewhat indicative of the entire Web 2.0 era: [...]

  67. Facebook’s mea culpa comes at last – Top Stocks Blog: Talk about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day – MSN Money Wednesday, August 13, 2008

    [...] you have to wonder: how many more times are they going to get whacked for similar ventures?”Om Malik: “I think they tried to push the limits, and got some push back, and that’s that. Regardless, had [...]

  68. Goodbye Facebook — fautrever.com: Lance and Erin Willett’s Outdoor, Travel, and RV Adventures Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    [...] decided to cancel my account even before news of the Beacon catastrophe hit the interwebs, though that exposure certainly helped sealed the deal. As Jeremy Keith pointed out in Facebooked [...]

  69. “THE DARK SIDE OF FACEBOOK, AKA, “DISGRACEBOOK,” OR FACEBOOKS COMPLETE LACK OF CUSTOMER SERVICE”

    The unaired dark side of Facebook, or should I call it “Disgracebook” because of the extremely poor disgraceful way Facebook treats its members. The reason I say the unaired dark side of Facebook is I have yet to see anything announced on the prime time major news outlets about the disgraceful practices Facebook uses on its members. The Internet is bursting at its seems with unhappy disabled Facebook members who have posted thousands of complaints everywhere it is possible to post complaints about Facebooks complete lack of customer service and mean spirited disregard for concerns, questions and feedback from members and former members.
    If anyone thinks Facebook is “listening” to its members or advertisers or anyone wanting to communicate with them, they simply DO NOT know what they are talking about! Facebook ruthlessly, rigorously, relentlessly, and remorselessly walks all over its members with hob nailed boot polices of culling members from membership for unspecified unknown reasons and then accuses the permanently disabled unacceptable members as “possibly” being guilty of spamming or “possibly” being guilty of harassing other members because of asking too many members to be friends at an unspecified rate. Facebook goes on to permanently disable unacceptable members accounts that have too many friends, belongs to too many groups, pokes too many unknown times, sends too many email messages and on and on and on. The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, says that Facebook members seem to take a “personal ownership” of their Facebook accounts. Well, golly gee Mark, Facebook is supposedly a SOCIAL Internet program that people join to meet and make new friends. Making new friends, at least to me, is personal and publishing real photographs and genuine personal information on Facebook seems personal to me. Maybe you should say in your rules and regulations that Facebook wants members to be real and genuine but do not join Facebook for personal reasons and do not expect to be treated in a true genuine caring manner because Facebook does not care in the least about what you think or how you feel. When Facebook says you are guilty of breaking polices you will be treated with complete lack of respect in an impersonal sterile manner and declared unacceptable and permanently banned from Facebook without recourse.

    On Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Fan Page Mark states “I’m trying to make the world a more open place by helping people connect and share.” I am glad Mark says he is “trying etc.” because, in my opinion, he certainly has NOT accomplished his mission. Facebook is one of the most closed undemocratic uncaring unsocial business operations since the formation of the Gestapo. Facebook operates carte blanche without regard of a due process of rights for members Facebook deems unacceptable to be a member of its supposed Internet social network service and therefore, disables their account without warning. Facebook justifies its policy and actions under the euphemism of “protecting members” from “repeated actions that COULD BE CONSTRUED as spam,” and from anything Facebook makes up to be a threat to its security. Although Facebook publishes what it SAYS are its rules and regulations, Facebooks security is a computer program of unpublished nonspecific rules and regulations that are enforced by an automated, autocratic, uncaring broadly defined bureaucratic computer program that members violate without knowing it and then booted out of Facebook. If this is not Gestapo like policy, I guess I do not know what it is because it certainly is un-American to say the least!

    Furthermore, in my opinion, Facebook is NOT a Internet “social network service.” When joining Facebook you are, in reality, joining an Internet money making “computer advertising program” that is set up to look like a Internet “social network service” for the public. In essence, the Internet “social network service” is a screen or cover for a “computerized advertising” empire designed with one thing in mind, the bottom line profits for Facebook investors. I am all for investors making a profit and if the investors will wake up they can increase their profits by paying attention to the consumer members of Facebook. As it stands now, the consumer is NOT king on Facebook. Facebook can at any time without having to explain its decision declare any member persona non grata. Is it any wonder Facebook members are treated with total disregard for being feeling thinking real people? I have yet to know of a computer program that is able to feel and or to reason. When placing a phone call to Facebook you are treated rudely and crassly informed to use their computerized automated services, which do not reply when used or quickly transferred to an automated answering service to which there is no reply.

    Why a business would choose to advertise on “Disgracebook” is beyond my ability to understand sound business practices? I know that I will not purchase any goods or services advertised on “Disgracebook” and I urge anyone mauled by “Disgracebooks” insensitivity to boycott anything advertised by this disgraceful, despicable, sorry company!

    If “Disgracebook” is treating its foreign members as poorly as it treats its domestic members “Disgracebook” is not only giving itself a black eye it is giving the United States of America a black eye. Is there anyone out there who cares enough and can communicate with Facebook to help Facebook become a user friendly Internet social network service it claims to be?

    I strongly urge anyone interested to please research what I am informing you of because I assure you the situation I have explained is the truth and nothing but the truth so help me God. Until the media and or business community and elected officials takes notice of and makes public “Disgracebooks” dark side inhuman treatment of people Mark Zuckerberg and his staff and money making computer program will continue to execute its falsely accused unacceptable members and fill up trenches behind “Disgracebooks” California headquarters with their discarded accounts.

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