Why Facebook Is (Mostly) Right About Sharing

Posted in: Legal & Security at 27/11/2011 16:24

Collecting data for advertisers on the network's users is sparking controversy. But the real issue isn't privacy; it's a lack of good filters

[GigaOm] Facebook's implementation of what it calls "frictionless sharing" continues to cause controversy. Critics complain that the new feature -- which automatically shares songs from Spotify or news stories from social-reading apps -- is ruining the site, cluttering up their stream, and is generally just creepy. As newly minted venture capitalist MG Siegler has noted, this kind of backlash is par for the course whenever Facebook makes sharing-related changes, so it's likely this particular storm will also blow over. The fuss does highlight how Facebook still needs better filters to help users cope with the onslaught of social-sharing information.

Molly Wood at Cnet seems to have started the latest furor, saying the new changes at Facebook are "ruining sharing," because they clutter users' feeds and badger them into signing up for apps such as Spotify or the Washington Post app. Wood calls Spotify song sharing "the new Farmville," and that isn't meant as a compliment. She also notes, as many other critics have, that what's driving Facebook's behavior is it wants to collect more information about its users and make that data available to advertisers. One of her main complaints, however, seems to be that instead of reducing the friction around sharing, Facebook is actually increasing it:

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