F8 Hate

It’s known I hate the “Like” feature of Facebook, and this past week, Facebook made it clear that it its trying to take over your online life.

Facebook is introducing a universal like feature.  Basically, you can go to a website, like Pandora or CNN.com, and it will access your public Facebook information to suggest articles you may like.  Sounds great, right?  It’s easier than ever to share what you like!

Most major websites and already incorporating the new Like button onto their sites.  Why wouldn’t they?  Every time a user like’s an article, it gets shared with all your friends.  More exposure equals more money making potential. However, Facebook’s greed is a terrible thing for your personal information and privacy.

Take a look at the default setting:

Unless you turn it off, Facebook will let other sites access your public information.  Granted, you should keep a lock down on what is public, but this default setting is concerning.

It gets worse.  Facebook went ahead and changed the user agreement without telling anyone.  Nothing too crazy changed, but the idea that they will change this important, legal document between the user and Facebook without letting the users know is horrifying.  In many other settings, that’s a reason to be able to end the contract early.  This change is another instance of Facebook proving it has no commitment to its users data and privacy settings.

It gets EVEN worse.  Facebook Applications can now permanently save your publicly available information.  If you thought malicious virus applications were a problem before, just wait until they can start stealing your identity because they have full access to what you share publicly.  And even if you change those settings after the fact, the can still hold onto that data, FOREVER.

I hate to say this, but Mashable has a good, easy to read run down of how to set up your privacy settings so a website or your friends can’t share anything you don’t want them sending to the whole web.  Read Write Web also has a very good article expanding on why you should delete Facebook Apps. It’s a shame that Facebook doesn’t give you more control from the beginning, and clearly doesn’t want you to stop sharing, because the more personalized and engaging the experience, the more time you’ll spend on Facebook.

I’ll keep the Facebook Fan Page Liker Page, but don’t expect to see too much original content going up over there.  If you’re expecting to see a “Like” Button over here anytime soon, don’t.  I respect your online privacy, and your ability to share an article by selecting the URL and pasting it on Facebook or wherever else you’d like.

Facebook wants to make money off of your stupidity.  They want to take over your identity and the web.  Don’t be stupid and don’t let them take over.

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