Facebook is moving to appease privacy advocates again -- this time with a new page on its social network that offers resources to educate consumers. The changes come after CEO Mark Zuckerberg stuck up for the company's privacy practices at the All Things Digital technology conference on Wednesday. But it may be too little, too late to fend off the privacy watchdogs.
"Once you get on the wrong side of this issue, there's really nothing you can do to appease the privacy advocates other than going out of business. Facebook is in the business of providing advertisers access to you. That's what funds the service. It's the same way Google search works. You get the services for free in exchange for access to you," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. "The privacy advocates want everything to be private -- and free."
Facebook Working Overtime
On Thursday, Simon Axten, a manager on Facebook's public-policy team, seemed to pick up where Zuckerberg left off in the hot seat at the conference. He officially announced the "Facebook and Privacy Page." The page aims to complement the privacy guide Facebook previously revamped on the site, as well as a series of video tutorials the social-networking giant started publishing last week.
Axten sees the Facebook and Privacy Page as a "living resource" and a "venue to facilitate an interactive discussion about privacy" with Facebook members. This is where Facebook will post updates on relevant new content, products and news stories related to online privacy. The page offers online privacy resources from both Facebook and third-party sources.
"Going forward, we'll be posting updates about new materials we create, tips on how to control your sharing, and links to relevant news stories and viewpoints," Axten said. "We encourage you to 'like' the page to receive those ongoing updates in your news feed. We also want to hear from you on the page, so please provide feedback by commenting on our posts to let us know your thoughts on privacy or to provide suggestions on developing the page."
Facebook's Oil Spill
Facebook didn't stop there in its efforts to appease privacy advocates and outraged users. In addition to the new Facebook and Privacy Page, the company has also rolled out the second video in its "learn more" series. The new video offers a step-by-step guide to the new controls for sharing on the privacy-settings page. Axten promised more videos to come.
Still, Enderle said, it's not going to make the privacy advocates happy. Facebook, he said, should have worked to avoid getting on the wrong side of the privacy advocates in the first place. Facebook's only choice now, he added, may be to balance the pain of the constant backlash.
"Facebook needs to develop skills to market against what the privacy advocates are saying. Unfortunately, Facebook has no real marketing competence, so they are very vulnerable to this kind of exposure," Enderle said. "This is Facebook's BP oil explosion, and evidently they are playing off of BP's guidebook in terms of how fast and effectively they are solving it."
Posted: 2010-06-12 @ 4:30pm PT
I just found a whole lot of ghost applications which are still allowed to be viewed by everyone & facebook is not telling the users about. Click your application settings. In the 'show' drop down menu (default is recently used) click
'Allowed to post' (it's advisable to click every option). There is a drop down menu choice 'never allowed to post any stories'. Click it. Then u will see all your applications are set to everyone (privacy) in Edit ur settings. Second, in the same drop down menu in application settings click Authorized, then edit settings(default is everyone) or choose to delete the ghost app by clicking the X. See it for yourselves.