Tom Espiner reports:
Facebook services that have increasingly allowed “friends” to keep track of each other have drawn criticism from users, who then begin to use them, Zuckerberg told the e-G8 Forum conference in Paris this week.
“We’ll roll it out, and pretty often there’ll be this backlash, and people will say, ok, we don’t like this new thing,” said Zuckerberg. “It’s I think a real anxiety. People were really afraid of more people being able to be involved in the social network.”
Zuckerberg said that 1 million people, or 10 percent of the Facebook user base, in 2006 protested against Facebook’s news feed service, which gives updates about what “friends” are doing.
“People thought that, you know, it was just too much, right, they wanted to share stuff on the site but they didn’t want it to be so much in people’s face,” said Zuckerberg. “You know now it’s just part of the site that I think most people in a way would be like ‘What’s going on? How can there be Facebook without this?'”
Zuckerberg said that Platform, which gives third-party developers access to people’s “friends,” was “fairly controversial.” He said that Facebook took steps so that “everything is under good control, and there isn’t a lot of abuse.”
He added that “one of the good things about the Internet is you can just kind of build something, and people will choose to use it or not, and that’s how we win debates.”
Read more on cnet.
Of course, as Privacy International’s Simon Davies told ZDNet, there are peer influences at work and what might be a privacy intrusion can be accepted eventually if enough of one’s friends accept it and go along with it.
Zuckerberg might see that as a good thing, but I see it as no different than people becoming complacent after initially being outraged about warrantless domestic surveillance. Little by little, privacy – and the expectation of privacy – is being eroded. And in my opinion, privacy advocates who use services with questionable or deplorable privacy practices are sending an unfortunate message by the use of such services.