Untrustworthy Scumbags

The owners of Facebook are building a huge, searchable, database of all the important aspects of their user population. And they’re not shy about finding new ways to exploit it. Plus, it’s a bait and switch. “Here’s a great way to connect with family and friends that YOU can control. I mean WE can control. And we change the rules about WE and YOU any time it suits us. Have fun!”. And the beauty of the bait and switch is that it gets the user base comfortable with sharing information with each other. Why not, it’s fun to share. But then Facebook can change the default on that privately shared information from private to public as soon as it finds a market for the data. Then sell the information to highest bidder. And so long as they make the effort to hide previously private information difficult, but possible, they can still sell most of the data.  Enough of it to make some bucks on their (Not yours) valuable data.

I’m beginning to think the “private to public - bait and switch” IS their business model.

Frankly, they do create value for the users. I haven’t found a tool that works as well as theirs.  The network effect is amazing. You put a profile on and within a few months, you’ll reconnect with dozens of people you never thought you’d ever have contact with again.  It’s pretty amazing.

It’s too bad the owners are untrustworthy scumbags.


  1. It is an amazing network that they have built, and it seems that most everyone is willing to still be part of their user pool if that are not paying direct money out of their pocket for the service. It is becoming an interesting test of how much personal information people will give away in exchange for something they see as "free"--it seems like quite a bit.

  2. How about a section entitled "What's Wiebe Wearing"?

  3. Check out this NYT article about a new FB-like project: