Trying to figure out what all the Facebook fuss is about? Considering signing off of Facebook for the last time yourself? Here's a video roundup of the Facebook fiasco, courtesy of Greater Boston (and featuring our own Chuck Tanowitz):
Chuck I think makes a very good point: "Facebook is a business and it's sitting on a treasure trove of valuable information ... demographic data that the advertising industry has been asking for for generations." As the Australian Broadcast Corporation's Stilgherrian points out:
Facebook's business model is best served by exposing your personal information as widely as possible. To advertisers, so they can target advertising more accurately and pay more for the privilege. To other users, to encourage them to share more as well. To search engines, to bring more traffic to Facebook. To anyone who wants to pay.
If you want a better understanding of how Facebook makes money, incidentally, Nicholas Carson has a good, short write-up.
PC World's Brenon Slattery summed it up perfectly:
Facebook has had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month, and it's only getting worse.
Where to start? E-mails leaked, private IM conversations exposed, apps sneaking into profiles, creepy geolocation additions -- the worries mount. It's hard to distinguish what Facebook is actually doing right.
This has supposedly led to what some are characterizing as a mass exodus from Facebook. While it's true that the 6,000+ committed quitters of May 30th's quitfacebookday.com have been joined by some technology thought leaders like Engadget co-founder Peter Rojas, podcaster Leo Laporte, comedian and The Onion editor Baratunde Thurston and ZDNet columnist Jason Perlow, as ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick points out, "it's hardly a torrent of quitters in the face of more than 400 million Facebook users."
Until there are real live alternatives, users will simply take steps to regain a little more control over their privacy, and wait to see what Facebook (or the government) does.