Posted May 26, 2010 7:11 am by with 1 comment

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Facebook is certainly knee deep in the whole privacy thing now and the evidence can be seen in what they are busy trying to accomplish in Washington, DC. Of course, the best way to manage this kind of delicate issue is to do things in a way that does not draw attention to yourself from the nation’s capitol but that shipped sailed long ago for Facebook.

As a result they are busy trying to show the folks in DC who can make live rather miserable for them that they are not all that bad as a company. Even though the founder and CEO went and wrote a ‘letter’ in the Washington Post apologizing for their actions this is starting to look worse and worse for Facebook. Honestly, it’s simply their own fault so I guess they will get what they paid for.

Mashable reports

Most Facebook users have no idea that the social network giant has a D.C. office full of lobbyists and policy wonks. But that office will be staging a Congress staffers-only briefing this week to address issues of — you guessed it — user privacy.

Like any major corporation that plays footsie with public and private data, large amounts of money, mergers and acquisitions, and other hallmarks of big business, Facebook must stay abreast of policy changes and try to influence legislators in its favor.

To help with the launch of its “new suite of simpler and easier-to-use privacy tools,” Facebook is inviting House and Senate staff to the Capitol Visitors Center to “learn about what these tools mean for your constituents and the future of sharing online.” The briefing will take place on Thursday, May 27 at 4 p.m. ET and will include a Q&A.

This is not exactly coming from a position of power since it is obvious that Facebook is going into ‘save’ mode and trying to calm the storm that they have allowed to spin out of control. It is awful nice of the folks at Facebook to include a live Q & A for the DC crowd and not do it through a newspaper like they did for the people who are most impacted by their actions.

I know there are plenty of social media industry people in high places that want to protect their relationship with a rich guy like Mark Zuckerberg but since I am not one of them I can speak freely.

Here’s my take. Facebook is run by an arrogant group of people that don’t really care much about the privacy or anything of their users. They want and need to make money from this huge user base they have amassed and they figure that the very group they depend upon is just a herd of dumb sheep that will do whatever their shepherd (that being Facebook) tells them and they won’t complain. From a business standpoint Facebook’s underestimation of its users’ ability to think for itself has exposed what the company was founded on: we need to get ours no matter what the cost to others.

That’s not much different than many other companies, really, but most of those companies have not built a huge user base on a lie and then turned their back on it and then act as if they should ‘just play along’.

As far as I can tell, the people who may be the most ignorant are those running Facebook. Otherwise, how do you explain the ‘palms up with a shrug of the shoulders’ approach to being what amounts to playing social media’s three card monty game with their users’ privacy?

I may be out of line or over the top but this is my opinion and I am sticking with it. What’s your take?