I believe this would be a good time to quote Billy Flynn in Chicago.
Give ‘em the old three ring circus
Stun and stagger ‘em
When you’re in trouble, go into your dance
Though you are stiffer than a girder
They’ll let you get away with murder
Razzle dazzle ‘em and you’ve got a romance
Think I’m being too hard on Facebook? One of the biggest complaints about the original round of changes was this line:
When you or others who can see your content and information use an application, your content and information is shared with the application. We require applications to respect your privacy, and your agreement with that application will control how the application can use, store, and transfer that content and information.
As you can imagine, people were concerned that this meant they weren’t in control of their own data. Here’s how Facebook has addressed these concerns:
Facebook is a social website and so is our Platform. Take Facebook photos – what has made Facebook photos so popular and useful is that they are social. You can tag your friends and share and interact about those photos easily.
The same is true for the apps on our Platform. Apps need data from friends to develop the social experiences they provide. That is the whole purpose of our Platform. It is all about connecting people to their friends through various types of apps on Facebook and off (on websites, mobile apps, etc.).
When you use apps on Facebook, you can bring the information others have shared with you to that app. This allows the app to make your experience social and more interesting and relevant to you.
So, what they’re saying is, this whole sharing of data is what makes Facebook fun! Anyone who doesn’t want to share their info isn’t very social, or interesting, or fun. You wouldn’t want to be a party-pooper would you? You wouldn’t want to be the person who forces Facebook to clamp down on data sharing because then no one will have any fun and it’ll be all your fault. Geez!
I’m convinced that Facebook has Billy Flynn on staff. Want to stop people from accessing your data through apps? No problem, simply locate the app info widget and uncheck the 17 boxes. Forbes shows you how.
The document continues to explain the changes they want to make to six other sections. I’m not going to review them all, you can click here to read them yourself.
The bottom line is, no matter what changes they make, people aren’t going to stop using Facebook. Most people don’t ever read the terms of service. They check the box and forge ahead then get a shock when their boss finds out that their beliefs didn’t entitle them to take off on Good Friday.
But before you give Facebook a total pass, look at this line from the top of the explanation page:
Unlike other Internet companies, we propose updates to our SRR and give our users an opportunity to comment before they go into effect.
Any company that feels comfortable taking a public swipe at their competitors deserves what they get in return.
What do you think? Is Facebook trying the old Razzle Dazzle or are they honestly trying to do what’s best for the users and / or themselves?