thoughts and observations of a privacy, security and internet researcher, activist, and policy advisor

Monday, November 26, 2007

Facebook as a Government

Fred Stutzman has a very thoughtful post on the recent "innovations" at Facebook and what they do to the relationship between the brand and the users:
Facebook's brand represents a place, that place being a virtual community made up of our friends, family and contacts. To put it more bluntly, at the macro level, we're brand agnostic when it comes to social network sites - we go where our friends are. Over the years, we've reified the commodity nature of these networks, migrating every few years. (...)

So if we really imagine Facebook as a collection of our friends, what does the brand entity of Facebook represent? The brand entity of Facebook is governmental; the only time one interacts with Facebook as entity is when they are being controlled or punished. Facebook as brand represents surveillance and domination.
Read the rest here. And read his other pieces on Facebook's "Beacon":
Users will be forced to realize that their Facebook identity "follows" them through the web. As a result, Facebook users will be forced to reevaluate all of their activities on the social web. (...) Terrell Russell summed it up nicely: The social web now has landmines. When we browse sites, we're forced to wonder "Will this show up in Facebook."

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