Yesterday, I wrote about Facebook's newly-released News Feed and Mini Feed, and how I thought it was a good idea that could use some more customization to be a great new feature. I definitely didn't expect the overwhelmingly negative response that this would end up receiving. According to Michael Arrington, a group called "Students Against Facebook News Feed" has over 100,000 members and climbing. And there are plans for a boycott of Facebook on September 12. Comments on Digg range from apocalyptic predictions about the loss of privacy and employer/dean/government spying to lambasting the site based solely on its more cluttered look.
Mark Zuckerberg replied to this outrage, saying, "“Calm down. Breathe. We hear you.” and “We didn’t take away any privacy options.”
According to Facebook, a friend of mine (yes, a real one) added "changing my profile in minute and non-important ways to always appear at the top of your news feed" to her favorite interests. Beautiful.
And a psedo-friend of mine, who, yeah, I should probably un-friend since I don't care what she's doing, but now somehow everyone is becoming strangely more interesting, wrote a "note" saying, "facebook is creepy.creepy creepy creepy. gross. mark zuckerburg is gross," to which her friend replied something brilliant about a new feature that posts on your wall while you're using the bathroom. Oh, the things I never would have learned (but could have! but wouldn't have cared to!) without this feature.
I remain a supporter, and I agree with Michael Arrington's assertion that the break from reliance on page views is a great step for Facebook as it becomes more and more about providing content to its users and facilitating communication. This is the future, people. Get with it now, and learn how to protect yourself from the start. Believe me, this is just the beginning. Even if Facebook's News Feed doesn't take off (I expect people will soon warm to it), it's only a matter of time before someone else does it. And someone else. And someone else.
At least it isn't like what AOL just did.
In closing, a question:
Is it just me, or did everyone on Facebook break up yesterday?]
EDIT: It's exciting that my generation is so up in arms about privacy. But seriously, guys...ever hear of the U.S. Government? The Patriot Act? Wiretapping? Why can't 150,000 of us write to Washington instead of bitching about information that we chose to make available in the first place? Seriously.