Reason #208 NOT to use Facebook

February 25, 2013

Media theorist Douglas Ruchkoff has decided to quit Facebook.  Hard to believe it took him so long, but some of his reasons are worth repeating:

“It actively misrepresents us to our friends, and worse misrepresents those who have befriended us to still others … Facebook does not exist to help us make friends, but to turn our network of connections, brand preferences and activities over time — our ‘social graphs’ — into money for others …

“The true end users of Facebook are the marketers who want to reach and influence us. They are Facebook’s paying customers; we are the product. And we are its workers. The countless hours that we — and the young, particularly — spend on our profiles are the unpaid labor on which Facebook justifies its stock valuation …

“That innocent mention of cup of coffee at Starbucks, in the Facebook universe, quickly becomes an attributed endorsement of their brand. Remember, the only way to connect with something or someone is to “like” them. This means if you want to find out what a politician or company you don’t like is up to, you still have to endorse them publicly …

“Through a new variation of the Sponsored Stories feature called Related Posts, users who “like” something can be unwittingly associated with pretty much anything an advertiser pays for. Like e-mail spam with a spoofed identity, the Related Post shows up in a newsfeed right under the user’s name and picture. If you like me, you can be shown implicitly recommending me or something I like — something you’ve never heard of — to others without your consent.

None of this is new to those of you who have read my previous reasons not to use FB, but it is good to point out that others are beginning to realise the danger that FB poses.