Check the terms and conditions…

If you’ve been on any news site today you surely can’t have failed to spot an article about Facebook removing any non Facebook email addresses from your contact page, and replacing it with your username@facebook.com email address. Did you feel outraged, violated and used? How dare Facebook do this to you? In fact, how dare Facebook do anything that you don’t like, from changing the timeline, layout, how you engage and connect and view your connections and likes? How dare they.

Before you wipe that froth from your mouth, I think you should check the terms and conditions. You’re not going to like this, Facebook own you! When it comes down to it, when you get something for ‘free’, you are the product, being sold on to those who want to know more about your likes and dislikes, in order to tailor their marketing campaigns to you. You are effectively a sheep, being fed grain by a farmer. You eat the grain. Then the farmer changes the grain to fatten you up and get you behaving differently so that he can get a better price for you at the market.

Now, as a marketeer I don’t think this is a bad thing (the getting customer information part, not the sheep part), and Facebook is just a conduit for connecting products to customers however if you object, you can always leave…

…except you can’t. You may have noticed over the past few weeks that you’ve suddenly got about 10 more friends. Have a look through your friends list. Can you see friends of Facebook past who ‘deleted’ their profiles? You can’t actually view their profiles however Facebook have helpfully kept their profile on life support, ready for the day when your friend returns.

Epilogue:

I noticed this about a month ago and I really wish I’d written about it at the time, so that I could have ridden the wave of moral outrage and generated some serious traffic for my humble blog. Oh well, next time eh!  

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