Facebook's oversharing flap: Much ado for tech news junkies only?

Facebook's oversharing flap: Much ado for tech news junkies only?

Summary: Are the concerns about Facebook oversharing issues with news apps valid for the masses? Maybe not.


Facebook's penchant for sharing everything you read via its Open Graph news apps have caused quite a weekend stir. However, I wonder how far this flap goes beyond tech insiders and news junkies.

CNet News' Molly Wood set off a bit of a fire storm by noting that Facebook is ruining sharing. In a nutshell, she doesn't want to click on any links on Facebook because they are broadcast to her friends. Chances are you've seen stuff a friend has read because they installed a news reader app from the Washington Post, Yahoo or a bevy of others.

On Techmeme, the Facebook seamless sharing parade is well underway. Robert Scoble notes the Facebook freaky line. There are posts about curation and how Facebook's "seamless sharing" is just wrong. Also see: Facebook Open Graph news apps have two major problems

But a funny thing happened on the way to the oversharing backlash---I'm seeing little of it among my non-tech friends. I haven't installed any of these news apps because I don't feel like sharing everything I click on---it's stupid. And frankly I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if most average folks refrain from these news apps. Some have fallen for music apps that broadcast everything they listen to, but that's what the unsubscribe option is for.

This screen of the Washington Post app tells the tale. Three friends---all in the news business in some fashion---have the app. "Normal" people aren't going for it.

Could it be that techies fell for all of Facebook's Open Graph revolution at the F8 developer powwow and are now realizing it's a rathole? Could it also be that the average Facebook user saw the slippery slope right away?

Facebook obviously wants you to share every waking moment of your life and put those transactions on autopilot. One way to avoid this oversharing problem is to skip the Facebook apps. Another sure fire way to put the oversharing flap to rest is to skip Facebook---or at least put it in its place---and perhaps do something else with your time.

Topic: Social Enterprise

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  • RE: Facebook's oversharing flap: Much ado for tech news junkies only?

    To be honest, I use Facebook but never actually "liked" facebook ... I don't have the need to "share" what I do but well, it's a society thing I guess ...

    It's the same with cell phones, I remember those sweet times when mobile did not exist and when I was not near my hardline I couldn't be reached... and well, not being able to be reached was all fine for me... now anyone can call me at any time, and yes you can disable your phone but then you get questions as in "why did you not pick up" blablabla ... If I could help it, mobile phones and facebook, netlog, myspace etc are gone without even thinking about it..
  • RE: Facebook's oversharing flap: Much ado for tech news junkies only?

    Most of the stuff the industry gets fired up about is very incestuous and doesn't get out of the Silicon Valley super geek set much.

    Your assessment is spot on and I wish it was just this one case of the industry over-reacting but there will be more just this week I am sure. Honestly, it's getting a little old, this race to say something provocative that will "set people off". It's just creating busy work for people. But you nailed it.....I have a choice so I should exercise it right?

    Thanks for being honest and not towing the industry line.
  • RE: Facebook's oversharing flap: Much ado for tech news junkies only?

    >and perhaps do something else with your time

    Such as not writing about it? And yes, I'm aware of the irony that I am doing so.
  • RE: Facebook's oversharing flap: Much ado for tech news junkies only?

    I think the fuss is justified; sure, this particular app may have limited appeal; but using apps to spam your friends and/or steal your email address is a bad move by facebook, and if unchallenged, the same scam will pop up in other - more 'mainstream' apps.

    Interesting how Google's use of aggreghated (non-personal) data is always wotrth a news story, but some suggest that FB's much more evil use of personal data should be quietly brushed under the carpet.

    FB is constantly testing what they can get away with, while simultaneously pointing the finger at others. They are a slimey little operation, let's face it.
  • Too Much cCutter

    The problem with the sharing is that now it adds clutter - both visually and timewise. If you have just a 20 people each reading 10 articles you now have to scan 200 ITEMS - even if a fast reader going through it, that means 20 minutes are effectively wasted just trying to keep up.

    Course if you have 200 people in your friends and each one has read 20 articles you just have wasted around 5 HOURS just scanning the "read" articles etc - and not even reading the articles themselves!

    You HAVE to ignore all that just to keep up - in effect it becomes like "banner blindness" - you have to tune it out to keep up with the rest.

    Its a "feature" in search of a need. A programmer said " hey we can do this" so they did. regardless if it adds value. And of course most things FB does they never really look at the long term impact upon users - that is NOT what programmers do. They program to suspected requirements and the rest is someone else's problem to solve (if they ever bother to "solve" these problems at FB!)
  • RE: Facebook's oversharing flap: Much ado for tech news junkies only?

    It's easy to simply disable ALL apps in Facebook -- that's what I've done. I don't allow anything access to any of my information. Everyone should do that and then... problem solved.
  • RE: Facebook's oversharing flap: Much ado for tech news junkies only?