Facebook's greatest controversies and biggest foul-ups

Facebook's greatest controversies and biggest foul-ups

Summary: A run down of some of the most controversial decisions or actions by Facebook, including some of their biggest mistakes to date.

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  • Facebook hired a public-relations firm to plant anti-Google stories in the media relating to user privacy policies. It, however, backfired when a blogger approached by the PR firm published the emails that were sent to him, exposing the operation.

    Some say that it was "perfectly reasonable" for Facebook to make such claims, while others are questioning why Google was the target in the first place. The PR firm even offered to 'help' the blogger write the story; for which many journalists will be aware of exists in regular occurance.

    It didn't detract away from Facebook's privacy policies, however, with many arguing 'pot calling the kettle black'.

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    For more on Facebook, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column, or Emil Protalinski's Friending Facebook column.

  • With over 600 million users on the site, it is difficult to find anyone under the age of 30 -- or even 50 -- who isn't on the social networking site. But when outages and upgrades kick off, so do the users of the site; many of which were frustrated and angered by the sudden change without warning to many of the layouts and user interface.

    There have been so far 5 major redesigns, all of which have caused much controversy amongst the users of the site -- but over time many have simply learned to live with it. 

    But though there have not been many major outages of the site, there have been a few -- such as the forced-downtime when internal prototypes were leaked by accident

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    For more on Facebook, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column, or Emil Protalinski's Friending Facebook column.

  • Facebook allows "useful social experiences" outside Facebook by giving certain information to third-party services and websites. It could allow better targeted advertisements and hand over your data to others outside Facebook without your prior consent as it is turned on by default for all users.

    There is, however, a way to disable it. Even as of today, many still cannot. It does make other websites more presentable and personal, but many have already said they do not want this in the first place.

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    For more on Facebook, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column, or Emil Protalinski's Friending Facebook column.

Topics: Google, Legal, Social Enterprise

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9 comments
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  • RE: Facebook's greatest controversies and biggest foul-up's

    Well what difference does it make if they tell us. They still have to give it to them from a subpoena anyway? What do you want them to do. Get consensus from 500 million users first? Its kind of common sense. This is not a controvertible or foul up on Facebooks part but a foul up on the writers part. Besides Facebook has a much larger problem with spams / scams and viruses. Besides if your a legitimate user on facebook then what the hell you scared of if the police search facebook. If your legit then your profile will get passed by. I'm no Facebook superfan but you don't win any pissing contests with misinformation.
    MisstreeGB
    • RE: Facebook's greatest controversies and biggest foul-up's

      @MisstreeGB Then why not just let them take everyone's DNA and fingerprints while they're at it. If you're a law abiding citizen then what's the problem there?
      America. The land of the free to have your rights trampled on.
      SoreHead
    • YOU + ARE = YOU'RE

      @MisstreeGB<br>"Besides if your a legitimate user on facebook"<br><br>If your WHAT is a legitimate user?<br><br>That's even worse than the glaring error in this story's headline.
      dgurney
      • RE: Facebook's greatest controversies and biggest foul-up's

        @dgurney "GOTTA LUV IT"!!! HILARIOUS!!!
        DollBadBaby
  • RE: Facebook's greatest controversies and biggest foul-up's

    They'll do it on request ... that is, without a subpoena. The issue is of privacy, not wrongdoing. Government is supposed to abide by rule of law (getting subpoenas and writs before putting a person under investigation or accessing records). They don't because no one holds them accountable to it, and they've reinforced that de facto surrendering of rights with the Patriot Act and subsequent issues. It's like copyright: if you don't challenge a violation, you have no claim to the right.
    scirath
    • RE: Facebook's greatest controversies and biggest foul-up's

      @scirath Its right in Facebooks TOS that they will cooperate with requests though so you are forewarned. Your right to privacy from law enforcement and others ends right there. If you don't agree with their TOS then you are not supposed to make a profile on Facebook. You only have to worry about privacy in my opinion if your doing wrong (bullying stalking child porn fraud etc) if your not doing any wrong then you obviously have nothing to worry about.
      MisstreeGB
      • RE: Facebook's greatest controversies and biggest foul-up's

        @MisstreeGB We're supposed to be the ultimate watchdogs of government. If we fail in that, well ... there's a reason people are concerned.<br><br>You may wish to read the article mentioned, BTW. It's long (92 pages), but it does give a clearer indication as to what the blog is specifically commenting on.<br><br><a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1782267" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1782267</a>
        scirath
      • RE: Facebook's greatest controversies and biggest foul-up's

        @MisstreeGB Awesome kilts, BTW.
        scirath
  • RE: Facebook's greatest controversies and biggest foul-up's

    If you don't want facebook to give away your data, then don't give it to them. That TOS is enough to ensure I'll never post anything of any significance. Especially troubling is the line that says "This may include sharing information with other companies...". Companies? forget it!!
    dkerber@...