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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  • "Vendor lock-in" is where users cannot access their data directly and are locked into a particular service. For many years, Facebook employed this method by not allowing you to manage your own personal data, delete it or extract it from the site. External plugins were banned and some developers were sent cease-and-desist letters.

    Since, however, Facebook has opened its platform up further to allow users to download their data and to port it to another service, should they wish to. 

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

  • Not only were breastfeeding images banned and censored on the site, there have been cases where words in searches were limited and restricted -- even the word "privacy" itself.

    This has raised questions over censorship. There have been a number of cases where pages belonging to websites and businesses have been seemingly arbitrarily deleted or suspended because of a single complaint, with the complainant 'holding the keys' to effective ransom

    But various countries around the world have also blocked access to the site for fear that it could incite protests, as seen in the 2011 North African Revolutions.

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

  • One user of Facebook managed to collect and seed on the torrent networks over 100 million users' public data; data that is available for 'everyone' to view. This caused outrage towards Facebook, with many realising the scope and breadth of how much of one's personal data is made accessible by the site.

    Arguably, though the data was seeded to torrents, the data was available to see on Facebook without a username and password to even access the site. But it caused enough of a stir for Facebook to readjust its privacy settings.

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

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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@...