A friend of mine recently called Mark Zuckerberg “annoying”. He's more than annoying to me. I think he's a dick. Not content to be rich and powerful, he's always looking for more and more money, and more and more power. I think his underlying hostility cannot help but fuck with people. Following people's internet activity after they log off facebook? And not anonymously? Providing a useful and habit forming service and then, once people are "hooked", changing and manipulating the service so that the more people are invested in it, the more committed they are to going a long with the next change and the next and the next?
Facebook changes benefit facebook and only marginally you and me. People get used to or hooked on this site. They literally need it, and so become apologists for whatever facebook does, always downplaying facebook's dark side. But facebook is basically mining and selling data. Maybe it's just to advertisers...but maybe it's to the police, or the military, or insurance companies, or...? Would you honestly put it past them to not do any of these things?
Most services like facebook are simply too large to be for the greater good. Some sites are very cool. They provide a real service to people and the people behind the site make money, but not in the billions. In order to make something as big as facebook you HAVE to be in league with some pretty dark forces. Saints generally don't end up billionaires. I realize that this is true of many of the companies that run things on the net, but I do think diversification gives the individual a small measure of control and flexibility in the face of these fuckers. I don't recommend putting all of your social networking or socializing into one basket, especially one created by a dick who never stops looking for something to fuck with.
I don't hate fb by the way. And I don’t hate Zuckerberg. He’s obeying his nature and so am I. I just don't trust him or facebook and I'm finding it less useful by the day. It’s his toy and no one forced me to use and like it. He's free to do whatever he wants to with it. Just as I'm free to move on, which I will be doing at some point in the near future.
Meanwhile, I am spreading my internet presence between my website, my youtube channel, my Flickr page, my email list, and this blog. I’m also gradually replacing my facebook content with detours to these sites. Should anyone decide to start a non-profit open source social media network that is simple, useful and doesn’t change constantly, I’m ready to jump ship anytime.