Question of the Week

Normally I take my questions from a book on questions that I have; this week’s question is straight from my head, though. Well, my  head and the heads of all my friends, from what I’ve seen online.

The question is… What the fuck, Facebook?

Between making the page hard to read (what’s new? do drunken spastic monkeys choose these top stories? where are my friends? I wish this ticker would die in a fire!) and even more privacy concerns (tracking off-Facebook activity, being able to see what your friends comment on their friends posts) and just general fuckery and ill will… really. What. The. Fuck. I want to love you, Facebook; you keep me in touch with many of my far-flung friends. But you’re making it awfully hard to love you.

As an addendum to that question… what about Google+? Is that any better, privacy-wise? I post more there to a select small group just so I can bitch about things slightly less publicly, but I have no doubt that someday everything I whine about will “accidentally” be made public and then boy won’t I look bitchy. Also, most of the people I know on Facebook aren’t on G+. Plus, G+ isn’t yet set up for businesses, so I don’t have a HaldeCraft page there like I do on Facebook. The HaldeCraft FB page is pretty interactive, so I don’t want to totally quit Facebook because of that. But again, most people aren’t on G+ yet. So do I post both places? Put pithy comments both places? Mostly ignore Facebook and use G+, because most of my best friends are on it? But my husband JUST got on Facebook! It’ll be years before he’s on G+! Gah. Oh, confunction.

What decisions are you coming to about Facebook? Do you have any thoughts on FB vs. G+? I’d love to hear them!


  1. Agree (eleventy).

    I’m moving more and more towards G+, but am concerned about it going through the same convulsions in a few years. What then? Diaspora? Heh.

    There was a slightly tongue-in-cheek proposal a few years ago that all the cool MAKE-inspired DIYers go take over the Shriners. Maybe we cool hipsters can do the same to Friendster.

  2. terry

    I hate it. It can go die in a Fire. A really big Fire. Not a campfire kinda fire but a huge Mrs. O’Leary style fire.

    I just can’t find shit on there anymore. I hate it.. again.. DIAF!

  3. I only go on FB on my phone, so I have no idea what my page looks like anymore. I keep hearing about a new page layout, but the last time I looked my page looked the same.

    I keep forgetting about G+ so I rarely go there. I suck at social media. 😀

  4. m9m

    I don’t have the new timeline/ticker thing yet. Nor do I want it. But I wonder about the “groups” thing. My dearest friends are all far away and mostly not related to me. I don’t need a group for school friends from 45 years ago. I don’t need a group for Baltimore people, who are mostly less close to me. At least G+ lets me decide exactly who I want to share with for any given post.

  5. Alice

    Somebody invited me to join G* which I did but have yet to use. FB is generally annoying. I lived without it for a long time and could continue to do that. Of course they can’t possibly know what’s important to me. So far every ‘improvement’ I see them create is mostly the opposite of what I’d want. But I don’t use it like other people so the whole mess is fairly easy to ignore. I don’t text, I don’t walk around with a cell phone glued to my ear, I don’t sit all day at my computer, I don’t use my twitter account. I’ve always been a little different from the crowd and hope to continue to be this way.

  6. Chantell

    Yeah seriously. WHAT. THE. FUCK. FACEBOOK? Why go and mess with a good thing. Things were all fine and dandy before Mark Zuckerberg had to go and fuck with things. I miss 90% of what happens on Facebook now because of the stupid groups things. NOTHING shows up on my feed anymore and I have to go to each individual group to find out what’s going on. General consensus? I hate it. However did you know that if you download Better Facebook for Safari you can stop some of the shit that Facebook is pulling? Like you can delete the live feed ticker thingy? Yeppers. Fo’ real yo! And you can get rid of the whole Top Story bullshit. I think I’ll stick with Facebook for now but if Zuckerberg doesn’t knock his shit off I’m jumping ship and heading to G+.

  7. Quinn

    I’ve never had Facebook. I’m so old school I use LiveJournal. Now I’m using that and G+. I just keep in mind that with G+, I am the product. I minimize that by only logging into G+ to check maybe twice a day, using ad block, locking all of my posts, and never staying logged into Google. It’s not much, but it’s what I can easily do.

  8. Sonya

    go look at Erin Halsey’s FB for a tip on how to fix the feed-within-feed and Top Story crap.

    Also, the “keeping track of what other sites you visit” thing is CREEPY and DO NOT WANT.

  9. AnneB

    I’m still trying to figure out if the ticker actually changes your privacy settings — I haven’t seen anything that convinces me it does. Any time I see that a friend has commented on one of their friend’s status updates or liked a photo or something — I have always been able to go to that individual’s profile and see the same update or photo, so the person is posting with at least a “friends of friends” privacy setting. I try to hide those items (but Facebook seems to have trouble successfully filtering) just cause I don’t want to see that much activity in the ticker — it becomes a flickering distracting shiny object. I haven’t seen anything suggesting that the ticker shows that my friend Pipsqueak has commented on the “friends only” status that Locomotive Breath (who isn’t my friend) just posted. So perhaps part of the issue is that it’s made us more aware of how far our default privacy settings really allowed our shared info to spread.

    I’ve been selecting the kind of updates I want to see from my friends and there are some benefits to being able to sort out the folks I only want to see their big stuff and some folks I want to see a lot of their activity. I’m clearing games, comments and likes, and other activity types for everyone. Again, I’m finding that Facebook has some problems filtering; I’ve cleared games on one friend’s update types, but was getting updates from a game until I specifically hid THAT game from the little control box on the post and I see comments and likes from people that I’ve cleared the comments and likes updates in the checklist. My ticker doesn’t zoom along quite as fast as it used to, however. I’m also not clear on how the settings for a group (list) interact with the settings for an individual — does the update types of the group override the individual settings or vice versa?

    I’ve been using Facebook friend lists to customize my postings for a while — the feature has been there longer than this most recent update. I’ve sorted friends into college contacts, Girl Scout contacts, friends of mine who are minors, contacts from the kids’ school, best friends, IRL friends, and even one that was every real person that I was friends with, so I could see updates without seeing updates from pages I liked. I would like more control over the “automatic” groups — like I really don’t need a group of people who work at Peachtree Software, where I was a tech writer until my daughter’s birth (FOURTEEN years ago, inconceivable). I don’t even know anyone working there any more.

    I’m on G+, but am not using it much. Most of the people I interact with aren’t there yet. I also find that the interactions I have going on Facebook take enough time — I don’t want to keep up with two sites that are equally busy.

    It’s been useful to be reminded, as Quinn points out, that we are the product. It’s our data being gathered and mined and sifted to produce targeted advertising. There are good possibilities to that and flat out scary possibilities to that. If what I’m voluntarily sharing can in fact help a company that I would be interested in supporting reach me, that’s good. If Facebook is practicing responsible privacy ethics in terms of what personal data is stored, for how long, and letting users control the types of personal data that is used and not collecting personally identifiable data that would also be good. I have my doubts there and that’s where it becomes scary. Apparently not scary enough to jump ship, however, although I have begun tightening up my security settings more and more.

    Lorena, I’d be interested to see if friends of yours still see if you comment on one of my posts, as a lot of my posts are now being set to “friends only” — I’d love another experiment sometime, when everyone is online at the same time. 🙂

    Good lord, I wrote a novel. Sorry!

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