The Facebook Empire

This article was originally posted at the I Shared What?!? blog on 9 March 2011.

Noting Facebook’s continued and expanded efforts to “drive external content in, own that content per its user guidelines, and continue exploiting users’ data,” Geoff Livingston has taken a stand: The Facebook Empire Ends Here. In a move that could be characterized as being “user driven,” Livingston says to his readers and commenters:

As an Internet user and reader of this blog, it’s time to make some commitments to you. These new [Facebook] commenting tools will not be implemented on this blog. Your comments will not appear in Facebook unless you want to post them there. Your privacy and information remains safe, per the site’s privacy guidelines. When you share a post here on Facebook, it is intentional, not because you gave a post a thumbs up.

He continues:

The attitude that this and many other blogs should be an extension of Facebook was just disturbing. Facebook wants all of the conversation and activity on the Internet to occur on its social network. If this is what readers want, they should feel welcome to share the link and have the conversation. Yet, owning all commentary on this site takes empire building one step too far.

Interestingly, he does use certain Facebook buttons to allow his users the option of carrying his points to the reader’s desired platform. His post has 15 Likes and 104 Shares on Facebook as of the time of this writing.