Like I Needed Another Reason Not to Use Facebook!Written by Casper Manes on January 16, 2013
There’s a reason why I am bringing this up here. There were a small handful of articles online that I saw this week which caught my eye, all of which seem to indicate that Facebook is working on monetizing spam to see just how much they can make off it.
The first was an article on CNN that mentions Facebook is experimenting with the concept of paid messages. According to the article most spam is delivered to Facebook users’ “Other” folder rather than their Facebook inbox. Facebook is looking into how much someone outside your network would be willing to pay to guarantee their message gets to your primary Facebook inbox.
Salon.com has more on this story. In this article, they mention that last month Facebook did announce they were experimenting with a US $1 charge to guarantee delivery. Now, a Mashable article mentioned in the Salon post shows where a user had the “opportunity” to deliver a message to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for the bargain price of $100. That’s quite a racket they have going on there. Facebook can make a buck per message delivering spam to you, but it will cost you $100 to complain to their CEO!
But wait, there’s more! Forbes this week reported that recently passed revisions to the Video Privacy Protection Act now means that if you opt in to sharing your viewing history, services like Netflix will be able to share your entire video watching history with others. Netflix and Facebook were the dominant lobbyists pushing for these revisions.
I’m a huge Netflix fan, and there’s nothing in their catalog I would feel awkward explaining to my parents that I had watched, but while I am perfectly okay with my friends seeing that Lost, Babylon 5 and Breaking Bad are all in my viewing history, I really don’t want the world to know that I also watched the entire Twilight series. Twice. Oops. I’ll edit that out of this post later.
Of course, Facebook is a for-profit enterprise, and is well within their rights to do as they please, as long as they update their terms of service. Users have the option to stop using Facebook at any time, much the way smokers can quit at any time they want to. For me, I spend a great deal of time and energy making sure I don’t get spam in my email inbox. Why would I want to use a service that is just going to make money ensuring that spam gets to me when I use them? If you are a Facebook user, be aware of what is going on. If you are a Netflix user, make sure you opt-out of their information sharing.