After Facebook’s latest shenanigans, the Timeline stuff, and the possibility that they may ‘lock’ access to past files, so that, for instance, if you loaded a picture in 2011, you might not be able to remove it—a situation hinted at in the letter they gave Jane about the ability to remove anything you don’t want displayed— That could simply mean that things will show up on your Timeline you don’t want revealed; or it could mean you can edit up to mid August, and then past mid-August might not be so accessible.
All of which is a debatable interpretation, and will be proven in a few days one way or the other. But do you know? I’ve stopped caring. I’ve stopped trying to figure out what they’re up to now. For us, we have been through just one Facebook upheaval too many, and Jane and I made the decision to pull our presence out of FB for all but the most commercial of purposes.
We are ‘content creators.’ IE, our income comes from creating content. I’ll contribute freebie writing to truly fannish or friendly places I like, and my area on Facebook tried to be that, but looming over the whole affair is a very mercenary operation that I’m not sure I want to support, or pose myself as an ‘attraction’ for the benefit of Facebook’s bottom line. Facebook encourages people, with their pretense of warm-fuzzies and benefit to the user, to reveal their politics, their religion, their family members, their pets, their sexual preferences, for gosh sake! their relationships, their friends AND their friends’ email addresses, things you would NEVER post on line…and then they have, along with Amazon, apparently subscribed to the novel legal concept that if they insert a clause stating they have the right to change the agreement they make with you to their advantage without notice—[I can't wait til that concept comes before the Supreme Court, but it's going to take a lawsuit by somebody with funds to carry it through]—it’s legal.
The agreement used to say that they don’t sell certain information. Now, if you look carefully, they’ve modified that statement in the personal options section to read that they don’t sell that now, but may in future. And think about it! getting you to update and recheck those little blanks that they’ve voided with a ‘software update’ is also a way of resetting the legal clock and getting you to ‘sign’ their new terms with that pernicious statement in it.
I don’t appreciate such goings-on. It would be bad enough if it were social-only and a bit of fun.
But our livelihood depends on our income from what we create in words and image, and we are giving them no way to claim any ownership of what we write or paint or photograph, and we are not going to sit there attracting more members into their sticky spiderweb.
So I went through and very carefully swept our backtrail, removing images and information and doing everything but closing out the account. I had to ask myself what to do about ‘friend’ requests, and after a little soul-searching, I decided to go ahead granting them until I hit the 5000-friend wall and can’t take any more.
Interestingly in today’s news Facebook is worried about its nearly 10% of ‘fake’ accounts, accounts of duplicate name, accounts for pets, and alternate identities. Facebook is always up to something. I weary of trying to figure what, precisely, but I very much doubt this new concern portends anything of advantage to their users, and something much more of advantage to the marketability of the information they are finagling out out their members.
Some people say, oh, get one of the ‘cleaner’ programs that reverts your display to pre-Timeline format, or that cleans out your ‘like’ list. Reports from one user says that her computer now locks every time she attempts to view a Timeline-style account, a condition that will only get worse as Facebook puts everyone on Timeline, perhaps as early as mid-August; and other users say that people who think they’ve cleaned out their ‘likes’ with such programs are mistaken: the ‘likes’ are masked from view, but not masked from Facebook admin level, so they can still be sold—and these, in my own opinion, are about as good as flying a “Spam Accepted!” flag. They call it ‘tailoring ads to what a viewer will like.” I don’t like ads at all, even for what I like. So I erased each and every one of them. Jane has left a little more of her stuff there than I have, by choice, but we are through with the site, except for what commercial use we can derive from it for ourselves.
So if you need us, find us here. I did get used to doing a little science and writing commentary while ‘there.’ And I’m going to try it out here. Which may or may not last, depending on my mood, or just what comes to my attention.
For our new folk on the blog, if you wish to de-lurk and comment, welcome. You have to join to comment—which keeps spam out of this site—and if you want an avatar that isn’t a space alien, go to gravatar.com and set up your avatar there. That avatar will then appear on this site, on Jane’s site, and on Lynn’s, or any other WordPress site, all for the one entry. We don’t sell lists, don’t spam, and don’t flame. The only rule is—be courteous and don’t talk politics. This is, in effect, my living room, and I defend its tranquility. Sit back, have a cuppa, be welcome, and enjoy the company.