Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Facebook, I don't need to know that.

So MySpace is the rage right now, but the social networking site I use most is Facebook. It's got a clean interface, without all the flashy, wannabe-javascript-junkie crap on MySpace.

Or at least it used to.

The other day, Facebook implemented a new "feature." The Facebook News Feed. The Feed shows you when you log in a summary of every action any of your Facebook friends made over the last few days. It shows who joined what groups, who became friends with whom, who posted pictures of what, who changed what in their profile, and even who wrote what on anyone's wall. There is also a "Mini-Feed" in your profile, which shows all of your friends what your other friends are doing.

Simply put, I don't need to see this. Ever. If I'm curious as to who did any of these things, I'll take a look at that friend's profile and see for myself. Facebook, I ask you not to clutter my screen space with junk I don't care about.

A number of Facebook users have complained about an invasion of privacy, going so far as to make Facebook a tool for stalkers. I wouldn't say that much; the information is public, and posted on the web. Only logged in members who are your friends can see your Feed.

That said, I think users should at least be given the option of both disabling the Feed on login, and hiding the Mini-Feed from their profile. It isn't an invasion of privacy, but I understand why users (myself included) wouldn't want that much shown off so blatantly.

The Facebook communinity has responded; a number of protest groups have been created. I recommend joining Students against Facebook News Feed (Official Petition to Facebook). I'd also recommend signing the petition to revert Facebook back or add a hide option. And of course, express your complaints to Facebook's feedback page.

Even if you personally like the new Feed feature, for the rest of us, please help fight for the option to hide it. After all, that's what a community does.


By the way, Facebook Me!

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