Give it a break

I’m a lawyer. I do a lot of my work on behalf of a decidedly unprivileged segment of society. So this comment is a tad out of character for me, at least as far as the sort of entity on behalf of which I’m advocating – that Facebook behemoth.

The fulcrum of social networking is being subjected to ever-increasing amounts of flack, mostly, but not exclusively, over the issue of “privacy”. Let’s start with that. Does anyone who signs on to Facebook really fail to appreciate they are signing into a place the primary purpose of which is to disseminate information that they’re voluntarily providing to others? (OK, that’s probably largely rhetorical.)┬áSome of the noise is roughly equivalent to taking up boxing, then complaining when you get punched in the face.

Does anyone bother to read the “terms of use” agreement? (OK, that’s definitely rhetorical. But what it amounts to is the legal notion of willful blindness.) Translation: YOU provide the information; WE figure out what we want to do with it. Why? Well, we provide the free service; you can decide if you want to participate.

Yeah, I know that various government privacy agencies are expressing “concerns” about Facebook privacy “policies”. But, don’t forget these largely window-dressing agencies really don’t do much of anything and have to periodically get in the news to justify their existence. Remember George Radwanski?

The other kerfuffle surrounds periodic rumors that Facebook will “soon become” a pay for service entity, despite repeated denials by Facebook that it’s in the works. Let’s say they’re lying. If you don’t like paying for the service,…,leave. End of problem. Is there anything that says that something that started out being delivered for free, has to stay that way?

Facebookery has its costs. Don’t feel like paying them? Don’t play.

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