I've been a Facebook user since 2007. I've always really liked it because back then the only real alternative was MySpace which, to this date, it
looks like a zombified, more bloated version of Geocities. Privacy was never an issue to me: I've always shared what I wanted to share, I knew my
information was public (because I specifically configured my profile to be pubilc) so I've always had control on the information I was putting out
there. However today Facebook has crossed a line for me.
Back in 2007 and up until recently you could become "fan" of things. Quickly this function was used (at least in the Hispanic community, I don't
know about the rest) in a humorous way. In Facebook I'm fan of a lot of things such as "eat a hotdog, travel to the future and die at arrival",
"men who carry their daughter's pink backpack", etcetera. I've created a number of pages such as this including "discussing art, history and
society while being absolutely drunk", which quickly had more than 20.000 fans. Lately Facebook changed their "become a fan" option to simply a
"like" button. The reason was simple: an user may not want to become a fan of Coca-Cola but will surely "like" it.
Then it became more and more difficut to create a page. Now you have two options: you can create a page for a product, a brand, an organization or a
public figure (although you have to be an official agent of it), or you can create a "community" page, whose definition was never made clear by
Facebook. Creating a community page it's almost impossible because Facebook prevents you to use virtually any sort of name. It's never clear which
word is preventing you to create a page but regardless what you write you get an error most of the time.
The page I mentioned before was categorized as a community page. However today I got my posting privileges revoked because the page is apparently
breaking the T&C of Facebook Pages. I've read the T&C and I fail to see which rule I'm breaking so I said to myself "I should write costumer
service to ask them".
Then I remembered: Facebook doesn't have any sort of costumer service. I already knew that because in the past I needed help and couldn't find any
sort of resource within Facebook. The only thing you can do is browse the "help" section which is per se absolutely useless and will most likely not
respond to the question you're having. At most, if you're persistent, you can find a form to write your problem in and just have faith that someone
will read it (not respond to it; you'll never get a response unless you're writing on behalf of a company).
My point is this: Facebook is slowly changing it's direction and it now pays more attention to companies than to users. In the near future the
network purpose will be to make people connect with companies in order for them to make more money, whilest users will have their freedom more and
more limited. Since I'm the one pushing contents into Facebook (because without users Facebook would be absolutely nothing except for empty space) I
will not tolerate to have my freedom reduced in order to make more room to companies.
Some people believe Facebook is invincible and it will be around forever. It will not. Powerful social networks and communities have come and go since
the beggining, the only difference is that Facebook has pissed their users more quickly than any other network I'm aware of. The only reason why
Facebook is still powerful is because there's still no other alternatives. It is said that Google is working on a social network, and also next month
it will be launch of Diaspora which is an open source, personally controlled social network. These options will, I have no doubt, mark the beggining
of Facebook death.
Thanks for listening, I needed to vent