Friday, February 20, 2009

Networking With Facebook - Is It A Good Idea?

It seems everyone is networking with Facebook these days. And up to now most were happy with it.

FoxNews' "Facebook Membership May Be Forever" raises serious concerns over the security of what people put on this site.

CEO & founder Mark Zuckerberg's rebuttal to a flood of protests over a recent Terms Of Service update soothingly asked his 75 + million active members to, "Just trust us".

Here's what they're so upset about, starting with, "… you represent and warrant ..."

Despite claims this move beefs up corporate legal safety, most feel Zuckerberg's previous TOS gave Facebook ample litigation protection … without violating user rights.

Why the change?

In MLM this tactic is used to glean a list to sell to lead marketing outfits for fast cash. Other businesses also do this to stay afloat ... or get fat.

But is it right?

Everyone knows it's unethical to trick or talk others into signing their lives away. What does that say about this new contract?

Maybe there's no evil intent. But what about the Beacon issue?

Do I hear a familiar refrain? "Fool me once, shame om you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Quick growth often leads to money challenges, or worse yet … greed. Maybe that's the case here, maybe not.

If you want a private place to build on-line relationships, then maybe networking with Facebook is something you should hold off on. At least until respect replaces avarice.

I appreciate you,

Bill Tessore


Jamie said...

Hi Bill,

I just recently joined, probably a couple months back, with Facebook, and had heard on G4 (a tech and gaming television station) that they'd done some weird thing with their TOS, but wasn't sure what it was -was only partially paying attention- and had also in that segment, heard they'd pulled an about face on that. Have you heard anything of that?

Good article by the way. The way it reads to me, is that while I have the right to do so, it doesn't mean I have to do so.

If I have the right to do so, I also have the right to tell them hands off. I guess I'd have to actually put such a disclaimer on any content I actually submitted to the site, so they can't state their TOS demands it's "Facebook Domain", so to speak.

In any case, there's another site, that I socially network through, called (a 3D chat environment site, with home pages like myspace, but much more customizable) and they were trying to do things with their TOS that actually made it a "contract of adhesion", which is like a forced contract that actually would have no legal bearing, because no one with any sensible reasoning would agree to it.

I wonder if that applies. It might not in Facebook's case, because the site is different than IMVU, where-as IMVU essentially provides its users with a business model, in that they can become content creators.

Facebook really doesn't have any such built in end-user business model, which users might wind up getting "locked into" in order to provide their primary income.

In IMVU's case, there are lots of Developers that utilize their content creation to provide their primary income.

So to tell them "agree or leave" puts them in a "contract of adhesion" situation, whereby to leave, it actually impinges upon their primary income at that point.

I hope this is making sense. In any case, I don't agree with Facebook doing something like that, really.

In any case, this has gotten long enough. I do agree that in business, I believe that integrity, and ethical behavior should take priority. Perhaps the Facebook team needs to take a cue from the "cluetrain manifesto".

Be well Bill.


Bill Tessore said...

Hi Jamie,

Thanks for your insights. Admittedly I know nothing of, or the incident of the person's face being removed from the Facebook site.

Here is what I do know:

1. Entities like networking sites & MLM companies are "for profit" utilities. They are not offering the service for nothing.

2. Most such entities have no clue what it really takes for us to build the relationships that drive our businesses.

3. Because of #1 & #2 the people who operate these entities have different views of what is "ethical & proper".

As for your disclaimer idea, you can try it, but I believe there is a better way ...

I would beat the drum among those Facebookers that are discontented with this action until the company "sees the light" & makes a fair & reputable change.

Remember, we are the one's that give such entities their reason for living.

I appreciate you,

Bill Tessore