Monday, October 03, 2011

Operation Mess With Facebook

So, after reading this critique of Facebook's latest development effort, I could not help but be creeped out by this:
Yesterday, Facebook announced a pretty startling piece of strategy to go with their Timeline, it’s called OpenGraph. The idea is to collect things about you passively, so you can share effortlessly. The goal is to send everything you do, everywhere, on the Web, to Facebook.
First, one must understand that Facebook is all about collecting, connecting and selling data on you. What data? Everything. Period. They want to know, store and sell everything that you do from the time you are born (hello timeline) to the time you die. But most important, they want to know what you actually buy and aspire to buy. Of course, that is a marketing and sales manager's wet dream. Who knows were it will lead? Eventually, you could walk around with your smart phone logged into Facebook and have your location tracked (check in anyone?) to market directly too you something on your Amazon wish list.

Am I going to far? I don't think so. Riddle me this, batman. Why is Facebook worth billions? Information. Data. Marketing. Sales. Bonanza. With this OpenGraph, they have gone too far.

I guess it is time to launch Operation: Mess with Facebook.

Here is how it works. Since the goal is trackable data, the first step is to get rid of all your trackable information. Give Facebook your name and name only. Not your birthday, not your address, not your phone number, not where you work or where you were from. NOTHING. OK, you can give them your city or region, but make it as generic as possible. Of course, if you put all that into Facebook, they have it anyway. Remove it anyway. Make their job harder.

Oh, no check ins. Sorry. If you want your friends to know where you were, post the location in a normal way. No harm in showing some love for that Italian place on Washington Street, just don't do it via GPS.

  1. If you use Chrome, log into Facebook in an Incognito window. Firefox has a similar privacty mode. IE: who uses that browser? ;-)
  2. Start "liking" stuff. Everything. Mostly stuff you hate, but some things you like. You can inform all your friends that your "likes" are part of MWF.
  3. If you get physical junk mail, throw some "likes" their way.
Lastly, don't openly tag your posts as MWF, because Facebook will catch on. Of course, we'll change the name from time to time just to shake it up.

If anything, it will be fun just to mess with them for a change.