Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Futile Facebook Revolt...

In the grandest of ironic democratic traditions, Facebook users have a history of protesting against the website's own policies on - where else? - Facebook itself. Well, it's happening again. Will the results be any different this time?

The latest row centers on Facebook's new re-design of its profile pages. Not everyone was thrilled with the new look-and-feel of their profile page, and because the change is mandatory, hundreds of users mobilized as part of a group called "1,000,000 to Vote Against the New Facebook" in protest against the mandatory changes.

There have been additional protest efforts undertaken as well. An online petition has been going around, and, on the hacktivism front, some developers have exploited a "backdoor" and created a software application to allow users to circumvent the new design and maintain the old one on their own profile page.

Facebook has a history of its users revolting in these types of ways against it. Users have previously revolted against Facebook's Beacon advertising system, as well as against the original inclusion of the News Feed on people's profile pages.

In both of those cases, despite the protests, Facebook did ultimately implement the changes they wanted, and users, in time, either just learned to live with them, or else, as is the case with the News Feed, even learned to love them.

Will that be the case again? My money's on yes.


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