Facebook Has Ruined The Internet
In one particular way, at least
Im going old fogy on this one
The Internet, more specifically the World Wide Web, used to be about
something much different than it does in the post-Facebook era.
I suppose others have spoken up about this in other ways, like Anil Dash
for example. But my main point centers around Facebooks Like button.
The Like button has turned us all into brand advocates, into data
sharing societies (notice the plural), and allows Facebook to capitalize
on that. It allows Facebook to share our sharing with companies.
Some people are OK with that, and I must admit, at first I was too.
Im no longer OK with that.
Dont get me wrong, Google and other data monoliths are also part of
this camp in certain ways
but Facebook ruined the culture of the
Internet in several key ways that, when combined (not in individual
parts), make it unique:
1. Walled garden. You play in Facebook, by their rules.
2. By encouraging a lazy Like culture
where the Web itself was
about the comment, the dialogue, the one to many conversation.
3. By trying to be everything
the Web already was everything we
needed, we didn't need Facebooks rules for operating digitally.
We lost the Web, the valuable version of the web.
The web was meant to be open, not closed. Facebook is closed. The Like
button in particular closed the final loop, the psychological one.
The web wasn't meant to be an easy, plug n play, lazy type of media.
Facebooks Like button made our thoughts convenient, one-click,
and also turned our thoughts into leverage for their
The Web itself isn't going to take your thoughts and leverage them into
Now, before you start thinking this is an argument against
user-generated content, it isn't. Its also not an argument against
using the Web for commercial purposes.
I just think that, as a society, we have to change our models and
definition of how we profit from using the Web. Whoring out users data
for profit, specifically in the context of the data you dont publish
yourself, needs to be dropped as a business model.
I know, I know, forget that right? Big-data is already so pervasive we
cant do anything about it
I dont think so. I want my Web back, the one where sharing actually
dominated the conversation, not private data-arbitrage. I havent even
gotten into Like-fraud or Like-spamming (as Anil points out in the
video I linked to).
The Like button is a data-arbitrage button. To me, it destroys the
true value of the Web for our society. I would rather (and do) share
what I like myself, without Facebooks help.
NOTE: The Like button led to +1, which is also rather lazy
originator gets blamed. Tweet buttons, to me, perform a minimum function
of sharing a conversation
but Twitter isnt off the hook all the way