Facebook is an impressive company, they’ve done and continue to do some very amazing things. And I admit I certainly didn’t see them coming 4 years ago. But okay, come on:
“No one wants to live in a surveillance society,” Zuckerberg adds, “which, if you take that to its extreme, could be where Google is going.”
Umm, seriously? I mean, sure, Google might be pushing us towards a surveillance society, but then, isn’t Facebook doing exactly the same thing? At least Google promises to remove your records after a certain period of time, whereas Facebook wants to keep your data forever for your friends’ sake. Interestingly, Zuckerberg repeatedly depicts other companies as potential evil entities, while Facebook is just the air your breathe, it could never be evil. So when the article points out that:
[Zuckerberg] has described Facebook as a once-in-a-century communications revolution, implying that he is right up there with Gutenberg and Marconi.
You have to stop and wonder… what if Gutenberg had said “here’s the printing press, but books can only be printed by me.” Or if Marconi had said “here’s the radio, all transmissions go through my central station, and I will relay them.”
Facebook is impressive, but in their model, all data goes through them. At least with Google, though they may keep my data for a while, I can switch search engines at any time. Yahoo is pushing the envelope every day. And Bing isn’t bad. But on Facebook, I can only do what Facebook is willing to let me do. So, if Google is a surveillance society, then Facebook is a surveillance society with a shock collar.
UPDATE: my metaphor at the end was slightly incomplete, so I tweaked it.