Saturday, May 12, 2012

Facebook and financing a new Vikings stadium: it's a messy world

My Facebook stream has been telling me what my friends read and the movies they watch. 

So far, nothing too surprising.  I'm tempted to click on some of them.

Some of them are click-safe. Others are wee traps. By clicking on them I'm authorizing the apps to share some of the things I read or watch. Robert Wright at The Atlantic has the details.

Take a friend's whale video for example. His post doesn't look like an "app post". There's no "hide this app" option for it. Alas, those cues are so 2011. Apps are more covert now. When I click on the link I get this this dialog from ""

Screen shot 2012 05 12 at 12 56 36 PM

Note the blue button doesn't say "run this app". It says "Okay, Watch Video". 

If I did click it however ...

  • Everything I watch from Chill going forward would be Public on my timeline. (I periodically run the FB app that sets all my posts to friends-only; that's what I want. FB has ways to work around that.)
  • Chill would get my private email address and my profile info
  • Chill will post all videos I watch, all that I react to, "and more" -- on all my friends feeds. From their privacy policy "When you use our Service, all of the information that you submit, which may include name, email address, photographs and comments, will be publicly available to third parties and we may not have control over what they do with it. By using our Service, you consent to such disclosure. "

Chill isn't breaking any rules. It's "How Apps Work Now" - frictionless "Social Running".

Facebook, like Google+, is incorrigible. There will be a bit of an upset about this, but not as much as with their last 50 violations.

So why do I stick with Facebook when most of my geek friends have left it?

Because it's still where the non-geeks are. The kids on my son's baseball team don't all have email (or don't use it). They don't all have mobile phones with text plans (and besides, mass texting is a pain). They do all, however, use Facebook. So to communicate them I put up a Facebook Page for the team. Same thing with our inline skating club and our special hockey team.

I put Facebook in the same bucket as the state gambling operations we're using to fund a new football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings (just in time for the twilight of American football). State lotteries and the like are a tax on people who are bad at math -- or who just need a bit of hope. We'd never get stadium funding by taxing income or real estate, but voters are willing to tax the poor. Facebook is just another annoying part of the imperfect world we make the best of.

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