The Internet is now completely saturated by people whining about privacy on Facebook, or lack thereof. I honestly fail to see, for instance, how its privacy settings should be a bewildering tangle of options. Facebook has hundreds of millions of users, so yes, it is going to be complicated to handle the privacy settings. Besides the fact that it really isn’t. And so what if its privacy statement has a larger word count than the Constitution of the USA? Facebook has a hundred millions users more than USA has citizens. One glove does not fit all hands, and they need their legalese.
I agree: upgrading privacy settings so that they are less secure than they used to is not the right way to go, but everybody is free to change them the best way they can. The more I observe the debate evolve, the more it looks like it’s founded on conspiracy theorist delusions.
This isn’t simply a matter of “Facebook is the only game in town, so they can and will do whatever they want”. Facebook comes for free, and it’s not really something I would include amongst the must-have services, like fresh water. So you don’t need it, and don’t have to use it. If the sole fresh water supplier in your town started to pollute the water intentionally, say so that they could sell medicine with the other company they own, then you would have a problem.
Otherwise, there’s nothing here. What? Raising public awareness? I see. You can do that without trying to organize Facebook-quitting days. It’s OK to talk about it, and indeed I’m doing it right now myself. But I’m just doing it in a more constructive way: check the safety of your privacy settings by following the instructions at http://www.reclaimprivacy.org/, and fix them to suit your needs.
Just don’t go blogging that Facebook is evil. You think you can just found a start-up and make a non-evil Facebook replacement? How long until you’re sinking in the bills from the hosting company, and start thinking that “hey, maybe I should put ads on this thing”, and then, when the ads don’t pay enough, you start thinking that “hey, perhaps I should target the ads better: I need to share more information about the users with the ad providers”. And so on.