Facebook poll: flawed, but do you care?

Posted on November 25, 2007

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Facebook pollThe long and frankly fairly boring (to those other than people like me, and probably you if you’re reading this..) debate continues about Facebook data – who owns it, who shares it, how it can be attributed, how open it is.

Techcrunch as always pile into the debate with a simple point and a simple question: do people actually care? According to the poll they’re running, the stats (so far) look like the graph on left (click to take part in the poll or the comments).

The only (major!) problem with the poll of course is that the Techcrunch readership is going to be almost entirely geektypes, the very ones who do care about the issue. Does my wife, though? Or her mates? Or their mates? Nope, not really.

I just asked around a bit and in general the majority of people have the same response:

“Yes, of course I care….but I haven’t actually read the Terms of Service, or know what they are doing with my data…but I still care…”

I made a point on an earlier post about the transparency of data and also the extreme ugliness (both in appearance and techwise under the hood) of MySpace and the fact that these services still continue to be among the most popular in the world. It’s disconcerting to people like me, but I don’t think it should stop us banging on about the goodness of doing things right. I think, patronising though it is, that us “professional types” carry a sort of duty to make this stuff what we believe it should be – open, platform agnostic, accessible, etc etc etc. But let’s not:

1) Get depressed and give up if our users don’t appear to care: at the end of the day, why should they?

2) Get happy and give up because the community seems to be in agreement…

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