Friday, May 28, 2010

It is goodbye after all, Facebook.

I'm taking a class in professional ethics right now, and it was a fantastic opportunity to examine the constant conundrum of callous craziness conceived and created by Facebook. I posted earlier that I would come back if Facebook woke up and smelled the revolt.

Well, they responded to the privacy issue. Check out their blog for the official response if you care about such things. For me, it didn't ring with any conviction. It read like something drafted by a politician caught with a hand in the cookie jar. "I'm sorry you misunderstood my good intentions."

So I thought on this some more and did some writing for my class. I had said I would return to Facebook if they got the privacy issue resolved, and they did improve the situation. But then I realized - when the furor dies down and no one is looking, they can unimprove it in some as-of-now-not-yet-conceived way. They have done that before. I have no reason to doubt they will do it again. I don't see any signs of "oh - I see now" concern coming from Facebook. I see signs of "Hmmmm. Will this placate you for now?"

I could be dead wrong, of course. But the ethics class I'm in is circling around the intangibles of what makes an ethical decision. We have some structured thinking to work through in class, but a lot of it comes back to the "smell test." I just don't feel good about being engaged with this company. It makes me antsy. So I set loose the gerbils in my head to spin on their various wheels (Gerbil one - you take the Convenience wheel. Gerbil two - you get the Mass Adoption wheel. Gerbil three - run the Constructive Engagement wheel for a while...). I turned the wheels round and round. And the answer, like Dorothy's red shoes, was there all along.

This just *feels* wrong.

I don't trust them. I don't like not trusting them. I don't feel good about going back in to a service I don't feel good about. I'm meta-uncomfortable.

So, mea culpas aside and any temporary fixes that may be coming notwithstanding, I'm closing out. May 31 is Quit Facebook day, and I signed up to kill my accounts then. Facebook won't notice, and Facebook won't care. But I'll feel better, and gerbil seventy-two can take a rest from the Why Are We Doing This wheel.

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