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February 24, 2008



Interesting .. was unaware Facebook was doing this till I read your post. I guess any network that lacks trust can come down very quickly. Now let me preface this by saying I dont work at FB nor am I a very big FB fan. However I can see a couple of reasons on why FB might have had this policy in its early days and might have let it go untended and its now a major area of concern.
I know some social networking sites in their very early days used to keep backups of everything including profiles in case some malicious user hijacked another users account and went in and deleted everything. If the original user came back with sufficient legal proof's from the "real" world that it was indeed their own account then some SN sites would restore their account.
The other situation might be that of an offender. What if someone uses a fake or made up FB profile solicits users as friends performs some crime online or offline and then erases their online presence by deleting their data/profile etc. How do law agencies track down in those cases.
Anyways I do completely agree with the 3 guidelines you've laid out above and feel that Social Networks are exploiting these situations as most users had not bothered about these kinds of things when they signed up a couple of years back and are now growing up to its consequences.
I'm guessing FB should provide more concrete guidelines in their TOI about use of profile info.
Just shows FB is growing but maybe not growing up fast enough.


Paul--A great posting. Yes indeed, FB has come under increasing scrutiny not just by the Post, but by the NY Times as well. I'm wondering if issues like this will increasingly lead to burnout by business professional users. I just read a rather negative post on FB on, as well as an article in questioning whether users will tire of sites myspace and FB due to the growing plethora of banner ads. Most importantly, that "beacon" of statistical signficance -- my wife -- told me recently that folks she knows are moving off of FB. Now, in relation to privacy concerns, they're not trying to delete their profiles. Rather, their eyeballs simply aren't going to FB any longer.....Damn, why am I writing all this on YOUR blog when I should be blogging about it? It's time to plagiarize myself!

Paul Sweeney

Paul, this is because FB operates as per Microsoft. has being going on about this for months, and ultimately, Umair reckons that FB is incapable of acting in any other way, because this is how their DNA works. Google API is going to eat FB lunch at some stage. Why? Wider and Better Data set. Pure and Simple.

Dale Wolf


Thanks for this post. I was totally in the dark on Facebook's policy and used your post in one of mind on customer experience. Nothing in this world, nothing can rebuild trust once it is lost.

Dale Wolf

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