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Will Facebook ruin Christmas?



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From The (London) Daily Telegraph:

… The social networking site’s use of Beacon, an advertising system that exploits “word-of-mouth” marketing, has angered Facebook users by publicizing details of their online shopping habits.

Moveon.org, the liberal US-based political pressure group, is waging a campaign against Facebook, saying the site violates privacy by sharing details of books, films and other holiday gifts purchased online.

Matthew Helfgott, 20, one of the 20,000 signatories of MoveOn’s petition, wrote: “I saw my gf [girlfriend] bought an item I had been saying I wanted… so now part of my christmas gift has been ruined. Facebook is ruining christmas!”

This seems to be the part where Facebook really loses face:

While most Facebook functions associated with external sites have a default “opt in” choice, requiring a user to actively choose to participate, with the posting of members’ purchases in their profiles, users must be proactive in choosing to not to participate.

If a user fails to make this choice, his or her entire network of friends will automatically receive a newsfeed on the user’s online purchasing activities – no matter how personal.



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