People talk about social networking sites as if they had a right to use it. Take the latest hullybaloo over Facebook’s manipulations about mirroring content to users interest.
Social networking sites are a business—a lucrative business. There is no right for the public to use them other than the way specific companies require. If people are unhappy with the changes any Internet site makes they can step away from their computer and go another way.
How companies use customer information is up to them. Client lists are sold back and forth between companies who know how to maximize that information. For those who don’t want their information provided to others the solution is simple: don’t provide the information in the first place.
The price of using any web site is to provide personal information. This information is used to microtarget advertising messages; it comes with living in our high-techonology world.
Social networking sites are not vital. They are fun. Just as the gambling industry, both private and public, drive home the message that playing the lottery or other games is for entertainment only, not for investment purposes. That’s a good lesson for those who take social networking sites very seriously and complain when the companies do what they do.
The consumer always has a choice if they don’t like the policies of a business: walk away.