Facebook is Like a Chair… That Confuses and Surprises

Facebook is like a chair… that confuses, defrauds, misleads, spams and surprises users.

Facebook as a company doesn’t do these things, but they happen on the Facebook platform through the apps third party developers create for it.

Take a look at the ways that Facebook is having to control the permissions that third party applications have, via Facebook Cuts Back On Open Graph Actions, Automated Wall Spam:

  • “Facebook is cutting back on the types of actions that are allowed (presumably due to spam or messy use cases)”
  • “Facebook is also cracking down on how apps publish stories on behalf of users — an issue the company has wrestled since the very early days of the platform.”
  • “… they’re cracking down on apps that automatically publish stories back to Facebook as a person consumes content. “
  • “Facebook is also cracking down on apps that post to friends’ walls through the API. Developers can still post stories that include friends via user mentions.”

The problem with “Facebook is like a chair” is that it isn’t. Facebook isn’t like a chair in so many ways that hurt users and their trust in the brand that saying it’s like a chair is disingenuous.

Is it good that Facebook is cracking down on apps that abuse users? Absolutely. But “..like a chair” paints a picture of only a fraction of what Facebook really is. It’s a poetic and visual image, but it’s not consistent with reality.

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