Paul Barbanes likes to think of Facebook the same way he thinks of other Web activity: when he buy something online, he expects that the retailer won’t share his credit card information.
So when he realized that the latest iteration of Facebook’s privacy changes would allow sites he had become a fan of, or liked, to share that knowledge with other websites, he felt betrayed.
“It’s less about privacy,” said Barbanes, 52, a Miami-based branding consultant. “People were putting a lot of trust in Facebook — and I think Facebook broke that trust.”
As a result, Barbanes said he’s joining a fledging boycott that was started last week asking people to stay off Facebook June 6 to protest recent privacy changes.
Barbanes is one of a growing number of people I’ve seen who are acting on their frustration with Facebook over the past few weeks. Facebook, which says it has 400 million active users, did not respond to my request to talk to them about this story.
Alana Joy, who started the Facebookprotest.com site organizing the June 6 event, said she is more upset about the way Facebook has made changes, rather than what’s changed.
“Just because you post something online doesn’t mean it’s for the whole wide world to see,” said Joy, a Los Angeles-based marketing strategist who doesn’t use her full legal name online, and professionally, because of privacy issues.
Her biggest gripe?
“They also didn’t explain the changes (in a way) that my 18-year-old sister and my grandmother can understand,” said Joy.
Lior Leser, an Internet lawyer who actually writes similar privacy policies, agreed with Joy.
“The problem is they never really present what’s happening,” said Leser, who is with the Miami Beach, Fla., firm Leser Hunter Taubman Taubman. “How about, ’Hey, we’re a free service, but this is how we use your information to sell ads — that’s how we make money.”
As for Joy, it’s too late. She plans to delete her Facebook account after June 6.
“I don’t want to have anything to do with any website that is closing off the Internet the way Facebook is,” she said.