MoveOn Launches Campaign Against Facebook

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Facebook is busy ruining Christmas, and that’s the least of the worries. Violations of user privacy are higher on the worry list, and MoveOn.org has launched an online petition and ad campaign against Facebook’s brand new "Beacon" program.

Recently launched, Facebook Beacon is a marketing service that allows marketers to publish "stories" via Facebook News Feeds. If a user is logged in to Facebook while making a purchase, their purchase "story" will be published.

From the webpage’s description:

 Facebook Beacon actions include purchasing a product, signing up for a service, adding an item to a wish list, and more. When a user performs the action, they will be alerted that your website is sending a story to their profile…

From the other side of the marketing tunnel, that means if you’re a friend of Sally’s, or in Sally’s network, you’ll be alerted when Sally buys movie tickets or, as in some cases, Christmas gifts.

Two early responses from Facebook members, courtesy of MoveOn.org:

"Oh my gosh, my cousins entire christmas shopping list this week was displayed on the feed. thats so messed up. This has gotta stop!" — Tasha Valdez from Michigan

"I saw my gf bought an item i had been saying i wanted… so now part of my christmas gift has been ruined. Facebook is ruining christmas!" — Matthew Helfgott from New York

Though Facebook has qualified the Beacon program as one that grants Facebookers the ability to "opt out" of having their purchases reported, MoveOn says users have to opt out of each site’s promotional reports.

One member complained that when he bought a movie ticket on Fandango, that information was subsequently published via the News Feed, an occurrence he says happened without permission and was a violation of his privacy.

It’s the privacy concerns – more so than the early peek at Christmas presents – that MoveOn is fretting over. In response, the organization has set up a Facebook group as the one home of an online petition, and is launching an ad campaign with the slogan, "Stop Invading My Privacy. "

The ad asks the harrowing question: "Have you noticed that what you do on other sites is now in your News Feed?"

The petition also calls for a stop to the program: "Facebook must respect my privacy. They should not tell my friends what I buy on other sites—or let companies use my name to endorse their products—without my explicit permission."

Facebook member Allie Scheerer comments on the petition group page: "This is incredibly upsetting to hear. I feel like I have big brother watching over my shoulder. I never thought I’d have a private company doing this; before I had always worried about government. This is not okay."

Facebook has raised privacy concerns on many fronts recently as the company expands its marketing efforts in an attempt to live up to some rather steep valuations. Most recently, officials from within the British government have complained Facebook knows too much about its users.

Facebook could not be reached for comment in time for publication.

MoveOn Launches Campaign Against Facebook
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  • http://intercommunication.blogspot.com/2007/11/comment-bloquer-facebook-beacon-pour-ne.html Eric Baillargeon

    Not very hard to block all the Beacon’s outsider sites ! Just make a search in french like “Comment bloquer FaceBook” (how to block Facebook ;-)

  • http://www.dotcomnote.com DotComNote

    I wrote about this in my blog on the day Facebook announced their social ads. Social Ads will bring unprecedented privacy violation. This will also embolden other advertisers. Your movements on the web will tracked, cataloged, and used for advertisements. This is only the iceberg

  • Dr Coles

    Moveon.org (funded by Georg Soros) is an organization of deceivers, always do your own homework never trust what they say about anything. As we struggle to know our domestic enemies. No, matter your political party affiliation, and setting aside your thoughts on issues. We all need to remember what it is to be an American Citizen. We need to make sure our elected representatives obey their Oath of Office and keep their Oath of Allegiance. See http://tinyurl.com/2znnvl Know whom you are voting for.

  • Mitch

    I have really fast internet conection and Facebook does not like it and also recently have canceled my account saying I have violated the site’s terms of use.
    In the letter bellow from Facebook that I had received I can not find any evidences.
    This is what I got from Facebook employees:

    Facebook has limits in place to prevent behavior that other users may find annoying or abusive.  These limits restrict the rate at which you can use certain features on the site.  Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with the specific rates that have been deemed abusive.
    Your account has been disabled because you exceeded Facebook\’s limits on multiple occasions when sending friend requests and searching, despite having been warned to slow down.
    After further review of your account, we have determined that you violated our Terms of Use by misusing our site features to harass other users.  We will not be able to reactivate your account for any reason.  This decision is final.

    Thanks for your understanding,
    User Operations

    They are a bunch of arrogants for real and I`m hoping that their current advertisers will go away from Facebook and that nobody will ever spend a cent on the Facebook.

  • http://www.m4s73r.com/ Internet Marketing Indonesia

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