May 23, 2010 by Pete Cashmore
In his first comment since the privacy controversy of recent weeks, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that the company “made a bunch of mistakes” and wants to “get this stuff right this time”.
Zuckerberg has been criticized from some corners for a lack of communication on Facebook users’ privacy concerns, and a public comment from the CEO hasn’t been forthcoming. Today’s concession isn’t a public apology as such: Rather, Zuckerberg replied to a private email from tech enthusiast Robert Scoble, who then requested permission to reprint his response on his blog.
Zuckerberg’s reply has some merit to it: Facebook wants to respond to the dustup with a product fix. Rather than simply telling users what he intends to change, he’d rather go ahead and make that change.
Here’s Zuckerberg’s reply in full:
We’ve been listening to all the feedback and have been trying to distill it down to the key things we need to improve. I’d like to show an improved product rather than just talk about things we might do.
We’re going to be ready to start talking about some of the new things we’ve built this week. I want to make sure we get this stuff right this time.
I know we’ve made a bunch of mistakes, but my hope at the end of this is that the service ends up in a better place and that people understand that our intentions are in the right place and we respond to the feedback from the people we serve.
I hope we’ll get a chance to catch up in person sometime this week. Let me know if you have any thoughts for me before then.
Except that this isn’t a model that typically fairs well in the PR and media worlds: To Facebook’s audience, it has seemed that Facebook either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about user concerns around privacy. If Facebook does indeed share user concerns and will soon make changes (as Mark explains), a very early mea culpa and increased communication with the press may have saved Facebook from a great deal of criticism.
In short: It’s great that Facebook is looking to improve its privacy settings, but explaining these moves earlier and more publicly may have been preferable.
We’ll have to wait and see whether Facebook’s updates calm tensions around the company’s privacy stance. My take: As important as the issue may seem right now, the privacy dustup will eventually blow over and Facebook will continue its relentless march to win the web.
This isn’t rocket science. Respect your customers. Don’t spring stuff on them. Do not make “sharing” the default. Give people total control over their information and protect their privacy. Don’t tell them what they want in terms of privacy and sharing, which is rude, patronizing and insulting. Especially aimed at someone who is old enough to be your mother.The harder you have squeezed me to share, the more content I have removed from my profile, which now is almost everything possible. At this point, I will use no commercial apps, click on no ads, “like” no businesses of any kind. I do not appreciate nor will I participate in any FB presence which has been added with out my permission to sites like CNN. And this will continue to be MY policy until you prove you can be trusted.The only reason I remain on Facebook at this point are some valued contacts that I currently have no other way to maintain. You’ve sure managed to suck the fun out it, though.
After the episode of Criminal Minds where the team spoke about Facebook and it’s changes on it’s privacy settings/policies, they spoke of how dangerous it can be to expose themselves to potential criminals who wants to know everything there is to know about their victims and figure out how to exploit them.This rich weenie doesn’t care about victims, all he cares about is money.
Facebook will never be able to make things right for the simple reason that they have to monetize their services. Starting for that thinking about a real privacy is a dream.By the way i’m still having a Facebook account i just try to put the less informations I can.
Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t you?And that e-mail is perfectly fine. Privacy issue is being blown out of proportion. And the page deletion for some has to be bought to the notice of Facebook Support & not just cry foul for publicity.Facebook is constantly trying to improve on their product & that is always a good sign for any company. Facebook has been kind to answer personally & listen to what x,y,z posts have to say. That shows their concern for each & every user.
Facebook should come up shortly with stiff statements to public regarding privacy & improvements regarding their service.
get it right? Ya right, sure, sure!Greed has a tendency to override the reasoning center of the brain. All that cash coming in from advertisers and game devs, like Farmville, Cafe World, etc. To this rich weenie, who gives a damn about privacy?
Well said!I did have comments but yours sums it all up. Bravo!
By Mashable: http://www.mashable.com