Discontent Grows With Facebook Places

This was inevitable, and I think “grows” is a bit out-of-context. The feature launched last week so any growth measurement is premature.

Discontent Grows With Facebook Places’ Ability To Tag Without Users’ Express Permission

I did notice a few people in my News Feed were using Places, and frankly, I was a bit surprised with at least one, knowing him IRL. I’ve yet to follow up to see what value he sees in Places, but I’m definitely interested to hear his thoughts.

This quote from the Crunchgear post says a lot:

Never mind the fact the such information, to a random friend on a hopelessly large friend list, is pretty much useless: what good does it do me to know that my friend at [sic] pizza at 9:30pm somewhere in Queens? No good, exactly.

Agreed. The relevance of Places information is highly subjective and dependent on the relationship with the friend.

Have you started using Places? What about people in your circle of friends? Thoughts on it, location services in general?

Find the comments.




  1. I don’t use Facebook Places – my env3 phone doesn’t exactly support it – but I have posted some thoughts on the “exonetwork” (e.g. those people who “join” social networks without knowing it) here.

    Certainly Facebook can take care of the short-term problem by requiring approval before you are tagged at a place, but how do we address the more general issue of the sharing of information that potentially violates the privacy of others?

    This isn’t per se a social media technology issue – I could take my quill pen and post a sign at the tavern saying “I spotteth Jake at the river during Sunday morning church” – but the issue certainly needs to be addressed in both a technological sense and in an ethical sense.

  2. Places does have a setting that allows/forbids others from checking you into venues, but like all FB privacy settings, it’s tough to find and set.

    You’re absolutely right that the issue is bigger than just Place; another example is taking and posting photos that by default include XIFF data. You could be caught by someone’s photo and incriminated accidentally that way.

    Privacy is increasingly an illusion in a connected world, but the problem is that very few people are willing to accept that. Or even understand it.

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