An old friend I’m back in touch with thanks to Facebook loves to rail against Facebook — on Facebook. When our electronic bond progressed to a real-world lunch, he lamented that he had joined Facebook for its networking promise, but has become unnerved by a growing sense that his Facebook Page belongs not to him but to, yes, Facebook.
I could relate. A bizarre posting or a stealth ad on Facebook can trigger a flash of disorientation. Does it emanate from a friend, a friend of a friend, a mutual friend, a frenemy posing as a friend, someone I “should get to know” or a multi-national corporation? How did those unflattering pictures of me insinuate themselves, unbidden, into my profile? And how can it be that I’m now, at this precise instant, listening — “on Spotify” — to a song I’ve never heard of?
It might be satisfying for counter-culture types to blow off steam by rebelling against a mega-corporation that markets itself as the hip vanguard of the communications revolution to mask its true establishment-promoting,
Most job seekers take care to scrub evidence of last night’s party from their social media profiles, but the employment consequences of more nuanced online interactions are still being determined. Just before the Christmas holiday, the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision ordering the reinstatement of five workers who were fired for responding to a co-worker’s criticism on Facebook. The decision goes some way to establish Facebook posts as protected under the National Labor Relations Act, and may discourage employers from basing personnel decisions on social media behavior in the future.
JD Supra reports on the case:
The case stemmed from a message that an employee of a nonprofit organization posted on Facebook outside of work hours. After Lydia Cruz-Moore told Marianna Cole-Rivera that she planned to discuss her concerns about employee performance with the Executive Director of Hispanics United of Buffalo, Inc.
Today 1,000 new millionaires (and a few billionaires) are walking the planet, thanks to Facebook’s new IPO. Facebook has fundamentally changed the way people connect to each other and presents an unprecedented opportunity for advertisers to reach highly targeted markets. That explains its over-the-top, $104 billion valuation. What is not being talked about in the business sections is the technology that made Facebook possible. If you go to the “developer’s section” at the bottom of a Facebook page you will find this statement under “Open Source:”
“Facebook has been developed from the ground up using open source software. Developers building with Platform scale their own applications using many of the same infrastructure technologies that power Facebook.”
“Developed from the ground up” — i.e., by the open-source communities that allow people to freely use, distribute and modify source code in unending cycles of improvement. If Ben Mezrich’s Facebook history,
Until recently the Internet, along with the devices that brought it to us and the platforms that have expanded its usefulness, held a certain cool, selfless allure. The Web was mostly the idea of young, rule-breaking rebels, and their insurgent mystique made them hero geeks. Browsing a favorite blog on our laptops, a cup of red-eye coffee nearby, we felt a part of the New. Then money began doing what it always does to young, rule-breaking rebels – it turned them into our parents, our landlords and our loan officers.
It began in earnest, I suppose, with last year’s tiff between Amazon.com and the state of California over Sacramento’s insistence that the online retail behemoth start collecting state taxes on its sales. Amazon eventually struck “compromises” with California and other states that mostly favored Amazon. Many of us in California smiled – we got an extra year of purchasing on the site without paying taxes.