Facebook is free – and Facebook is expensive

We all love Facebook – especially when we get to hate it. The most widely used and popular social media platform is used by close enough to 1 billion people. For the service all of those people pay.

“If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold” – check these links from Future of the Internet – and how to stop it  and Wired “You are Facebook’s product, not customer.

The popular meme

“In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, writing, photos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention).”

has been appearing again. And it is good that it does make an appearance even if it is flawed (this from Snoops).

When we sign up for Facebook, we trade some of our rights. And Facebook are at liberty to trade the information you have given them, to make a profit. That profit provides the platform. And almost 1 in 7 people on the planet are trading that information.

One of the oldest phrases used about the internet is a mis-quote or a partial quote. Stewart Brand  did not quite say “Information wants to be free”. What he did say was

On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.

Facebook is not free – it’s just that we don’t pay with money, we pay with selling our secrets.

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