A Note About Facebook’s Walled Garden

I didn’t stop using Facebook because of a personal disagreement with its leaky privacy policy or its advertising strategy. I stopped using Facebook because of its increasing resemblance to Aol before becoming a content company. I disagree with the walled-garden approach to online life because I believe it’s harmful to the open web. If I can avoid it, I try not to invest my personal data in services where I see this happening.

I actively prefer Google+ over Facebook even though the interests of the two companies may be aligned when it comes to the monetization of user data. The difference is that Google benefits when we use the entire web—even the parts outside Google—and is thus incentivized to promote access to the open web. With Facebook it is the opposite. Less time spent on Facebook means fewer dollars pouring into the Facebook coffers.

There’s so much more to the web than Facebook, but if Facebook had its way, it would forbid users from posting links to the outside world. It already warns users when they click links that lead to non-Facebook domains.

The current state of Facebook is one that encourages users to fear links and embrace likes. The future of Facebook is one that demonizes the very standards and practices that enabled its creation in the first place.

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