More “Frictionless Sharing” Pushback

Recently I complained about a shameful Facebook feature I referred to as auto-shared pseudo-links, which are not really clickable without the user agreeing to onerous terms that result in everything they read on the site in question (say, Yahoo or the Washington Post) being automatically “shared” on Facebook.

Well, it’s called frictionless sharing.

Several of my Facebook-using friends I talked to had opted into it without realizing it. And I have directly seen this result in some potentially embarassing auto-shared articles — in one case, the “sharer” was a web developer (who “should” know better). It just goes to show how sneaky and, yes, evil it all is.

Anyway, I’m definitely not alone in being repulsed by this abomination. Some quotes and recommended reading follow.

I’m suddenly curious to read a history of the East German Stasi. My theory about it is that people found it fun to report on other people. And I bet that at least some people found it thrilling that they were the ones being watched. (Those being watched probably watched other people in some cases. It’s a social graph.)

Brent Simmons hates frictionless sharing

I get invited to events that say check out the Facebook page for details about where to be and when. If I care about the event, I write back to them telling them I don’t use Facebook, and would read about it if they put up a blog post. Otherwise I can’t come. If people hear that a few times, it’ll start changing behavior. It’s not the kind of thing you need a lot of people to do to force change. It’s kind of like Apple refusing to put Flash on their iPhone and iPad. I don’t imagine too many events would get reconceived just for me, but if a few more people do it, that could be enough to make the change.

Dave Winer believes in the Web, not in Facebook

Because in the past the user only had to decide whether to share something they just read, but now they have to think about every single article before they even read it. If I read this article, then everyone will know I read it, and do I really want people to know I read it?

Nick Bradbury says Frictionless Sharing means more friction


February 5th, 2012
Alan Hogan (@alanhogan).  Contact · About