I’ve dug into the policies and practices of Facebook quite a few times on this Blog, not just because of their treatment of me personally, but mainly because of their blatant disregard for the wishes, needs and legal rights of their many active or inactive users. Fair enough, laws vary from one country to another, sometimes from one State to another within the larger nations, but there are common laws and their are unwritten or moral laws. The mainly faceless* Facebook people disregard them all.
(*Let’s be honest here, we all know Mark Zuckerberg and perhaps following the news that a woman is finally (!) being appointed to the Facebook board a few might recognize her too, but how many people know the real people working behind the computer screens? It is much the same as any other company, customer service (or lack of it) is a faceless entity and, as far as we customers are concerned, customer service is the be-all and end-all of our connection to these workings.)
Now the people behind Facebook have taken another turn against our desires and our personal settings. Everyone has been issued with an @facebook.com e-mail address, and it has been defaulted as the one to be used on individual profiles and Timelines. What was previously a choice has now become a must regardless of whether you want it or not.
I daresay you can turn it back off again, can set your own e-mail address as the default back where it should be, where it was and where you wanted it to be. I daresay, for those of us who didn’t want to have any e-mail address displayed, it is possible to hide it again. I’m not going to bother, for several reasons.
When I changed to the new server several months ago now, the address I had registered with Facebook was one of the last to be reinstated. The only things I get from Facebook – which I don’t personally use, it is all automatic updates through this website and my Twitter account – are self-lauding messages and notifications of events which I would get to see anyone. Facebook, during the downtime of the linked e-mail account, were kind enough to add a message line to my profile saying that the e-mail didn’t work, but it made no difference to the account or my Timeline. Obviously, for someone like me, the use of an e-mail address through or for Facebook is not of great importance and won’t result in anyone being banned or suspended – although it wouldn’t surprise me if they start doing that sometime.
Since I only get rubbish from Facebook through e-mail, I am going to leave it as it is. I’m not going to bother changing it back – I don’t even know how to access the @facebook.com account! – just leave all the useless rubbish Facebook sends me on their server. Why should I have to spend time deleting rubbish I didn’t want in the first place?
For Facebook this sudden move – this breach of each person’s personal settings – makes sense. The @facebook.com setting was probably a major failure and had to be forced through to save Facebook bandwidth. When you claim so many users (active or not) you need a high level of data transfer capability, cutting out the constant sending of e-mails to external accounts can make a massive difference. It is a cost factor as much as a ‘look, a success on Facebook!’ factor.
So, Facebook, I don’t know which one of you made the decision to change my personal settings against my will but, well, that’s fine by me. You’ve saved me the bother of having to delete your rubbish all the time, and that is a good thing even if it is not what you intended. As to the rest, well, we all know that Facebook and its operators don’t give a rat’s ass about what users really wish or even what they have set in their own personal settings. It’s about money, nothing more. I donate you all the e-mails you send me, in perpetuity, as a sign of our mutual dislike.
- Viktoria Michaelis.