Give Facebook's Privacy Switch a Chance

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Facebook's ambition to plaster "Like" buttons across the Web and insinuate itself into the fabric of the Internet has many users nervous. Tech bloggers voice fears that Facebook could turn evil, and wonder why more people aren't panicking. Guides--such as this one--on how to disable the more unnerving privacy settings are being passed around. But are we being too hasty?

Mike Melanson of leading tech blog ReadWriteWeb thinks so, calling it a "knee jerk reaction." He suggests that many people rushing to to thwart Facebook's changes may not realize the benefits they're missing. All he asks is that people read Facebook's privacy policy before leaping to a negative conclusion:

While the sharing of your data sounds quite scary, we have to wonder if this reactionary unchecking is causing some who would otherwise benefit to miss out....After going and looking at the terms of service, privacy policy, or even just the simple text in the settings page, you may very well decide that you do not want your information to be shared. That's fine and valid. But at least consider the options first.

Is the backlash against Facebook an unthinking reflex?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.