One year into its quest to get us to passively share everything with each other all the time, it's starting to sink in at Facebook that people aren't very interested in bringing radical transparency to their digital lives. A sign of the times: at a panel yesterday, Facebook's manager of media partnerships, Andy Mitchell, explained that the company no longer thinks the future of the Internet is "passive sharing," tweeted Liz Heron, director of social media and engagement at The Wall Street Journal, adding that Mitchell said the "user feedback" was "not strong." It's just one tweet from one digital panel, but it's still surprising to hear that anyone at Facebook is willing to publicly acknowledge that people are reluctant to share after the social network has been going so strongly in an always be sharing direction.
From the beginning people pushed back against this idea. Slate's Farhad Manjoo called it a "terrible plan." "This is a nightmare ... Facebook is killing taste," he wrote, explaining that removing the choice from sharing, makes it seem like we approve of everything we, read, or listen to. "It eliminates the curation aspect of our self-presentations," added Philip Bump at The Atlantic. "It would be as though I told everyone that I was wearing blue jeans and a somewhat worse-for-wear t-shirt right now in addition to revealing that earlier today I wore a sharp, tailored suit. Both are accurate, but only one is the impression I'd like to leave with people." Others had privacy qualms. Some (including me) just didn't want to participate.