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Facebook CEO's public apology: Believable?
Mark Zuckerberg took to the Washington Post to reassure fans he was fixing the site's dodgy privacy settings. Can paranoid users learn to love Facebook again?
 
Was Mark Zuckerberg's apology good enough?
Was Mark Zuckerberg's apology good enough?
Getty

Facebook is not exactly in vogue these days. After gripes about its labyrinthine, 5,830-word privacy policy, stern letters from senators and even a "Quit Facebook Day" initiative, CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the unusual step of writing fans a mea culpa via The Washington Post. Zuckerberg vowed to simplify the site's "complex" privacy settings for easier use: "Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls but that may not have been what many of you wanted." He also refuted contentious claims that the company shares users' private data with advertisers. Is Zuckerberg's reassurance enough to stamp down Facebook's mountainous PR dust-up? (Watch a CNET report about Zuckerberg's "sort of" apology)

Don't believe Zuckerberg: The only reason Zuckerberg wrote this, says Kit Eaton in Fast Company, is "because Facebook's public image has taken a serious bashing." So despite his promises, Facebook will "almost certainly" continue to "erode the boundaries" between your personal info and the data it shares with its advertising partners. Whatever his intentions, Zuckerberg's letter reveals his most fundamental belief: "That sharing on Facebook heals the world."
"Zuckerberg's nearly, but not quite, about-face on privacy"


Facebook will weather this storm:
"Facebook is smart to address critics in such a public fashion," says Pete Cashmore in Mashable. And even though Zuckerberg's Washington Post piece "almost seems to blame the users for being unable to work their privacy controls," this "controversy will eventually be forgotten, just like every other Facebook flap over the years." At this point, Facebook is "unstoppable."
"Facebook CEO: We will add simpler privacy controls"

All talk and no action isn't good enough: Facebook has become the Microsoft Outlook of social media, poorly documented and intimidatingly complex, says Rob Pegoraro in The Washington Post, though, given user's expectations of multi-level friendships, "some of the complexity of Facebook's privacy interface may have been unavoidable." But if the company's promised fix —  "an easy way to turn off all third-party services," and simplified privacy controls — doesn't deliver, the company will "have the same trust problem as ever.
"Facebook founder Zuckerberg's not-quite-apology"

 

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