Facebook's Utopian Dream Hides Something Sinister

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2009 4:40 PM CDT
Facebook's Utopian Dream Hides Something Sinister
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Facebook.   (AP Photo)

The recent scrap over Facebook’s privacy policy seems to be at odds with the site’s friendly, familial face, Vanessa Grigoriadis writes in New York. But the company’s aborted move to claim ownership of user content in perpetuity reveals a vague something about its ambitions. “Facebook’s entire business plan, insofar as it is understood by anyone,” Grigoriadis writes, “rests upon this continued practice of friends sharing with friends.”

Facebook sells sharing as a “utopian” ideal, Grigoriadis writes. It’s “peace through superconnectivity, as rapid bits of information elevate us to the Buddha mind.” But, like most “web cognoscenti” who “tend to think that people who worry too much about privacy are sentimentalists,” there is something sinister lurking, she notes. “Kubrick dreamed of villains like this: nerds in fleece, controlling the information, calling their cult a family.” (Read more Facebook stories.)

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