Hot on the heels of Dan Kelly’s prediction of the eventual fall of social networking sites, it seems that Facebook has embroiled itself in another controversy. The upshot of the most recent story is that Facebook is essentially using its power of cyber eminent domain to sieze and use photos posted by users for advertisements unless they change their privacy settings.
The second question is, does Facebook really need this revenue? It seems like the outcry from users would be pretty predictable. Although the public expects and accepts a certain level of encroachment by advertisement, there’s a line. If you cross that line, you risk alienating a substantial portion of your audience. The stakes are even higher when the people you are alienating are responsible for the content on the site. If Facebook really has to go this far, it would seem that social networking sites are doomed to fail.