Facebook’s Beacon

I tried out Beacon, the Facebook software which sends your activities on Facebook-affiliated sites to your mini-feed, effectively advertising 3rd party services to your friends.

So I set up an account at Epicurious, the foody site. Then I logged into Facebook. Then I saved a recipe to my Epicurious Recipe Box. A pop-up told me that the action would be sent to my Facebook feed and gave me my first chance to deny access.

Then I had a look at my Facebook profile, but nothing had happened so I logged out of Facebook, went back to Epicurious and saved another recipe. Unsurprisingly but reassuringly, no pop-up this time.

Went back to Facebook, logged in and at that stage was notified that Facebook was about to write the first Epicurious recipe I’d saved to my feed, along with my second option to opt out, including a link straight to my settings which would allow me to turn all or selected affiliate sites off in my profile for good.

Under the circumstances – the type of organisations Facebook is affiliated to, the clear and multiple chances to opt out, I just can’t get worked up about Beacon, mainly because I don’t get all that worked up about advertising. Not on principle, anyway. I mean I find ads for wrinkle cream, whitening toothpaste and the stuff that depends on you feeling bad about yourself absolutely treacherous, but the ones for Tango, The Guardian, holidays in Turkey, or Ford I don’t have a problem with over and above my problems with capitalism per se.

I realise that whole paragraph consists of qualified statements. There are reasons for that.

Extravagant curtsey to Radiant Core.


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