Sunday, January 1, 2012

Letter to the Editor (USA Today)

From: James Deagle
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Received: Sunday, January 1, 2012, 10:13 AM

Dear Editor:

Just today I was reading Anick Jesdanun's article on your website (How to get your Facebook in order), and wanted to leave a comment advising people about the pitfalls of Facebook, and why they'd be better off simply deactivating their account. You can imagine my dismay when I finished rattling off a quick paragraph's worth of my two cents and realized that the only way to leave a comment is to log in through a Facebook profile.

I find it troubling that you limit your online conversation to Facebook members, as there are plenty of us out there who have either not signed up or have deactivated our accounts on a matter of serious principle due to ongoing (and unresolved) privacy concerns. Additionally, many of us refuse to provide a map of our social life and consumer preferences to an organization that has yet to prove itself a trustworthy guardian of that information.

By allowing your online conversation to be 'branded' by Facebook, can we as readers trust that USA Today will also provide objective news coverage of Facebook when privacy, copyright and other legal issues arise, and perhaps even dare to publish editorials critical of it when warranted? By allowing Facebook to own and control your online forums, you allow a shadow of doubt to be cast over said objectivity, and as such I am less inclined to count myself among your readership.

James Deagle