So Facebook Failed At Groups

by on Oct.08, 2010, under general

A few days ago I posted about the new Facebook privacy “features”.

One of them – “Groups” – Facebook had described as such:

With Groups, users can essentially partition their interactions (passive or active) with Facebook and create multiple, customized Facebook experiences. For example, a user who participates in a “neighborhood” group can – with one click – view a newsfeed that is visible only to members of that group, post status messages that only members of the group can see, and peruse a list of profiles that includes only group members. This new functionality will make it much easier for groups (lowercase “g”) of friends to keep in touch and will likely accelerate the use of Facebook as a platform for organizing everything from bake sales to protests.

And I said this seemed “inoffensive enough.”

Well –

Facebook is being battered by critics who say the popular social network made a big mistake in failing to let people opt-in by default to its new feature that lets people form private groups around a particular interest.

The controversy reached a head on Thursday when a person created a group called NAMBLA, the name for a nefarious pro-pedophile organization, and started adding friends.

One of the person’s added to the group was well-known tech blogger Michael Arrington, who in turn added Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, Chester Wisniewski, a senior security adviser for security firm Sophos, reported on the company’s blog.

While not actually from NAMBLA, the group was formed to make the point that Facebook was wrong in choosing to let people automatically add their “friends,” and leaving it up to the added person to opt-out of the group.

via InformationWeek.

So Facebook can’t even let users click “yes, please let my friend add me to this group” before doing it.

How can one company fail at variations on the same thing so many times?

(cynic: because it is their intent to fail)

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