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BLOG: Facebook is broken

Michael Gazeley | May 11, 2011
Business continuity issues are forced on you by Facebook.

Facebook is broken.

I'm not talking about their default privacy settings and policies; rouge applications and adverts; or even the vast number of spam, scams, and viruses, which are constantly making the rounds on Facebook. Let's set those issues aside for another day, important though they obviously are.

I'm talking about business continuity.

Just type "Facebook is broken" into Google. "The Social Network is being plagued with server errors as well as failing daily with its chat capabilities. When will this be solved?" "Facebook Broken While Users Tweet Frustration." "Facebook is Broken, Malfunctioning, or Hosed." And these are just three of the many (many) thousands of links which will be presented.

But that is still not what I am talking about here; not exactly.

What most people are focused on, are the business continuity problems faced by Facebook as a service. What I would like to focus on, are the business continuity problems forced on Facebook users, by the so called 'Facebook Team'.

In other words, business continuity issues forced on you, by Facebook themselves.

Let me explain the problem.

You go to your Facebook profile. At the top right hand side of the page, Facebook puts a couple of people you may know onto the screen, appropriately under a section called, "People you may know." So far so good.

There is indeed someone you know, so you click on the, '+1 Add as friend' option.

There is even a "See all" link, that takes you to a full screen of suggested friends that you might know, from different parts of your life. Friends from your hometown, your school, your university, your employer, and more. Easy to use, simple layout, seemingly great.

This all makes sense so far, as making connections is surely the whole idea behind social networking, and Facebook is by far the largest social networking site in the world. Making friend requests as easy to send as possible, on the world's primary social networking site, makes a lot of common sense.

However, if any of the people receiving the friend requests you just sent, decide they don't want to friend you on Facebook, then you can end up getting banned from sending any other friend requests!

Worse, you can be blocked from sending any more messages. And in extreme cases, you can have your Facebook account frozen or deleted altogether.

This is insane in so (so) many ways!

Back when Facebook was just a dating site for college students, being banned on Facebook might not have been that much of an issue. It might even have helped improve your grades.

But now, with a global audience of 664,449,600 users, many of whom use Facebook as if it were the actual Internet, things are very different. And as mobile devices have proliferated, and become an integrated part of most peoples' lives, the power of Facebook has only continued to grow. Some mobile phone makers have gone as far as changing hardware keyboard layouts, so they can add an actual built-in 'Facebook Button.'


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