Michael H Goldhaber on Tue, 8 Dec 2009 03:09:14 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Handoko Suwono: Facebook paves its way to IPO

Heiko, et al.

I have only read the American version of Facebook's terms of service,  
but my interpretation of it does not accord with what you say below.  
In fact it is rather explicit that each user retains copyright, etc.,  
except that it allows Facebook the right to use it for their own  
service, which is to put your words up on your "friends' " Face3book  

This is far more ownership left to users than in the case of many  
companies who allow on-line comments, but take ownership in them,, or  
allow submission of letters to the editor, or contest entries,  etc.,  
but take exclusive ownership in them, leaving the originator with no  
rights at all.

Further, users or consumers of many kinds of products  and services  
perform actions that help the companies increase their sales. Whether  
you are wearing a warm sweater, a smart necktie, using an attractive  
or smoothly writing fountain pen, talking on a smart phone, offering  
your friends a  beer of a certain brand, you are helping boost  
sales.of that sort of item, and maybe of that brand. I could multiply  
such eamples ad nauseum.

My position is not that Facebook is a a particularly idealistic  
company, but that I don't see why it is being singled out by the left,  
when it does nothing terribly unusual. Christian Fuchs, who teaches at  
the Universtiy of Salzburg, has even gone so far as to claim that  
since Facebook may extract "surplus value" from our "unpaid labor" it  
is therefore "infintely exploitative" in Marxian terms. He has  
compared it to Nazi slave labor, even. This is just nonsense, at best,  
and nothing more. The vast majority of Facebook users presumably feel  
they are getting something in return for whatever they are giving up,  
even when told that Facebook my try to sell their info. In addition  
some I know of have used Facebook for progressive political organizing  
that they could hardly have achieved without it. Why single this co.   
out for such excessive critiques? I am afraid the fact speaks to a  
kind of poverty of thought on the left.

(note: I will reply in a separate message ot some other comments)


On Dec 6, 2009, at 12:09 AM, Heiko Recktenwald wrote:

> Telephone companies would not own the content.
> You may be able to delete things, not really shure, whether this is
> possible today, but you own nothing.
> They can delete you without notice.

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