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FutureNow Post
Monday, Nov. 19, 2007 at 1:59 pm

Opting Out of Facebook’s Disruptive Ad Model

By Jeffrey Eisenberg
November 19th, 2007

Joshua Porter of has taken a serious look at Facebook’s new so-called “opt-in” ad model.

…Facebook is now partnering with 3rd party sites and selling your information to them for money. How does this work?

Here’s a scenario: you go to and rent a movie. A little interface element pops up and tells you that Blockbuster is sending information to your Facebook account. It gives you ten seconds to say no…and then it sends it anyway. This is called “opt-out”. You only have the option to say no. It sends your personal information by default. “Opt-in” would be where no action is taken by default.

You then log into your Facebook account, and it says that “Blockbuster is sending a story to your account”. You have the option to say no to this, but it is not apparent at all. In fact, Facebook gives you the option “Don’t show me this again”, which seems to suggest that they agree this message is annoying. They have designed this screen for you to focus on the pain of having to read a silly message and dismiss it. But what isn’t very clear is that when you do so you’re also giving implicit instruction that all services can send information to your news feed in the future. This is a HUGE deal to Facebook…this is how they’re going to make money. [Continue reading "Facebook's Brilliant but Evil Design"... ]

It’s an important read for anyone who uses, or advertises with, the popular social networking site.

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Jeffrey Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark. You can friend him on Facebook.

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