Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shiny, happy advertisers. Really!

I finally logged into Facebook this morning to do a bit more than just make sure I remembered my password. Poking around the "My Account" section for the first time since the Great Privacy Update, I received the following popup when I hit the "Facebook Ads" tab:

Advertisers using my photos? Misleading rumors? Get the whole story? I'll give 'em this: they know how to hook a person.

The Facebook blog entry is an interesting read in and of itself, but more interesting to me is the reference to "two entire advertising networks" being unfriended by the big FB itself (actually the number now stands at four). Turns out there's also a list of ad networks that are still considered friendly, for the time being anyway.

Presumably Facebook is aware of the members on this list, even if the "providers are not approved by nor affiliated with Facebook", since the content on the Facebook Developer Wiki "is created by the Facebook team with help from our developers". You still might want to weigh just how evenly matched your social standards are with Facebooks, seeing as how RockYou! isn't very careful with its users passwords, Offerpal recently ditched a foul-mouthed CEO, and Zedo-induced spyware/adware has long been a gift that keeps on giving. Neither of these latter two are getting great reviews from my trusty Firefox plugin, either. I could spend the rest of the day playing in this sandbox with my little bucket and shovel, but I think you get my drift.

Granted it's possible to dig up dirt on just about anyone or anything, and everybody's got a skeleton or two rattling around (I've never kicked a puppy, but I've stuck a few mirrors in front of Siamese Fighting Fish). Facebook taking a shot across the bows of lowend malvertising is a step in the right direction. The Facebook community trying to set some standards with a list of who is nice (or at least not blatantly naughty) is another step in the right direction. That doesn't mean it should be taken at face value, or that the shiny, happy advertisers who made the Nice List are there because they met a bar, rather than just slid underneath it.

It is a place to start, at least for the conscientious crowd who have their eyes set on a long term, sustainable business model as opposed to a short term, rake-it-in-and-run racket. If consumers back them up by voting with their wallets, there may even be a light at the end of the "Scamville" tunnel.

No comments:

Post a Comment