I don’t think this has the effect that Facebook wants. I don’t think a frog-boiling style of slow erosion of privacy means people just continue to share in the same way except in public. It means that the people who understand what’s going on become wary, stop trusting, and eventually stop using the service. And people who don’t understand what’s happening will eventually hit situations in which something doesn’t work the way they thought it did (often embarrassingly), and the uncertainty of their mental model will result in less usage and make that usage more tentative and more careful.

Ultimately, it just means less intimacy. Less signal. Less of exactly what this kind of technology is supposed to enable.

Joe Moon

Less signal and less intimacy, yes — but only microscopically less. What percentage of Facebook’s 800 million users have any awareness of these matters whatsoever? I can’t imagine it would be more than 2 percent; I would guess less than 1. And how many of those are seriously bothered by Facebook’s campaign against privacy? Surely far less than half. Facebook is in a position where it can aggregate significantly more information at the cost of alienating a tiny percentage of its users, many of whom will get over their alienation. There’s no real downside for them.