How Facebook is turning you into a clapping monkey

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The inevitable has happened. It appears Facebook has sold us out to the big man. Similar to Twitter’s ‘Promoted Tweets’, ‘Sponsored Stories’ is the new Facebook gizmo which takes invading privacy in the name of making a buck (or several million) one step further by turning the activities of us, its avid users, into revenue for the site.

If you are yet to become familiarised with the concept of Sponsored Stories, let us break it down for you: any check-in, update, Like, or tag which mentions a participating brand will appear as usual on the News Feed but also again in a separate sidebar along with a link to the brand’s page for the continuing notion of ‘liking’ to commence. On first thought this doesn’t seem so harsh, but as there is no opt-out options in the settings, in effect we are becoming unwilling, unpaid spokespeople for some company product when all we want to do is feed out an unrelenting need for attention.

The idea of Sponsored Stories doesn’t rub all people up the wrong way; most Facebook users probably won’t be fazed, but you know who will be? The companies investing big bucks into this new campaigning gig only to be utterly defenseless to merciless pissed-off consumers armed with a keyboard, some vicious words, and the ability to have millions upon millions of Facebookers read their negative product reviews where selling via recommendation is the primary object. But then we’re sure the big brands will have a ton of media monitors editing out the bad words…