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by Mike Zazaian September 8, 2006 - 6:16pm, No Comments

Anti-Facebook Activist Count

Recently added News Feed and Mini Feed features have been adjusted due to a groundswell of Facebook users who oppose the new features.

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went live with his new News Feed and Mini Feed features on the popular social networking website, the immediate responses were all but positive. An anti-newsfeed activist group called “Students Against News Feed” popped up immediately, and within a day had 100,000 members. Within two days it had 300,000, and currently boasts three quarter of a million members and counting. And this is only one of the hundreds of groups that popped up regarding the issue. It’s the kind of grass roots movement that demonstrates change needs to be made, and today Mark Zuckerberg has done just that.

The dissatisfied users may now choose not to participate in the News Feed feature, which displays a live feed of all the changes made by the friends in a user’s network. If Jim is taking Chem 345, News Feed tells you about. If Annie is having a birthday tomorrow, it tells you about it. If Andy is feeling like facebook knows more about him that he does, News Feed tells you about it. It was this kind of everything-about-everyone updating that quickly found Facebook with a new nickname of “Stalkbook.”

Mark Zuckerberg came out today and made a statement regarding changes that had been made since the uproar began:

So we have been coding nonstop for two days to get you better privacy controls. This new privacy page will allow you to choose which types of stories go into your Mini-Feed and your friendsí News Feeds, and it also lists the type of actions Facebook will never let any other person know about.

The Facebook team has also included the option to remove each feature of the news feed, making it into a more highly-customizable interface.

Facebook has definately handled this one well, and has admirably kept with what is certainly a foreward-thinking and innovative web application for their site despite the enormous controversy that ensued. The feed, after all, is designed with the user in mind, and is built to favor usability over the number of page hits the site receives. Just some food for thought.

[via TechCrunch]