[afnog] Another Perspective - Kentik's View on the Facebook Outage

Bill Woodcock woody at pch.net
Sat Oct 9 11:22:08 UTC 2021

> On Oct 9, 2021, at 7:48 AM, Mark Tinka <mark at tinka.africa> wrote:
> I know making this statement of "being the product if it's free" has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, but for me, it doesn't track.

It’s not literal, so no, it doesn’t hold up to a literal interpretation.

> Yes, you are giving up some things by being a patron to a service that you do not pay money for. But Facebook is not the first product where we have done these things.

Both true, but...

> "Free with advertising" has been a model for a very long time, long before Facebook, and long before the Internet, in which there is no indication that users are treated like "the product".

Correct, because that’s a completely different model.  Facebook (and Google, and Twitter) like to associate themselves with advertising, because it’s a lesser evil than what they do, which is collect and sell surveillance.

> True, paying for a service does not guarantee that you will be treated better as a customer, or in the case of this topic, have better reliability. But it could, indeed, introduce a new dynamic toward that end.

Yep.  And laws like GDPR create a framework in which people who pay for services can have a legally-enforced expectation of privacy rights.

>> Where is this need coming from?

Here’s an interview I gave on that topic recently:



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