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Facebook Sets Expiration Date for Controversial Ad Feature (wsj.com)
20 points by yeukhon 1374 days ago | hide | past | web | 11 comments | favorite

After reading the FB blog post, it seems like this article is somewhat misleading. Yes, Facebook is removing "Sponsored Stories", but only because all ads will now include social context; in essence, all ads will become types of "Sponsored Stories."

It's only pro privacy because users will be able to opt out of allowing companies to use their likeness in ads. But really, what this really means is that all Facebook advertisements are going to be what "Sponsored Stories" were. No controversial features are being removed, they're being actively pushed by Facebook.

Misleading statements and ever changing goal posts. Sounds like Facebook to me.

Horribly written headline on WSJ's part; one could read it and think Facebook's given up on advertising.

I think you mean very carefully written headline. As much as people mutter about clickbait, the art of headlining is old and subtle, driven by business pressures, technical considerations (eg, the width of a column) and psychology.

The sentence is true, though incomplete. Facebook has many ad programs, and has chosen to shut down one of them. That it also happens to oversell the content through ambiguity is icing.


Kudos to the HN staff for the quick revision. Edited headline here is much more relevant.

I'm confused as to why that's a violation of privacy. Your friends can already see you Facebook profile picture and what posts you like, so how is this so different? The only difference I see is the location the likes are being shown. Is there something I'm missing that makes it such a huge privacy problem?

I am also not very clear about what the difference is between sponsored stories and a regular "yeukhon likes foobar page" on newsfeed. According to this https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10100328087082670 they just make it more persistent so it appears on a different location and appears more regularly than a simple "Status check-in" which goes away. That's the impression I get.

Doing so I can see a possible issue is endorsement. That is, I go to starbuck near Columbia and I don't need my friends to know that I was there a week later. Or I don't need Facebook to tell my friends that I like X group or X product two weeks after I have liked it. If I want to endorse my likes for real, and actually want people to hear about this great product or this great mission on FB, I would have just make a bunch of status update myself.

But FB seems to think differently: let me take care of that for you. Instead of the user (me, I) doing all the selective publishing to tell my friends what a great product I think foobar is offering, FB will automate that process and put it in my friend's newsfeed and sidebar regularly when that product/group is on some ad campaign. In essence, I think FB is doing too much on behalf of the user since "endorsement" is a serious legal matter. Not entirely a bad thing. I have found some great stuff from these SS too, but I think for other people SS is not. I am not sure if this is the actual issue behind SS, but hopefully it is.

This is uninteresting to me. But in a few years, I wouldn't be surprised if most of their users are turned away in droves because the first thing you see when you log on is a huge sponsored story right above the fold.

Note: This post has been updated to note that Facebook users can opt out of appearing in ads by changing their settings

This seems like the buried lede? Note even in the story!

That's always been the case, this isn't news.

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