Occasionally, because Modern life is complicated and you often don’t have time to think, you sign up to something and don’t truly consider the consequences of your actions. It is only when you reach a point where what you’re offered becomes unacceptable that there is the chance to step back and really grasp what you’ve become a part of. That pretty much described me this morning as the latest Beta update of the Battle.net launcher decided that there were 723 people ‘I may know’ who I could now add to my ‘Friends’ list thanks to the wonders of Facebook. Of course, I should have known. I sign up for streaming, but all this really ends up being is a means by which ‘social media’ invades every part of my existence… or rather, one man’s version of it.
I’m embarrassed this morning I didn’t see this coming sooner.
Yup, you’ve been sold to the Company, folks. With a combination of two databases, the potential to peddle targeted adverts to you and mark you as a Gamer on Facebook can now continue apace. As a point of order, a friend is NOT ‘people you may know’ and in my case includes a number of people who I have blocked on other Social media and (more importantly for them) continue to block me. Battle.net has little or no sophistication when it comes to blocking and functionality to begin with, and the thought that Facebook now come in and stick their arse into the equation with a service I never asked for and don’t want, but someone clearly thinks is cool and clever? The future is NOT allowing a place I come to as an escape from reality to be included in somebody else’s algorithmic search portal. NOPE. Just so no, if I shook my head any harder, it would fall off and roll away.
The consequences of this, quite frankly, make me feel uncomfortable just typing them.
Call it healthy paranoia, call it a need to assert independence… you can call it what you like, but the only reason I now maintain a Facebook presence is to have a means of posting my written work for extra views. The page I have has to be linked to a legitimate account and so I have one ‘friend’ who’s my husband. After that, I don’t care one iota about what the system tries to sell me. In fact, after this morning, I’m tempted to delete my Page too and lose the views. Facebook is such an insidious and damaging thing, in my mind, and that people trust it so freely with their information and lives is a constant source of amazement to me. As I was never the target audience for this, it hardly matters, but the fact that this has been slipped into beta with absolutely no warning both looks and smells like a fait accompli to me.
Of course, it is simple to sort. I’ve disconnected my Facebook account. I’ve deauthorised all other API functionality and, as I’ve been considering for a while, taken myself off Real ID to boot. I spent years posting screenshots to Twitter without needing an in game interface, and I’ll happily continue to do stuff my way rather than be dictated to by someone in a suit who seems to think as a 50-summat housewife I’d like ‘convenience’ and ‘functionality’ at my fingertips. What I’d like, Activision Blizzard, is for more companies to stop selling their freedom and independence under the false guise of progress. This isn’t a way forwards, it’s going backwards, and I am happy to take no further part in proceedings.
Feel free to make your own decisions when this function finally makes it to the Live client.