Facebook Jumps the Shark? Dad Pays Daughter to Quit Social Network

With FB Stock Prices all Over the Place and Lawsuits for Privacy Concerns? Has Facebook Jumped the Shark?

Staff Report

WELLESLEY, MA - Not too many years ago, it was all about giving out your MySpace page. As you may know, after Richard Murdoch bought the popular social network for a lot of money, popularity waned as people flooded to Facebook, the newer social network on the block. Some are wondering if Facebook's time in the spotlight may be ending due to a number of reasons, including a dad paying his daughter $200 to quit the site for five months.

At Forbes, they reported, "Facebook Deactivation Agreement (FDA). Signed on Monday, February 4, by 14-year-old Rachel Baier and her father, Paul, the FDA stipulates that she will ”shut down her Facebook page and hand over the password to prevent her from reopening the account,” according to the Boston Business Journal. As Baier posted to his blog, he will pay her $50 on April 15 and $150 on June 26 to seal the deal."

The agreement is not an isolated incident surrounding unhappiness with the giant social network. A Pew Research Center survey of 1,006 U.S. adults in December of 2012 found that  67% of Facebook users stopped using the social network for weeks at a time due to  “excessive gossip or drama from their friends” or “concerns about privacy" as well as other reasons.

Facebook had to pay to settle a lawsuit over its "sponsored stories" feature that had quite a few Facebook users upset. Basically, the feature on the social network allowed companies to purchase and rebroadcast activity of Facebook users to their other friends. So, people were recommending products and services without their knowledge.

According to the NY Times last year, "Facebook has agreed to make it clear to users that when they click to like a product on Facebook, their names and photos can be used to plug the product. They will also be given a chance to decline the opportunity to be unpaid endorsers."

Nick Bergus ran into problems with sponsored stories when he jokingly "liked" a 45 gallon bucket of personal lubricant from Amazon. The problem came a few weeks later. Bergus wrote on his blog:

A week later, a friend posts a screen capture and tells me that my post has been showing up next to his news feed as a sponsored story, meaning Amazon is paying Facebook to highlight my link to a giant tub of personal lubricant.

Other people start reporting that they’re seeing it, too. A fellow roller derby referee. A former employee of a magazine I still write for. My co-worker’s wife. They’re not seeing just once, but regularly. Said one friend: “It has shown up as one on mine every single time I log in.”

I’m partially amused that Amazon is paying for this, but I’m also sorta annoyed. Of course Facebook is happily selling me out to advertisers. That’s its business. That’s what you sign up for when make an account.According to the Washington Post, Court documents from last week said a settlement has been reached. Facebook attorney Michael Rhodes confirmed the information with WaPo this weekend.

Has Facebook jumped the shark? It is a possibility.

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