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The Ethics of Facebook Like button



1:47 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Facebook is not exactly well-known for being a paragon of privacy protection, and now their 'Like' button is drawing scrutiny from privacy watchdogs. The Like button uses an iframe, so Facebook can track Facebook users via your website, whether they're logged in or not, and whether they actively click the Like button or not.

Facebook claims that the tracking data is anonymized, is not shared with 3rd parties, and will not result in contextually matched advertising.

Given Facebook's reputation, do you believe that Facebook really intends to keep Like-button data completely anonymous, or do you assume this privacy policy is likely to change in the future? If there is any potential for privacy violations, are webmasters complicit for adding 'Like' buttons? What if you're in a discretion-related market like Ashley Madison or sell personal products like feminine hygiene -- do you worry about Facebook tracking your customers via a Like button? Is this an ethical dilema for some webmasters, or is it a non-issue?


12:01 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Right, so I guess a non-issue...


12:27 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Answering the questions: Yes/No. Yes. Yes. Yes/No.


2:29 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I always assumed, to be able to target ads better to its users, was the main reason for FB to create that button in the first place.


4:40 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I noticed that Facebook, Twitter, etc. (surely for their own tracking purposes) seem to be pushing code containing external Javascript for their Share buttons, but if you look hard enough, you can find the static href link code.

For Facebook's Like button, does anyone know what the static, non-iframe, non-Javascript code would be?


12:18 am on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Three things to use the JavaScript Share

<fb:like href="http://ecommercedeveloper.com" layout="standard" show_faces="true" width="400" action="like" font="segoe ui" colorscheme="light" />

<script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js"></script>
status : true, // check login status
cookie : true, // enable cookies to allow the server to access the session
xfbml : true // parse XFBML

3. Insert into head

<meta property="og:site_name" content="insert your site description"/>
<meta property="og:image" content="http://www.yoursite.com/share-image-you-want-to-show-up.jpg"/>


7:06 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

The thing is facebook wants to dominiate the internet like google has done. So, its pretty imperative for them to track down everything so that they can use it for their own profits.

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