Google vs. Facebook: Adult Supervision Desperately Needed

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In a response to a TechCrunch story about Google's API block, Facebook geek/blogger Mike Vernal lobbed a few water balloons in the general direction of the Googleplex:

Openness doesn't mean being open when its convenient for you. [Oh snap!] ... Facebook Platform and the Graph API enable everyone to bring their own information to millions of sites and applications, including even Google's YouTube....We strongly hope that Google turns back on their API and doesn't come up with yet another excuse to prevent their users from leaving Google products to use ones they like better instead.

Also: Eric Schmidt is a doo-doo head. Pass it on.

Various TechCrunch readers took turns spanking Vernal for various fibs in his diatribe, including "every Facebook user controls his or her own information" (except for the info Facebook controls), "Facebook doesn't let users export their email address books to third parties" (except for Yahoo and Hotmail, with whom Facebook has negotiated special business deals), and "Facebook lets its users bring their info to millions of sites and applications" (except for Twitter, whose API Facebook blocked earlier this year).

And then there was this howler: "Our policy has been consistent." By "consistent," he apparently means "has not changed over the previous 24 hours."

I'd say it's time for the adults to step in and settle this fight before somebody puts an eye out, but I'm not sure there are any adults in this fight. Schmidt is busy talking about how Google would be happy to make all your decisions for you (using his creepy Uncle Eric voice), while Zuckerberg is out trying to master the "Ollie" on his skateboard.

When you come right down to it, it's not Google's data or Facebook's data. It's our data. And we should be able to do whatever we want with it.

Google needs to be less snotty. Facebook needs to learn how to play nicely with others and share its toys. And they both could benefit from a good walloping.

Is it time to take Google and Facebook out to the woodshed? Share your thoughts below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "Google vs Facebook: Adult supervision desperately needed," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringeley's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

This story, "Google vs. Facebook: Adult Supervision Desperately Needed" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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