Mark Cuban standing up to Facebook and taking his business elsewhere represents a turning point for the tech industry, says Marc Canter, the developer who helped found Macromedia.
Canter is a loud advocate for the free and open Web, and has been critical of Facebook in the past. In a new blog post, Canter praises Cuban’s decision, which he sees as signficant.
Canter and others are using the term “Like-gate” to describe the situation in which Facebook charges brands and individuals to communicate with the audiences they’ve amassed over the past few years.
Recently Facebook changed its algorithm in such a way that it radically reduced the ability of brands to reach their Facebook followers. Some brands saw their reach drop by 40% or more overnight.
Cuban says he’ll start looking elsewhere for ways to reach people. He’ll still be on Facebook, but will emphasize other channels such as Twitter, Tumblr and Myspace.
Closed Systems Versus Open Web
Canter, a big-time left-winger, goes off on a bit of a rant about how capitalism itself needs to change but then circles back to make an interesting point about the nature of the new generation of tech entrepreneurs, whose attitudes he finds despicable.
“They think it’s perfectly fine to have Facebook’s paywall charge brands to sneakily insert ads which look like stories into users’ activity streams. This is because these people don’t really believe in the free and open Web,” Canter writes.
“They think that it’s ALL about exploiting and manipulating and tricking people — so that they can make money off of these tricks. That’s their interpretation of the opportunities that our free Web gives them. That’s why they LOVE Facebook,” Canter says.
Canter ends on a hopeful note, saying that while a bunch of opportunists may try to exploit closed systems for their own gain, in the end, “the free and open Web will just route around these people.”
What do you think? Is Marc Canter a cranky old man, or does he have a point? Let us know in the comments below.
Read on: Here’s the original Cuban story.
Image courtesy of Reuters.