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Comments: Week of April 20, 2009


1. There was a definite theme to the comments this week: Revolt! Our cover story (“Do You Own Facebook? Or Does Facebook Own You?,” by Vanessa Grigoriadis, April 13) prompted a sharp response from Facebook fans and fed-up skeptics alike. “Facebook pimps friendship to lonely populations of captive screen-heads,” wrote one commenter. “Its price? Not your soul, just your data.” Another added, “How are we supposed to form meaningful relationships with people when we only connect with others via online interactions? ‘Find me on Facebook’—no. Come get to know me in the real world of living and breathing human beings.” Others argued that Facebook’s critics just don’t get it. “This is such an old-person take on Facebook,” wrote one presumably non-old commenter. “Maybe it’s a generational thing,” wrote another. “Facebook is whatever you make of it. Your Facebook profile is like your outfit; it’s a canvas on which you dictate the impression you’d like to give the world.”

2. As for our other argument-starter of the week, roughly half of our Glenn Beck commenters shouted, ˇViva la revolución! (“Wake up, America!! Glenn Beck is delivering a message that needs to be heard and paid attention to by any of us concerned about the future of our country.”) The other half answered back: Revolting! (“The man appears to be psychotic.”) One commenter tried to take the middle road but wound up at a similar destination. “Beck is clearly a gifted communicator who has a terrific ability to connect emotionally to his audience in a way that validates their anxieties. He is authentic and uninhibited. All of that said, he is simply wrong, over and over again. He is wrong.”

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