Facebook: Dave Winer brings the hate

In a recent post — entitled “Why Facebook sucks” — Dave Winer slams the social network for being too closed, and for “getting in between me and my address book,” as he puts it. Not surprisingly, this has sparked a series of posts, including one from Randy Holloway entitled (you had to know this was coming) “Why Dave Winer sucks.” Stowe Boyd took issue with Dave’s comments — in what I thought was a fairly reasonable manner — only to have Dave post via twitter (I refuse to say he “tweeted” or whatever I’m supposed to say) that Stowe was “a creep” and “an idiot.”

As usual, Dave has managed to turn something that could have been a worthwhile discussion about concepts and ideas into something personal. Why? Who knows. It’s just something he does. Not that long ago, he did it with Jason Calacanis, and he has done it with numerous others. It reminds me of the old story about the scorpion convincing the frog to carry him across the pond, and then stinging him at the last minute, causing them both to drown. And when the frog asks why, the scorpion says: “I couldn’t help it — it’s my nature.”

Steve is right to use a pic of kids playing in a sandbox to illustrate his post about the whole affair. As for Dave’s complaints, it’s all well and good to talk about Facebook as a roach motel or a closed system or the new AOL or whatever (something I’ve expressed doubts about in the past), but as Brandon and Stowe himself have pointed out, address book data isn’t trapped as Dave makes it out to be, thanks to Facebook’s API. Nice try, Dave.

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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