1. How the (seemingly) simple usability issue of opt-in vs. opt-out lies at the heart of this mess. Most people seem to agree that if Facebook had simply made Beacon an opt-in thing, there wouldn't have been as much, or any, outcry about the program.
2. The fact that it looks like the braintrust at Facebook was probably confident that most people would not care/know enough about the whole thing to do much about it. This is pretty cynical, but I think perfectly valid. And what does this say about Facebook, and the way they value, respect and care about the users?
3. Finally, the realization that unlike, say, Google, who has built a very strong brand around the "Do No Evil" mantra, there really IS no Facebook brand. There is a huge community of Facebook users, spending a lot of time at the site daily, but there is no brand at the centre.
(update: I forgot one other small thing after I posted this)
4. Brands aren't the same as people, and they're definitely not the same thing as "friends". Again, others have written about this, so I won't repeat those arguments here, but the sheer stupidity of these kinds of statements from Facebook truly do baffle me:
Facebook executives say the people who are complaining are a marginal minority. With time, Facebook says, users will accept Beacon, which Facebook views as an extension of the type of book and movie recommendations that members routinely volunteer on their profile pages.
As long as Facebook continues to arrogantly mistake and equate their platform and membership numbers with a brand, they'll continue to trudge down the wrong path. Do you really think that members won't dump Facebook if they keep doing stuff like this? Why is Facebook different than other community sites that have fallen out of favour?
They might find a way to eventually monetize what they do, but this will continue to be different than building a brand, or, indeed, systematically ruining it before they even begin to reinforce it's foundation (which wil be built on trust, transparency and respect for users).
(image by the ever-wonderful)