Don't Believe The Hype. Ello Is Just Another Facebook With a Different Name

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No-ad network Ello will sell user data, says its privacy policy.

Facebook's ongoing privacy blunders, including secretly enrolling users in a psychological study and selling user data, is creating a backlash against the social media giant. It also leaves people searching for alternatives.

But it turns out that new networks positioning themselves as Facebook-killers and vowing to uphold so-called "Internet privacy" have no plans to be any different.

At the forefront of this drive to break Facebook's monopoly is a new network called Ello. The site's founder Paul Budnitz, in his manifesto, vowed to never sell user data saying: "You Are Not A Product."

But upon a closer inspection of Ello's privacy policy, it seems the site is only ad-free for now. Ello clearly left the door open for profiting off of user data in future, and will probably do so once it's big and addictive enough. Check this:

Based on this, it's easy to criticize Budnitz and accuse him of deceiving Ello users. But the question to ask here is whether users should even seek privacy on social networks. Sharing and exchanging personal information with others is why sites like Facebook, Orkut and MySpace came into being in the first place. That's the nature of this beast. So why get worked up over it?

Also Check: Need A Reason To Leave Facebook? Here Are 10

Another, even more important reason, why social networks and Internet privacy can't go hand in hand is the financial aspect. Minus the subscription model, the only other way to fuel gigantic social networks is advertising. Hence, expecting an entrepreneur to keep on financing an entertainment platform for millions with no chance of a payback is unreasonable as much as impractical.

It's nice to see Ello gain a million-plus users within a few months of its launch. Its black and white theme gives a nice alternative to Facebook's blue and white, but that's the extent of their dissimilarities. Sooner or later, Budnitz will run out of money and his investors will demand a return on their $435,000 seed funding. That's when Ello will have to tread the path that Facebook took.

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