2018-12-22 00:57

In love with Facebook

Dear managers,

Yeah, this Christmas guy is knocking on our doors. Probably not the best time for a lengthy rant, but the product management at both Google and Facebook is driving me nuts these days.

Facebook is warning me over and over I would use deprecated API calls. So I checked, double-checked, triple-checked - and found myself not to be guilty on this one. 2 months later a support guy was answering the trouble ticket acknowledging Facebook was wrong. On top their press is getting worse and worse in terms of privacy violations. Right now a court found site owners partly responsible of telling their customers how Facebook would handle collected data from API calls. I don't know how I could be in charge of Facebooks doing a proper data processing.

Alphabet, the Google holding, was announcing to close down Google+. This in itself is a shame. However, they do not only close down Google+ only, they decided to stop their Google+ related signing in API as well. Pre warn time: kind of a few days for external developers, they announced first changes for end of January 2019.

On top Google was providing "ReCaptcha". You all will know this little windows telling "I am no bot". Google announced a version 3 of it. It means you would have to include some basic script into each single page of RedZoneAction. They wrote: "to make it work even better". In our opinion, this is just another freaking attempt to track users on their way though the world wide web.

Since those examples are not the only ones I could tell about in around 10 years of experience with both social networks, I made a decision not to follow their path of more or less idiotic software development cycles and policies anymore.

This means I will take action, and did take action already!

First, I removed all tracking scripts using their javascript APIs. This means, we do not offer their "Other people like this" windows anymore. Instead we changed the interface for sharing RedZoneAction with your friends on Twitter and Facebook to a passive technology not transfering any data over to those networks until you really hit the button to share something. This is more a technology thing, the functionalty from the users point of view is the same - just without all these data privacy issues.

At the same time we removed all fuctionality to share anything on Google+. It would have been useless anyways once they shutdown Google+ in spring 2019 - just another nail in the coffin.

In the near future we will remove the options for registering RedZoneAction accounts by using Google or Facebook. Users using those options did not need to provide us with an valid mail address, and therefore the whole process of creating an RedZoneAction account was just easier. But since we have really smart users, we believe our users can type in an email address by theirselves without making any errors. There will be an additional announce before we shutdown this option completely.

Users having registered in the past using Google or Facebook should check their email address stored in RedZoneActions settings area, and correct it as soon as possible. Once we switch off these Social network based login methods, having an valid email address is the only way to recover from a password loss (ok, of course you could contact me via mail).

For the Recaptcha thing: I was replacing the Google Recaptcha with a self-written version, and of course this "Peters Captcha" comes without any user tracking.

So yeah, where is the rant in this? Here we go: Fuck off Google, Fuck off Facebook!

For the moment I am not done with the decision to continue our Facebook and Twitter pages. Once a decision was made, there will be an announcement on this as well.

Despite this rant I would like to take the opportunity to thank you very much for another successful year in running It was a pleasure, as it was in all the past years. I liked it very much, and still like it.

What happens next? In a few weeks we switch to season 33 here in RedZoneAction. At this moment we will change the league structure, to provide some more challenging gameplay. This was announced in the forum already, and from a code point of view we are ready to go.

Meanwhile, enjoy the upcoming festivities. Christmas is coming soon, and in a week or so we prepare already to welcome 2019.

So Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, best regards

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