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Has Facebook Jumped the Shark?

When you log in to Facebook, a display in the upper-right-hand corner of the page shows a box with people you may know, or things you may like.

Last week, Facebook was asking me to like Clorox.

Why would I join 95,000 people who share such a fervent loyalty ... to bleach? Is this a sign that the social network could be heading down the MySpace road?

Facebook reminds me of the old Henry Ford quote about how you can have a car painted any color you want, so long as it's black. Everyone on Facebook gets the same blue-and-white color scheme to do with as they please (unlike the design of the waning MySpace, which looks like what you'd get if you stuffed everything from the Internet into a blender and pressed "frappe").

Facebook is the suburbs of the Internet: It's bland and clean. But too much blandness, however clean, will drive some people to find something else.

Ads on social-networking sites are nothing new; after all, those ads allow social-networking companies to stay in business. However, Facebook has recently come under fire for changes to its privacy policy, especially regarding what information it shares with companies—like, say, Clorox. This has inspired some users to designate May 31 as Quit Facebook Day.

In a recent poll on the social-media news site Mashable.com, 28 percent of respondents say they will leave the site (as of press time). (44 percent say they will not, with the remaining 28 percent undecided.) Some of those who are undecided have commented about their need to keep a Facebook profile for work; others say they'll stick around to see how the privacy settings change things; yet others say they've stripped down their accounts to include only the barest of information.

As for me ... I'm on Facebook for the long haul, at least until the day my eventual kids tell me something called TwitTube is the big new thing.


THE WEEK ON THE RANGE

We continued to chronicle news related to SB 1070, including the fact that Gov. Jan Brewer recruited Facebook pundit Sarah Palin to help improve Arizona's image—and that's sure to work, since the folks opposed to Arizona's new immigration law love Sarah so much! We also brought you poll numbers about SB 1070 and shared a dispatch from Nogales, Arizona, that indicated the city was quiet as the result of a "Day Without a Mexican" protest.

We also compiled John McCain's poll numbers with the help of Pollster.com (they don't look very good) and featured a remix of McCain's laughable "danged fence" campaign ad that put him in the middle of Star Wars.

We broke the news that former state lawmaker Ted Downing was planning to run as an independent rather than a Democrat in his rematch against state Sen. Paula Aboud; and let you know that the Tucson City Council may tax you every time you sell a CD to Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, in an effort to fix the city's budget troubles.

We urged you to go see Killer Joe at Etcetera, Live Theatre Workskop's late-night series; previewed the Bodies exhibition at the Rialto Building; and noted the passing of Ronnie James Dio.

On the Chow beat, we let you know that Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen and CeeDee Jamaican Kitchen were open for business.

We also featured the photography of UA journalism students Alex Cooley, Katrina Arrington and Corey Lueker, and the artwork of Sarah Cadrobbi (a Weekly staffer) and David Kish.


COMMENT OF THE WEEK

"Maybe if Arizona would sell some of its parks, that would help? I bet we could get a great price for the Grand Canyon from Disney. I mean, we don't own our Capitol building anymore, right?"

TucsonWeekly.com user CesarsPop, in response to "Liquidating Arizona," last week's story on the wrap-up of the Legislative session, which discussed lawmakers' moves to sell state properties to raise money.


BEST OF WWW

We've heard a lot of complaints about the ways that Tucson Unified School District operates, but here's a new one: They make little kids cry. While she worked on this week's story about the proposed closing of Richey Elementary School, Mari Herreras filmed some of the public comments during a meeting about the closing. A student was in the middle of explaining why the school should stay open when tears started welling in his eyes—which caused other members of the audience to battle tears as well.

Oh, yes, we've also got a slide show on an agency for tattooed models.

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