Facebook block Chrome Friend Exporter as Google+ social network battle begins

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Facebook are upping their defenses in the social networking fight after this week’s launch of the Google+ network. Not only does Zuckerberg’s gang have “something awesome” to reveal tomorrow, but they’re now actively working to hamstring the growth of the Google+ network by disabling a Chrome browser extension that makes it far easier to import Facebook friend info into the search giant’s new network.

The extension in question is the Facebook Friend Exporter which collates all of your pals’ information as stored on Facebook and converting it into a file which makes it easy to invite them to and track them down on Google+. However, Facebook are now shifting the data harvested by the extension in an effort to effectively break it.

It’s a move that the extension’s developer Mohamed Mansour understandably disagrees with. He’s been quoted as stating that: “Get *your* data contact out of Facebook, whether they want you to or not. You gave them your friends and allowed them to store that data, and you have right to take it back out! Facebook doesn’t own my friends.”

It’s an interesting argument; who really does own your friends? Facebook obviously doesn’t physically own your friends, but it can lay claim to the data posted about them. This data is incredibly lucrative, and keeping it away from the likes of Google+ is key to the network’s continued success.

Facebook does offer their own friend data exporting tool, but is formatted in such an unwieldy way as to make it all-but-useless.

Gerald Lynch
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