Robert Hampton

Another visitor! Stay a while… stay forever!

12th February 2010

Facebook login

I’ve posted before about the dangers of trusting Google to deliver you to the right place, and the “Facebook login” fiasco shows why it’s a problem.

Details are in the link above, but in a nutshell: the web site ReadWriteWeb posted an article with the title “Facebook Wants to Be Your One True Login”. That page quickly rose to the top of Google’s search results for Facebook login. Soon RWW were inundated with confused facebook users who believed that they had landed on Facebook’s login page and thought that they had fallen victim to one of the frequent redesigns that people love to complain about so much. The comment thread to that post is a sight to behold.

The question is: why didn’t they just type into their browser’s address bar directly? The answer, I suspect, is that a lot of people simply don’t know how to do this. For many people “Google = Internet”, the same way “Microsoft = Computer” is commonplace (or certainly was until recently).

They never bother to bookmark sites, preferring to use Google to find everything. This fiasco has demonstrated, in the most hilarious way possible, why that it is a bad thing, especially when the same users seemingly believe Google even when it throws up an obviously bad result.

It’s no wonder phishing and other scams are so commonplace with this level of internet literacy. It would be a good idea for Google and other big players on the Internet to embark on a programme of education in this area.