These guys, and Google, and Apple, for that matter, need way, way more scrutiny than they’re getting. The problem with Facebook: I’d like to quit my account in protest, but the network effects make it difficult to do so. I have some 400 friends and “friends” on there. Years of photos and comments and no way to export them. It’s one of the key ways I stay in touch with people.

In other words, Facebook has us over a barrel. And it’s not hesitating to take advantage of that. Can somebody create a non-evil Facebook? Can the press hammer these guys instead of writing yet another fawning profile of them?

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.