There’s been a long-standing claim against every social network: You are not their consumer, you are their product. The topic makes for great link bait – it’s an easily understandable, headline-grabbing claim that companies like Facebook are going to strip mine the places you love to spend time in the pursuit of advertising dollars.

This reputation is not entirely undeserved. A quick search surfaces the litany of ways how Facebook has stretched user experience and trust in the interest of enhancing their products for marketers.

But recent changes appear to eliminate several of the lower quality user experiences, while also raising the bar for how brands can reach their fans and potential customers.

Percolator Craig Breslawski explores how Facebook is levelling the playing field for brands and users in a column on

The edgerank algorithm