Years active: 2007-2009
Beacon was the grandaddy of all Facebook fuck ups. Once a pivotal part of their advertising strategy, it paved the way for what would eventually become Facebook Connect, allowing third parties to send Facebook data about users’ consumer behavior so they could better target ads.
However, Beacon was a veritable PR nightmare. It broadcasted what people were buying online onto their news feed without their permission, and became the subject of a class-action lawsuit over privacy concerns. More abysmal still, it was held responsible for ruining a bunch of people's Christmases when it revealed what gifts they'd bought.
That's right, everyone -- Facebook stole Christmas. But the story ends happily in 2009 when good guy Mark Zuckerberg apologized, admitting that Beacon was "a mistake." Aw. It's cool man, no worries.
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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist, and would really kick himself for not taking a $3 billion offer for literally anything.