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I think this argument has some merit. But Facebook has evolved to the way it is by design - it wants to straddle the public and private conversation market with ONE user interface. What you call private and public, I refer to as "conversation networks" versus "content networks" in http://thehumanintheloop.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/sn-king-cn-aspirant/ A content network is something like Twitter, Flickr or Yelp - geared towards public communication where the goal is to let the best content surface to the top. A conversation network is something like email or IM which is about private, intimate conversations. This is how most people use Facebook - this is how Facebook started out. Typically, companies fail when they try to straddle both use cases (think Google Buzz and Gmail). But Facebook seems to have found a way to straddle both words. I, for one, am impressed. But this means it isn't good at either space - but you know what, it doesn't need to be. It needs to be "good enough" in both use cases, which it seems to be!
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Nov 1, 2010