Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More on the Facebook privacy debate

I've been following the Facebook privacy debate (circa May 2010) pretty closely. I'm kinda interested in issues around privacy, identity and how kids are using social networking and this has coincided with the most recent concerns about the way Facebook treats user information. Moving away from issues of selling information and buying privacy, the most thought-provoking piece i have read to date is this one by Jeff Jarvis on BuzzMachine. I am very interested in his suggestion that Facebook has been at the receiving end of a backlash because it has crossed a particular line. This is the line he has in mind:

In Facebook, we get to create our publics. In Twitter, we decide which publics to join. But neither is the public sphere; neither entails publishing to everyone. Yet Facebook is pushing us more and more to publish to everyone and when it does, we lose control of our publics. That, I think, is the line it crossed.

There is a difference between 'the public' and 'publics'. Nissenbaum's new book Privacy in Context is also interesting in this respect.

London Zine Symposium

The 2010 London Zine Symposium is on this weekend. Lucky you if you are in London this weekend!

In a celebration of DIY and zine culture, the symposium brings together zones, small press writers, radical press and comic creators.

The pedagogies of disney princesses

This from Boing Boing

Social Media Revolution

Socialnomics pulled together a range of interesting information about social media to create this video. Watch it. Go to the website to read the lists of information from a vast range of sources.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Facebook owns you

Kurt Opsahl, writing for the Electronic Frontiers Foundation, has constructed a timeline of Facebook's privacy policies. He's mapped out the shifts from 2005 to April 2010. He begins with:

Since its incorporation just over five years ago (Vic: can it only be that long?), Facebook has undergone a remarkable transformation. When it started, it was a private space for communication with a group of your choice. Soon, it transformed into a platform where much fo your information is public by default. Today, it has become a platform where you have no choice but to make certain information public, and this public information may be shared by Facebook with its partner websites and used to target ads.

Read "Facebook's Eroding Privacy Policy: A timeline" here. If you're yet feeling slightly meh about what happens to your data when you join Facebook you should read Ryan Singel's Wired article "Facebook's gone rogue" which gives you a more detailed overview of what happens to your profile information.

If any of this alarms you, then go here and read how to opt out of the bits you still can.

For an alternate view, read this. Daniel Castro has a point, "Facebook is neither a right nor a necessity". If don't like it, don't use it.