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Of Note This Week

Of Note This Week

  • I know you’re probably getting tired (past tired) of me talking about Facebook, but this article by Anil Dash is far more effective than I am at articulating the problem with the privacy philosophy there, viz., the fact that assumes by default that the user has no identity characteristics that will be found objectionable by some segment of the population (i.e. what if you are gay? or Muslim? or a radical working for a conservative company? etc.)
  • Also, just because it’s fucking sad and also funny in a kind of gallows humor kind of way, please read these IMs from Zuckerberg. Please. I beg of you. Let me show you the kind of person you are entrusting with all of your precious funny cat pictures.
  • Here’s Keely’s post about why the internet, as much as it kills her to say it, is to blame for creative people not being paid enough for their work. And she’s right. I’m not really sure what the answer is, but I still loved her post.

Comments (3)

  1. Sep 18, 2010

    I’m not a fan of Facebook, I deleted my account about a year ago when managing all the privacy settings became like a full-time job. Seriously, I’ve done systems administration that was less complicated. From a technical standpoint, I kind of admire what they’ve done and wish that some of the products we’ve paid an arm and leg for had the same level of flexibility. From a user and privacy standpoint, it’s annoying as hell because next thing you know your friend’s friends are seeing stuff, or you’re being suggested to who knows who, and you have to go adjust privacy settings AGAIN.

    However, I don’t think Zuck’s IM conversations are as damning as they are making them out to be. I just took it as arrogant dick-waving, not that he’d actually give out personal info behind the scenes.

  2. Sep 18, 2010

    Right, but the point is that he can, and that he’s a kid, and that he’s got a lot of power, and people have been assuming that this is a company that has good intentions. That’s what has bothered me all along, really — I don’t really think that he’s telling people everything, but I do think he’ll use that information to make money with advertisers, and the fact that the privacy settings are by default set up to be at a low privacy setting, and because most people will not bother to understand that they need to change them or that they need to be mindful of what they share, *that* is what bothers me. Not because it affects me personally, because I already approach all internet interaction in the same way (i.e. share everywhere in the same manner, with the same level of intimacy, so that there is no confusion), but because it suggests a morality that I find repugnant. To have that kind of a person, at such a young age, invested with so much power, *that* is what bothers me. CEOs are often assholes, so this is not news, but I do think that this presents an unprecedented amount of personal information being shared by an unprecedented amount of people, so that’s why I’ve taken some interest in it.

  3. Sep 18, 2010

    The low privacy settings are what get me, along with the lack of communication. Systems usually aren’t set up to be wide open, it’s generally easier to grant access to the few, rather than revoke access from the many. Facebook’s wide open by default approach is backwards, and I think it’s shady because, like you said, most of their users won’t know that they should change the settings. Facebook’s defense is that they have documentation telling users *how* to change the settings, but that doesn’t do anything if the users don’t know that they *should* change the settings and go looking for the documentation.

    Not to mention, even if you do have it locked down, they’re going to change it anyway, without notifying you. If you’re not a frequent user, who knows how long friends of friends are seeing your personal info before you notice?

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