Just a little off topic…

12 05 2010

This is a topic more suited to this guy, but this article was just too good to not share.

Many people ask why I don’t have facebook, and the general response is “it is creepy and belittles the meaning of friendship by sharing your stuff with everyone from a high school classmate you don’t speak with, to your boss.”  Not cool.

In this article, “Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative,” the author lays out the definitely creepy/borderline illegal (see part about the federal wiretapping laws) setup of Facebook. If you don’t read the article, read this part at least:

Setting up a decent system for controlling your privacy on a web service shouldn’t be hard. And if multiple blogs are writing posts explaining how to use your privacy system, you can take that as a sign you aren’t treating your users with respect, It means you are coercing them into choices they don’t want using design principles. That’s creepy.

Facebook could start with a very simple page of choices: I’m a private person, I like sharing some things, I like living my life in public. Each of those would have different settings for the myriad of choices, and all of those users could then later dive into the control panel to tweak their choices. That would be respectful design – but Facebook isn’t about respect — it’s about re-configuring the world’s notion of what’s public and private.

So what that you might be a teenager and don’t get that college-admissions offices will use your e-mail address to find possibly embarrassing information about you. Just because Facebook got to be the world’s platform for identity by promising you privacy and then later ripping it out from under you, that’s your problem. At least, according to the bevy of privacy hired guns the company brought in at high salaries to provide cover for its shenanigans.

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