Tag Archives: Advertising Engine

Expectations of privacy on social networks

Facebook is the dominant social network in India and hence when I say FB, take it to mean all social networks in general. One of my FB acquaintances posted the following on his wall:

Hello, All my FB friends: I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you all.However, with the recent changes in FB, the “public” can now see activities in ANY wall. This happens when our friend hits “like” or “comment” ~ automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves
because Facebook has configured it this way.

PLEASE place your mouse……over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS” (also without clicking), then down to “Settings”, CLICK here and a list will appear. REMOVE the TICK on “COMMENTS & LIKE” and also “PHOTOS”. By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public.

Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your page I will do the same~Thanks SO MUCH! Or, if you let me know that you did it, by saying “DONE!” in a comment below — I will immediately do the same for you!! Thanks!

I pointed out that not being an idiot was the best way to protect your privacy on Facebook. An 18-year-old Astorian drunk provided a prime example of being an idiot on Facebook. A police officer put it succinctly:

When you post … on Facebook, you have to figure that it is not going to stay private long.

People have to understand that social networks – specially free and open networks like Facebook – are not there to create and support an on-line social life for them. That virtual universe is an enabler for selling eyeballs to advertisers. Just like in the Matrix universe, FB’s “users” are chemical batteries powering its advertising engine.

The instructions that my acquaintance posted controlled the visibility of his updates on my Wall, not their accessibility. Once he decides that I can reach his updates, he has to trust my discretion not to make them public. Come to think of it, trust is one of the foundations of friendship. Oh the perfidy! Facebook is making him doubt his friends!

Fear not, even Facebook’s former marketing director could not figure out the privacy implications of sharing a private family photo with her friends. And she is the founder’s sister!

When using Facebook, don’t be an idiot. Don’t post anything that you want to keep private. Don’t expect your “friends” on Facebook to keep it safe for you.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta