Tag Archives | Facebook

What Happens When Social Surveillance Goes Mainstream?

PanopticonMathew Ingram writes on GigaOM:

The 18th-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham came up with an idea for a futuristic prison he called the “Panopticon,” a building with mirrors that would allow everyone to see what their neighbors were doing. Thanks to the growth of social tools like Twitter and Facebook and Foursquare, we now have the ingredients for a digital version of this phenomenon, and some are already using those mirrors for questionable purposes: in addition to creepy apps like “Girls Around Me,” the UK is proposing a law that would allow for monitoring of social media (as well as email and text messaging) without a warrant, U.S. universities admit that they already track what their athletes are saying — and a high-school student was recently expelled for comments he made on his personal Twitter account. At this point, advertisers tracking us online is the least of our problems.

In case you missed the furore, the “Girls Around Me” app has attracted a huge amount of negative attention for plotting the location of women on a mobile app by combining Facebook profile information and Foursquare check-in data.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Job Seekers Being Asked for Their Facebook Login Details During Interviews

Facebook LoginDisturbing. Emma Barnett reports in the Telegraph:

Justin Bassett, a New York-based statistician, had just finished answering some standard character questions in a job interview, when he was asked to hand over his Facebook login information after his interviewer could not find his profile on the site, according to the Boston Globe.

Bassett refused and withdrew his job application, as he did not want to be employed by a business which would invade his privacy to such an extent.

And it’s not only job applicants, even people already on the job are being asked. More from the Telegraph:

While Lee Williams, an online retail worker from the Midlands, told The Telegraph that he was asked by his managing director for his Facebook login details, after his boss had looked him up on the social network and could not see any details about him as his privacy settings were locked down.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Senator Al Franken: ‘Privacy is a Casualty’ of Google and Facebook’s Success

Al Franken Official Senate PortraitNilay Patel reports on Senator Franken’s emergence as the congressional voice of the people against corporations, for The Verge:

Senator Al Franken gave a rousing speech to the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section last night, calling for greater antitrust oversight of large media and tech companies as a way to ensure greater privacy protections for Americans. That’s not surprising by itself — Franken is the chair of the new Senate subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, after all — but the senator took the opportunity to blast Google for its controversial new privacy policy and suggest that Facebook would soon have every incentive to share private data in the absence of meaningful competition.

Franken opened by talking about his opposition to both the NBC / Comcast merger and the failed AT&T / T-Mobile deal, but he was most blunt about the privacy threat facing internet users every day.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

On Being Forced To Be ‘Your Real Self’ Online

tumblr_lvqvfsXiSU1qzll1yVia an interview with Pixel Union, head of Tumblr’s mobile division Buzz Andersen on the problem of being forced to be your real identity online — isn’t the internet supposed to free us from that?

One of the things that fascinates me is the way a lot of young people seem to use Tumblr, which is basically as a positive, aspirational alternative to the social networking institution they’re accustomed to: Facebook.

Rather than forcing them to represent themselves as they are, which I think is Facebook’s major goal, Tumblr allows them to represent the romantic self (or selves) they wish to be. I think this is a big part of the intense emotional attachment a lot of people seem to have to Tumblr.

Facebook is currently #1 in terms of time spent online, but Tumblr recently became #2. I think this is because they both appeal to intense human desires, but I would argue that off the two Tumblr appeals to the more positive …

Read More: Pixel Union

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Americans Often Unfriend Over Politics on Social Media

Via PBS MediaShift:

As a teenager who was vocally opinionated about political issues, I often heard the cautionary refrain “Politics is not the topic of polite conversation.” That counsel must have been lost on me, since I find myself as an adult publicly airing my opinions as both the political correspondent for this blog and as a Democratic analyst periodically appearing on FoxNews.com. I understand the wisdom of that advice, however, and know that conversations about politics (like those about religion) often begin as well-intentioned contests of ideas but end as emotionally charged and intractable disputes.

A new study released today from the Pew Internet and American Life Project illustrates this point. It found that 18 percent of people who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Google+ have blocked, unfriended or hidden someone because of that person’s disagreeable political postings.

To determine whether this is simply a case of the online public steering clear of, um, impolite conversation or is broader evidence of political opinions abruptly ending meaningful relationships, one must dig a bit deeper into the data.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Facebook Personal ID Cards

fb_id_tbx_740Created by German artist Tobias Leingruber and available via the hypothetical government agency the FB Bureau. Why wait until these become mandatory? Get yours now:

With more than 800 million users Facebook is the dominant identity system on the web. When signing-up for new services around the open web it’s quite common to use Facebook Connect instead of creating a new user account. People stop ranting on blog comments because they only allow comments connected to your “real name” aka “Facebook Identity” (till the end of time).

For the good or bad we are losing anonymity and Facebook Inc. is establishing order in this “world wild web” (for profit, not necessarily for the good of society). A future where a Facebook Identity becomes more important than any governments’ doesn’t seem unrealistic.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

9/11 Terrorist Featured in Facebook Ad

Mohamed Atta Facebook AdSajid Farooq reports on NBC Bay Area:
As Facebook gets ready to go public, the eyes of the world will become even more focused on the Menlo Park-based social network. That's just partly why Friday's report of an insurance advertisement on Facebook featuring the face of 9/11 terrorist Mohamed Atta is not the type of publicity the site wants ahead of its initial public offering. Atta's face reportedly appeared on the site as part of an ad selling car insurance. The ad appeared on the right hand side of some users' profiles and it read "Important: Drivers in Texas Who Drive Less than 35 Miles a Day Read This." The text was alongside a Texas driver's license with Atta's picture on it, which was actually originally taken from his Florida's driver's license.
Continue Reading

Facebook Accused Of Reading Users’ Text Messages

DislikeMike Butcher writes on TechCrunch:

Ahead of Mobile World Congress and an appearance by Facebook to explain its next moves in mobile, the social networking giant is coming under increasing strain over its use of users’ personal information. Mobile startups and operators are both fretting over the issue this week, as smartphones and the apps that come with them increasingly eclipse the feature phones of old. We’ve already seen how Path ignited the debate around privacy by uploading iPhone address books to its servers without explicit permission, just as many other apps have done without anyone realizing for some time. Path was by no means the only offender.

The latest accusation is being leveled at Facebook. In today’s Sunday Times newspaper, published out of London, a story (behind a paywall) alleges that Facebook has “admitted” to “reading text messages” during a trial to launch its own messaging service.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Women Leading the Facebook De-Friending Trend

FacebookChris Matyszczyk reports on cNet News:
A Pew study suggests that finally, finally human beings — and especially women — have begun to prune their alleged friends on Facebook. Could there be rational, even venal, reasons for this? It's Friday and therefore time to muse about friendship. Here's one thought: If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then my friend may, in fact, be more troubling and irrelevant than Ann Taylor separates. Here's another: People appear to suddenly be realizing that their Facebook friends are not — and will never be — real friends. Oddly, though, they are finally doing something about it. I am grateful to my nonfriends at ReadWriteWeb, who have unearthed a new Pew study that says defriending is trending on Facebook. People are finally wandering around their Facebook garden and, perhaps stimulated by FarmVille, are taking shears to their peers ...
Continue Reading

Facebook’s Internal Acceptable-Content Guidelines Leaked

Gawker obtained a copy of Facebook’s incredibly specific (“Deep flesh wounds and crushed heads are OK as long as no insides are showing”; no “comparison” photos likening people to animals, no female “nipple bulges”) internal rules for policing user content:

Amine Derkaoui, a 21-year-old Moroccan man, spent a few weeks training to screen illicit Facebook content through an outsourcing firm, for which he was paid a measly $1 an hour. He’s still fuming over it: “It’s humiliating. They are just exploiting the third world.” Well, now we know Facebook’s exact standards. Derkaoui provided us with a copy of the astonishingly specific guidelines Facebook dictates to content moderators.

xlarge_f8c3302e08769b2e5677ae1108adcef5

Read the rest

Continue Reading