What people are actually asking for is a way to forbid Facebook itself from using or copying a post, which any technically- or legally-minded reader would interpret as forbidding Facebook from storing posts at all. Obviously most users don't actually want their account and posts to be deleted, but they're asking for just that, and become angry when Facebook does not comply.
If you are truly upset that a company somewhere is making money by hosting a service that you post your private life to, there are a couple simple solutions:
1) Find some registered non-profit with blog hosting (does this even exist?), and only post there.
2) Host your own site, set a password so only your friends can see it, and only post there.
3) Stop posting your private life online.
Your options are restricted to playing by Facebook's rules or leaving. It's okay to leave, it doesn't hurt at all, except for the occasional impulsive typing of 'faceb' into your URL bar before you remember what life was like before Facebook, and in fact, what it is like after it.
I've had the benefit of living the better part of a decade in Europe where data privacy protections are stronger, and there is a resulting expectation that companies can only do with customer-provided data what they had agreed to when it was supplied. That means only using data for the explicit purpose it was gathered and not changing or using the data for expanded purposes later.
It is bizarre to me to think that one should just accept that the receiver of the data can unilaterally expand the use of it later without informed mutual agreement.
Do you use Facebook from Europe? If you are not using it, then you are probably not really disagreeing with what the parent said.
I really could have done without the anti-US bigotry here, it is flamebait and not entirely related to the topic
dreamwidth.org is a for-profit org, but it strives very hard to be privacy aware.
Four-ish years ago Facebook made all private profile pictures public. No warnings, no options. My girlfriend at the time (soon to be wife) and I weren't publicizing our relationship then because of serious cultural and religious issues that we knew we'd face when we told our parents. We didn't get to make that decision, because a picture of the two of us was her profile picture... one day it was private and the other it wasn't. This had a profound impact on my life in a very real way and has come to represent everything I expect of privacy on FB.
Anything you do on Facebook is owned by Facebook. It says so in ther TOS. If they wanted to make a Billboard out of an embarrassing conversation you had on the site they could. Any illusion of privacy is just that: an illusion. Zuckerberg an FB have been very open about the fact that they see privacy as a dead concept, and that everything should be share by default.
The sooner everyone realizes that there is no such thing as private data on FB the sooner we can approach the service on realistic terms.
I'm not victim blaming here...but pointing out that the Internet as a whole makes unwanted sharing much more frictionless...and the enemies of our privacy will not always be corporation or high tech blunders.
I'm not even blaming Facebook per se. This is a whole new territory and they've been anything but timid with their approach to doing what they think is right. That boldness is probably necessary. But, with that in mind users have to recognize exactly what that means to them.
My worry is that the whole world is getting so tangled into The Social Web that soon, you won't be able to buy an ice cream cone without alerting every advertiser and government agency in the world.
This line bothers me because the relationship is more complex than that. You are receiving services from Facebook and in return you are giving them your information. Facebook does not sell your information to anyone - instead they sell the ability to advertise to different groups of users (who you are one of). To say that you are the product implies that companies are getting "you," but they are only getting ads displayed on Facebook. They do not have any idea about you or your specific information.
If you don't give Facebook information, it directly hurts Facebook. If you don't browse Facebook, it directly hurts Facebook. Their revenue absolutely depends on users enjoying their service.
Broadcast television uses a similar model, but no one accuses them of "selling" their users.
I'd take it a step further though and say the entire "you're being sold!!!eleven" isn't contingent on the level of information an advertiser gets about you (of which, like you said, they simply don't have), it's a pithy saying with zero basis in reality used by those with a hipster mindset, who feel somehow superior for not using that damn money grubbing Zuck's advertising site.
If you (the general you, not you you) don't want to use Facebook because it's a timesink, or because you don't have friends on it, or because it could cause you negative real life consequences, or whatever else fine - just do me a huge favor and spare me the breathless moralizing and predictions of dystopian "papers please" futures. You don't have to justify yourself to some random on the internet, and I kind of wish you wouldn't besides.
Yes, they're scummy. But they didn't force you to put your personal info or photos on there. Don't want the internet to know something? Don't post it on facebook.
The real truth is that users in general have little concept of what they're giving over to Facebook. And even if FB made it dead easy to understand their TOS, the majority of FB users would still be clueless.
IIRC, one of the biggest controversies in FB's history was when it implemented the newsfeed. Apparently, users thought that if something was easier to find (i.e. not having to visit each person's page to see their latest activity), a sacrosanct privacy line had been crossed. And this was back when FB was mostly college students who, you know, are supposed to be in a state of constant learning and reading.
The news feed was FB's killer feature back then (compared to MySpace) and if it had been put to a vote, users would have undoubtedly quashed it. Is it any wonder why FB will never take users' concerns seriously?
To go back to the sham-legal-status-update thing that was being posted...it's just kind of sad that at this stage of the Information Age, the average person is still too lazy/too entitled/too dumb to look things up and think for themselves. FB may not be the "good guy" but to rehash the old Batman cliche, it seems to be the social network we deserve.
I have to wonder if Facebook did this on purpose, knowing they would drop it when it not longer served a purpose.
When Facebook was new, they gained critical mass by working the "exclusivity" angle. Originally, they were only going to allow ivy-leaguers to join, which tricked them all into joining because there is nothing they like more than an elitist society. Once the purpose was served, Facebook dropped that whole idea in the interest of a bigger user base.
When privacy was a big topic, Facebook came up with the whole voting scheme to ease everyone's mind. Now that has served it's purpose, Facebook are dropping it and moving on.
You have to wonder if going back on their word has actually been a good thing for Facebook.
This is just Facebook trying something that is entirely consistent with their philosophy and historical trend.
Look at gmail, for example. How do they "monetize personal information"? Or look at twitter. If I set my account to be protected (which I do) then I have a modicum of security in knowing that my personal messages won't be viewable by the entire world without me knowing about it.
It's not that difficult to get the basics of privacy right. Many companies do it just fine. The difference is that facebook doesn't care.
More on the subj itself - I'm not sure really what the author expected from FB. They don't care about users' privacy - period. I.e. they don't respect their users. If you don't appreciate it - quit using Facebook and use privacy respecting social networks.
> Now, Facebook follows the steps that most tyrants do, quietly moving from sham elections to an official policy that users will have no vote in site governance.
When I read this my first thought went to the ridiculousness of comparing Facebook to a dictator. But it shows that Anil sees Facebook as almost necessary infrastructure. Not using Facebook is not a realistic possibility. Instead we must hope against hope that they will right their tyrannical ways.
Frankly I'm not holding my breath, but Anil has reach so maybe something good could come out of it.
Attempts to "cure" Facebook sound like attempts to tame poisonous snakes not to bite when they feed. It simply sounds like nonsense to me. Facebook from the start was for-profit thing directed by its owners, and never had any "users governance". If someone wants "for people, by the people" - let them use Diaspora*, Friendica or whatever else emerges on the horizon to fulfill that purpose. But if someone is using Facebook, they shouldn't complain that it doesn't respect its own users. That's the way it was built from the ground up.
If he really thinks that, he needs to take a serious step back. This is just ridiculous.
Funny, my life still seems pretty realistic since I deleted my account. Maybe more so.
All I want is:
- a profile page where I can post something personal
- comments to the posts so that my friends can share what they felt
- sort of a like button or flag to let friends mark posts they like
And maybe these are pretty useful as well:
- ability to post links and images
- ability to create topic specific groups and invite friends there to discuss things
- ability to create events and invite people there for rsvp
And last, the must-have feature:
- my friends are there, also the non-technical ones
While the first items are technically easy (Google+ could do it!), Facebook is winning on the last entry. I don't particularly like Facebook but keeping in touch with friends using email just doesn't work either anymore. Some people don't even have email. Personally, I either make a phonecall or text if it's a close friend, or write nice comments on Facebook if it's a not so close friend.
To free ourselves from the shackles of vendor lock-in, a generic social media protocol similar to email should emerge at some point. It shouldn't matter if I'm on Google+ and you're on the Facebook: if we're connected we're connected and the protocol translates the news between the two implementations.
It's better for the company to just do what they want, and if they overstep their bounds and if people don't like it, they'll leave, just like they did with MySpace and Friendster. And if people stay, then it means they don't care. People are allowed to have the right to not care what people do with their personal data. I personally care, so I would close my account, but I'm sure there are swathes of people that simply don't care.
How do you maintain weak ties?
Like people you see once a year or less, maybe because they live far away, or maybe they're locals you met once or twice but just don't know that well.
Weak ties can be incredibly valuable for finding events, housing (or roommates), partners, even jobs.
I've been living happily without Facebook for over a year and doing fine. But I realized I didn't have a solution to the weak tie problem, and was missing out on opportunities.
Visiting New York City, I met some great people and thought how nice it would be to hang out with those same people next time I'm in NYC, so I wouldn't have to start over there socially. But that could be a year from now. After a year of no contact, if I call them out of the blue, it'd be awkward at best.
This problem actually motivated me to sign back up for Facebook. In theory any social network could do the trick, but no one's heard of Tent or Diaspora, and only a handful of people you meet are even on Twitter. What most of these folks are on, is Facebook.
I'd really like to know what other ways people keep up with weak ties, or if some just hate Facebook so much they accept the loss of opportunities as a cost of living without it.
Like you, I have lost out on the weak ties, but have decided that I would rather lose those than let Facebook know everything in my personal life and my activities on the web.
Not sure how it'll work out long run, but right now Facebook knows very little about me.