Posts Tagged zuckerberg
From Jae Kim – Director of Social Media Products, FaceTime Communications
As social networks grow in popularity and entrench themselves into the social fabric, many people have embraced Mark Zuckerberg’s message of sharing. Some knowingly, while others begrudgingly, to stay connected within newly emerging social media. Whichever camp you belong to, one thing is clear. There’s much less anonymity and privacy on the Internet today than ten years ago.
Are We Sharing Too Much?
If you are unsure how much information you’re sharing, one way to find out is to Google yourself. But, as we talked about, Google is still struggling to fully integrate social media into its search engine, and unless you are a public figure, Google will bury your information in its mountain of search results. A better way to search is Spokeo. Spokeo pieces together all public social network information and creates demographic reports of who you are.
Another is using youropenbook.org as I covered earlier. It searches publicly shared status updates and displays them in chronological order, using nothing but Facebook APIs. Remember that it’s not your privacy settings that matter, but rather, the privacy settings of the page where you post to. For example, if you are writing to your friend’s wall and he has selected the default “share-with-everyone” privacy setting, your status update is open to everyone.
If You Don’t Feel Like Sharing, Government Will Help
Just five days ago, it was uncovered that the FBI is seeking to expand the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) so as to mandate all US telecommunication carriers to provide a way to wiretap all communications, including encrypted traffic. With the US government leading the pack, United Arab Emirates (UAE), India, and Indonesia have already threatened to ban BlackBerry use. BlackBerry is targeted because of its end-to-end secure encryption where BlackBerry Enterprise Server encrypts messages to BlackBerry devices. For the time being, UAE and India have extended the deadline for the BlackBerry ban to take effect to next January 2011, but don’t expect the US government to lead by example in advocating for “secure” flow of information.
Facebook Doesn’t Want Anonymous Users
If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know there have been many fake and anonymously created Facebook accounts just until a couple of weeks ago. But, thanks to Michael Arrington impersonating Eric Schmidt on Facebook, Facebook is now visibly stepping up its efforts to combat fake accounts. All of the fake accounts that were reported earlier in my blog seem to have been taken offline.
Barry Schnitt, Policy Communication Director at Facebook, made it clear on TechCrunch that Facebook intends to move to real identity-based social networks.
“Who Watches The Watchmen?”
All this points to one thing: anonymity and privacy are becoming two endangered species. But should we care? After all, wouldn’t using real identities and sharing more be better for society as a whole? Wouldn’t real identities lead to fewer Internet trolls, less downmodding, and less bullying because people are now taking responsibility of their deeds on the Net?
True. I agree with all these points. I do see clear benefits of introducing real identities into social networks and the Internet in general. But who watches the watchmen?
If we have learned any lessons from the early 20th century experiment with totalitarianism, it’s that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Making all information public and leaving no room for us to be anonymous and private will be a very dangerous proposition because there’ll be no checks and balances against entities that watch over us. We all know everyone is capable of making mistakes; governments and authorities are no exception. If we allow every piece of information to be known about us, we’ll be enslaved by the information, not be enriched by them.
We’ll have to strike the balance between our private lives (i.e., our anonymity and privacy) and public lives (i.e., identity, openness, and social responsibility). That applies to social networks and the Internet as well. Case in point: FaceTime Communications. FaceTime’s platform enables organizations to “strike a balance” between letting employees use these social networks while at work, but also monitoring and archiving the appropriate content so as to remain compliant with any applicable regulations for that organization.
So, who’s going to counterbalance Facebook? Well, so far we have 4chan defending anonymity. Anyone care to join?