Tuesday, July 17, 2007

And yet more Facebook

Fascinating piece from Wired as counterpoint to previous post, via Andrew Ducker.

"For longtime users, the influx of grownups means that information once intended for a circle of fellow students is now available for anyone to see. That has introduced a new social conundrum: Deciding whose invites should be accepted -- and how much of your profile they should be able to see.

"You can't really unfriend your mom," says Hillary Woolley, a junior at the University of California at Davis. "So I've been upping my privacy settings."

Facebook lets users specify what data is displayed in searches, and users can customize a "limited" view for select friends. But it's time-consuming to set up customized views for individuals, so most people are simply walling off their profiles to non-friends. "

Combined with the post below, and similar incidents worldwide, I'm betting on FB moving from a default of "openness" - based on a core audience of high school kids who want to share as much as POSSIBLE with each other - to a default of "open only to Friends" - based on a norm of networking with chosen persons. At the very least, I expect to see the notion that everyone in your Network - where a Network is a town not a school/university - seeing everything you have by default , to disappear.

OR, alternately, a divesification of the sociual networking sites of choice (My Space for music, FB for real friends, Linked IN for business - tho no one in the UK seems to like Linked In?)OR, migration of the herd to a better FB with a better/easier privacy-friendly interface.

Is privacy finally a feature not a bug? Interesting times..

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Lilian,
Privacy will only really be embedded in applications when users clearly demand it. Perhaps this is evidence of this starting.

It seems the privacy threat is not so much big brother as your mother.