Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This "Facebook" Thing,

Oh, Facebook. You and your privacy issues.

Once again Facebook is in the news for doing things that you may or may not want it to do with the information you've given it. The clamor this has been generating on the tubes is, per the laws of the Internet, totally out of proportion to its actual significance. It is implied that the changing policies of Facebook in regards to privacy will shake the foundation of our beliefs is a way that hasn't been seen since the second coming of Bush.

The answer to this turmoil came to me in a dream last night.

Just Kidding. Honestly, this has been apparent to every sane person on the Internet (all three of us) since Facebook (or the Internet) first existed.

If you don't like the changes, delete your account.

I've been debating doing so, simply because I don't use Facebook for anything. I'm quite sure nobody actualy derives any meaninful use from Facebook, unless you count stalking as a meaningful use. Facebook is free, you voluntarily put information on it, and the only thing more annoying than Facebook's rapidly changing policies is the whinging morons who bitch about privacy, call in the EFF and then keep using Facebook. Or worse, they start a "One Million Strong For Privacy on Facebook" group.

If some nice 20-something walked up to you on the street and told you that they'd hold on to all your personal information, photo albums and journal entries for free, for however long you wanted, would you give them to him? And would you be surprised when he tried to sell them?

If you have an online personality you don't want leaking into the physical world (or the opposite), then don't tie it to your actual name, birthday and photo. Or give it to strangers to hold.

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