Much ado about privacy on Facebook (I wish Facebook were MORE open!!!)

Facebook Like Buttons

Jeff Jarvis wraps up a couple of weeks of bloggers’ angst about Facebook in a post titled “Confusing *a* public with *the* public.”

Some things.

1. I +love+ the Facebook like button. More on that in a minute.
2. So far only about 50 of my more than 1,300 friends have disappeared from my Facebook friend network. Hardly an indictment by the tech elite (and some of those probably haven’t deleted their accounts, but just removed me as a friend, something that’s pretty common and has been seen every year — keep in mind that’s since last August, so I don’t even think I’ve lost 50 friends in past month).
3. There’s a competitive social network, Pip.io, which answers all of Jeff’s concerns (has much better thought out model of privacy and publics) but so far it hasn’t seen any major adoption.
4. Isn’t this the fifth time Facebook has pissed off pundits? What happened the previous four times it pissed off people? Oh, yeah, it saw huge growth.
5. When I was in Tel Aviv Facebook’s like buttons were so popular people were wearing them as fashion statements and at the biggest tech conference there, Marker.Comvention, they were handing out Facebook like buttons as stickers.

But over the past few weeks I’ve talked with lots of people about Facebook and my attitude toward privacy. It’s clear that Facebook has messed with something and that some of us are having a tough time with that. I think Jeff nailed what it was.

Instead of calling it “publics” I say we wanted to be in control of our story. I said that Facebook had brought us an inch closer to the end of privacy.

The thing is, my wife says she doesn’t care. My wife is closer to a normal user than I ever will be. I haven’t cared about privacy for years. If I don’t want you to read something I don’t put it on a computer. Period.

Remember, I worked at Microsoft. What happened in 2000? The DOJ took all of Microsoft employees’ supposedly private emails and put them into public. So I knew back then that anything I put on a computer could end up on the front page of the New York Times.

This is why I took a very transparent attitude for the past decade toward my life. I have always set my Facebook to the most public setting possible.

Whoa?!? Here’s the deal: I wish Facebook had NO PRIVACY AT ALL!

That’s called the open web. I wish Google could index every word I write on Facebook. Hint, it can’t.

The thing I hate about Facebook is that people who want to see my profile can’t. Even now only 5,000 of you can look at my Facebook profile. That’s lame.

I want to live my life in public. Why? Because that way none of you can exploit me more than any other.

Right now 1,300 people have access to my Facebook profile. That sucks.

I wish you all had access to my profile.

Yes, I know some of you have delusions of creating the equivalent of an exclusive dinner party, or, even, something bigger like a TED conference in your Facebook page.

I’m just so bored with all that talk. Just what are you doing that needs to be so damned private? Are you having sex inside Facebook? Doing illegal drugs? Cheating on your wife? Damn, your Facebook life must be SO interesting!

Me, count me out of this whole privacy thing. I want everything I do to be public and then I don’t have to spill thousands of words crying when Mark Zuckerberg takes my stuff and exposes it in a search engine.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about why I love Facebook’s new features so much.

1. I’m finding new restaurants, thanks to Yelp‘s use of Facebook’s likes.
2. I’m finding new hockey players to follow thanks to NHL‘s use of Facebook’s likes.
3. I’m finding new questions and answers thanks to Answer.com‘s use of Facebook’s likes. (That’s the #18th biggest site on the web, and they just turned on likes).
4. I’m finding new music over on Pandora thanks to its sharing of my Facebook’s friend’s music listening behaviors.

So, cry me a river. Your “publics” have been destroyed. Your privacy is gone.

Come join us in the open web Facebook! Get rid of all the walls, including the stupid limits of 5,000 friends and the stupid kicking people off of the service (which continues to this day).

I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.

Now excuse me, I’m off to click “like” on some more things and, even, have added a new bar from Wibiya where you can see other people who have clicked like on my blog. Oh, yet another cool feature thanks to Zuckerberg’s throwing our publics under the bus.

Thank you Mark!

Comments

  1. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”

    What? Facebook is exactly like AOL. A proprietary platform that can block any vendor at any time with or without notice for cause or without.

    In no way is it like the open web.

  2. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”

    What? Facebook is exactly like AOL. A proprietary platform that can block any vendor at any time with or without notice for cause or without.

    In no way is it like the open web.

  3. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”

    What? Facebook is exactly like AOL. A proprietary platform that can block any vendor at any time with or without notice for cause or without.

    In no way is it like the open web.

  4. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”

    What? Facebook is exactly like AOL. A proprietary platform that can block any vendor at any time with or without notice for cause or without.

    In no way is it like the open web.

  5. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”

    What? Facebook is exactly like AOL. A proprietary platform that can block any vendor at any time with or without notice for cause or without.

    In no way is it like the open web.

  6. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”

    What? Facebook is exactly like AOL. A proprietary platform that can block any vendor at any time with or without notice for cause or without.

    In no way is it like the open web.

  7. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”

    What? Facebook is exactly like AOL. A proprietary platform that can block any vendor at any time with or without notice for cause or without.

    In no way is it like the open web.

  8. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”

    What? Facebook is exactly like AOL. A proprietary platform that can block any vendor at any time with or without notice for cause or without.

    In no way is it like the open web.

  9. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”
    Zuckerberg isn’t trying to be more like the open web. He wants the web to revolve around him. The “open” graph has you as a central point. Guess what Zuckerberg defines ‘you’ as – your profile as it stands on Facebook.

    When ‘I’ can be defined by any site, then he will be trying to make an open graph.
    As it stands Facebook is one giant walled garden with a tree that has roots growing past the walls.
    When the tree can be planted anywhere, we’ll talk about Facebook not being the next AOL.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. In fact I agree with most of what is said in this post.
    But saying Facebook isn’t a walled garden is insane.

  10. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”
    Zuckerberg isn’t trying to be more like the open web. He wants the web to revolve around him. The “open” graph has you as a central point. Guess what Zuckerberg defines ‘you’ as – your profile as it stands on Facebook.

    When ‘I’ can be defined by any site, then he will be trying to make an open graph.
    As it stands Facebook is one giant walled garden with a tree that has roots growing past the walls.
    When the tree can be planted anywhere, we’ll talk about Facebook not being the next AOL.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. In fact I agree with most of what is said in this post.
    But saying Facebook isn’t a walled garden is insane.

  11. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”
    Zuckerberg isn’t trying to be more like the open web. He wants the web to revolve around him. The “open” graph has you as a central point. Guess what Zuckerberg defines ‘you’ as – your profile as it stands on Facebook.

    When ‘I’ can be defined by any site, then he will be trying to make an open graph.
    As it stands Facebook is one giant walled garden with a tree that has roots growing past the walls.
    When the tree can be planted anywhere, we’ll talk about Facebook not being the next AOL.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. In fact I agree with most of what is said in this post.
    But saying Facebook isn’t a walled garden is insane.

  12. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”
    Zuckerberg isn’t trying to be more like the open web. He wants the web to revolve around him. The “open” graph has you as a central point. Guess what Zuckerberg defines ‘you’ as – your profile as it stands on Facebook.

    When ‘I’ can be defined by any site, then he will be trying to make an open graph.
    As it stands Facebook is one giant walled garden with a tree that has roots growing past the walls.
    When the tree can be planted anywhere, we’ll talk about Facebook not being the next AOL.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. In fact I agree with most of what is said in this post.
    But saying Facebook isn’t a walled garden is insane.

  13. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”
    Zuckerberg isn’t trying to be more like the open web. He wants the web to revolve around him. The “open” graph has you as a central point. Guess what Zuckerberg defines ‘you’ as – your profile as it stands on Facebook.

    When ‘I’ can be defined by any site, then he will be trying to make an open graph.
    As it stands Facebook is one giant walled garden with a tree that has roots growing past the walls.
    When the tree can be planted anywhere, we’ll talk about Facebook not being the next AOL.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. In fact I agree with most of what is said in this post.
    But saying Facebook isn’t a walled garden is insane.

  14. “I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.”
    Zuckerberg isn’t trying to be more like the open web. He wants the web to revolve around him. The “open” graph has you as a central point. Guess what Zuckerberg defines ‘you’ as – your profile as it stands on Facebook.

    When ‘I’ can be defined by any site, then he will be trying to make an open graph.
    As it stands Facebook is one giant walled garden with a tree that has roots growing past the walls.
    When the tree can be planted anywhere, we’ll talk about Facebook not being the next AOL.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. In fact I agree with most of what is said in this post.
    But saying Facebook isn’t a walled garden is insane.

  15. Robert you can wish for the death of privacy all you like – but confusing Facebook with being less like AOL and more like the Open Web is just silly and totally unrelated

  16. I don't see the two as separate at all. Facebook is moving from something that was meant for just our “real” friends to something that is much more public. Personally Twitter is forcing Zuckerberg to open up and I think that's a GREAT thing for all of us! But it did mess with our trust, agreed there. I'd rather have open than trust.

    1. Being public about things is not being part of the ‘Open Web’.

      Zuckerberg likes to confuse the world with the word Open meaning transparency/lack of privacy instead of Technical Openness of technology. We shouldn’t help him out.

    2. Being public about things is not being part of the ‘Open Web’.

      Zuckerberg likes to confuse the world with the word Open meaning transparency/lack of privacy instead of Technical Openness of technology. We shouldn’t help him out.

    3. Being public about things is not being part of the ‘Open Web’.

      Zuckerberg likes to confuse the world with the word Open meaning transparency/lack of privacy instead of Technical Openness of technology. We shouldn’t help him out.

    4. Being public about things is not being part of the ‘Open Web’.

      Zuckerberg likes to confuse the world with the word Open meaning transparency/lack of privacy instead of Technical Openness of technology. We shouldn’t help him out.

    5. Being public about things is not being part of the ‘Open Web’.

      Zuckerberg likes to confuse the world with the word Open meaning transparency/lack of privacy instead of Technical Openness of technology. We shouldn’t help him out.

    6. Being public about things is not being part of the ‘Open Web’.

      Zuckerberg likes to confuse the world with the word Open meaning transparency/lack of privacy instead of Technical Openness of technology. We shouldn’t help him out.

    7. Being public about things is not being part of the ‘Open Web’.

      Zuckerberg likes to confuse the world with the word Open meaning transparency/lack of privacy instead of Technical Openness of technology. We shouldn’t help him out.

    8. Being public about things is not being part of the ‘Open Web’.

      Zuckerberg likes to confuse the world with the word Open meaning transparency/lack of privacy instead of Technical Openness of technology. We shouldn’t help him out.

  17. “…I say we wanted to be in control of our story.” Nail, meet head. Facebook's “mistakes” (if we can call them that – after all, they haven't seen a decline in traffic because of them) have been to repeatedly take control away from users and decide for them what should and should not be public. You want everything to be public, and I understand the reasoning behind that. However, most Facebook users are very average people living very average lives, and those users do have concerns about privacy.

    Facebook's continual privacy modifications is like threatening to fire someone – it may be effective in order to get your way, but it doesn't make it right. I have to question a business model that requires Facebook to be underhanded and borderline deceptive.

  18. I can understand your point here. Being more open and public does allow you to find more information, especially items that are more relevant to your and your friends/family/colleagues.

    But complete openness is not what Facebook was about and I don't think it's something that most people understand. If you're 30 or 40 or 50, or if you're in the tech industry or marketing or a related industry, you probably have a better understanding of what's going on and the implications. If you're in high school or college you probably do not. Students are probably still posting pictures and comments that could be potentially hazardous in the future…because they think they're only posting to their trusted friends…not the world.

    Facebook makes it very difficult in acknowledging that some people keep certain parts of their lives separate. Some posts/updates may simply be taken out of context by people who don't personally know the poster. Sometimes you want to say something to your friends, but not the whole world. Sometimes you want to share some things, but not everything (and certainly not by default…unknown to you).

    Sure you have to be responsible in what you post, but Facebook it not helping anything but constantly changing their policies and making everything public be default. Simply stated, I think that most people expect their information ON Facebook to stay WITHIN Facebook.

  19. Actually, the high school students have a very deep understanding of how to protect their privacy and they always knew that Facebook wasn't really private.

  20. Robert – surely you must know that you are not representative of the 400M users of facebook in that you want so much of your life out in public? There are very real and not so pleasant side effects of life in public (along with the benefits of course) that most normals would rather do without.

    You can applaud facebook's move in this direction, but they may be re-inventing themselves as a social network for extroverts in a world of people who value their “privacy” (as it pertains to their circles of friends.)

    By the way, that new direction would be a much smaller market than the 400 million they currently count as subscribers.

    1. Now I’m a very private introvert, even my DBF of over a year doesn’t know me completely… & I’m not crying foul that Facebook changed their policies.

      Very simply if I don’t want something made public I keep it off the internet. I go to parties at least once a month where I could be caught in “compromising” pics (and have for the past 6 years) but yet have managed to stay out of them by taking responsibility for my own actions.

      And when I get caught in a pic that isn’t so flattering that gets put on the web, I don’t cry foul… I allowed it to happen. Learn from it & move on.

      Preach responsibility & teach others of the dangers of having an internet presence instead of blaming the company. Know they will do what they must to make a profit… after all that’s why they are here. That’s why any company in the world in in business for anymore thanks to our wonderful American Capitalism.

  21. I think some do, yes, but not everyone.

    I think the biggest issue I have with the ever changing Facebook policies are that they are automatic. I understand they are a business, and it's nice that the platform is free, but I personally feel like they just do whatever they want whenever they want and force me to abide by their new rules. And on top of that, they don't make it very easy to opt out at all.

    I usually very open and you can find me on just about every site, but my use of Facebook was differn

    1. Merry Meet Folks,

      I’d like to comment on the automated changing of policy… Facebook, & most every other site, in the terms you must agree to before your account request is approved notify you of the privacy policies *and* that the site has the right to change these policies at any time with notification to its users. I remember getting a notification as such.

      If you all chose not to read the terms of use before clicking the “finish” button you have only yourselves to blame for your “private” information becoming public. It all comes down to personal responsibility… grow up & take that responsibility!

      If you don’t want something public use e-mail or snail mail. But who knows what is actually “private” in this world anymore.

      My 2 cents for what it’s worth.

      Bless~ed Be! & Regards,
      Ellizabeth Jo

    1. Robert, running a script in violation of the TOS is really no big deal and pretty much irrelevant to my statement. So, attempt to marginalize my statement by laughing it up and posting a link to an irrelevant issue. You know what I’m talking about and what establishment I’m talking about. Keep on pushing the virtues of people opening themselves up to the establishment. You fool most, but not me and a handful of others.

  22. Thing is, I don't want everywhere that my Facebook friends go — and being (many of them) “normal” users they go and try anything and everything — channeling my data and contacts to advertisers. That's a spammy kind of connectivity that isn't positive social networking in my book. It's like saying my friends get to determine my privacy from spam, and I don't much care for that.

    I decided when the web hit and USENET archives went searchable that I had a choice between shutting up online or being transparent — and for the most part I am transparent. But I really despise a lot of the idiom of spam and near-spam and malware-enabled marketing out there, and it's *those* aspects of privacy that bug me most about Facebook's promiscuity with my friend network and friend's networks data on me.

    1. I believe that the maleware marketing comes from most any site one surfs to. Are we sure that is not coming from Google, Internet Explorer (Microsoft) or Yahoo??

      Mostly it’s because we use a Windows platform that allows this to happen… most all sites are gleaming information on our browsing habits. Every time we sign up for a free service & they ask for our interests that information is going to advertisers. It’s just a fact of business and using the internet.

  23. Back when facebook first started, it was billed as a private network where you could communicate with your real life friends. A lot of people signed up for it just because of that. They didn't want it all public.In fact they didn't want any of it public.

    My daughter was one of them, just a teen at the time. The only people she has added to facebook are people she knows in real life…friends and family. She is a very private person and doesn't want the whole world in her business like it was when she had a Dead Journal account.

    If she wanted her status messages public, she would have joined Twitter or Friendfeed a long time ago. Don't think I never tried to get her to join Friendfeed, because I did. The only reason why I have a facebook account is because she insisted, because she didn't want to communicate in such a public forum.

    Now, she and her friends do change their relationship status whenever they are dating someone new or break up with someone. They also remove their ex's from their friends list, to prevent them from seeing their status messages or interfering with their current relationships.

    Do we really want some young person that can't handle his emotions yet, that can't get over the fact they were dumped, using facebook to stalk and harass their ex, using public status messages to know exactly where they will be, with whom, and when?

    This is the kind of stuff that will happen if people don't have control over who can and can not see their messages, on a network that began as a place that gave you that kind of control.

    And if you think young people shouldn't be making that kind of info public, you are right, they shouldn't, and that's why they use facebook…to keep it between their family and friends.

    I don't argue that one should not have the option to make everything they do public, if that is what they want, but those that joined because it was private should still be able to keep it all private, and that should be the default settings.

    By the way, at least 2 people my daughter worked with have lost their jobs over things posted to facebook, because they all posted videos from their cell phones while they were on the clock.

    A couple of them had their settings to allow everyone to see their videos.

    All they wanted to do was share some of their mundane work life with their friends and family, instead they shared it with the world and got fired.

    The ones that had their privacy settings to only allow friends to see their videos still have their jobs.

  24. When most geeks say “open web” they mean can they use APIs to get to data and/or can Google or Bing's spiders get inside the walls and get to the data. At least in my experience. Well, now we are finding out there's a cost of being “open.” Twitter is open. Facebook? Not so much.

  25. And I would go further. I would NEVER post something online that I don't want my boss or wife to see. Even inside a private room. Even on a service I trust. Your daughter should learn that too. All it takes is some hacker getting inside a system and then everything she put in is out there for everyone to see. Remember the Twitter documents? They were private too.

  26. Another real example of unintended consequences based on social graphs alone: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/article… There are plenty of real world, legitimate privacy wishes, about people's sexual orientation or anything else. The latter BTW still can have immediate real world consequences for members of the U.S. military as you well know.

    The truth is, anyone who still has or needs to obtain mainstream employment (or education) now or at some point in the future, likely has different needs than you do, Robert. Your PR/Promo gig for Rackspace does not fall under that rubric…don't forget that you make a living being as public as possible.

  27. Sexual preference has hiring consequences? Isn't that discrimination? I'm fairly certain my employer couldn't give a hoot about which way I swing, and I live in repressed catholic Ireland.

    Maybe transparency will finally bust discrimination rather than keep it going as a slippery taboo.

  28. Facebook is a communication disruptor. Hostile takeover is necessary for executive measures. Fortunately, the philosophy and policies created by the rules of “The Prince” are rectifying itself.

    I love your issues on data portability and many others, however I'm sticking with facebook.

  29. There was nothing going on in those videos that was against company policy, nothing that could have made them or their employer look bad. It was the fact that they were done on company time that was the basis of them being fired.

    They were videos of the type that collectively, could have been put together and made into a nice commercial that would have made the company look good. It was employees explaining what they do and showing them hard at work, paying attention to the small details that make that place of business a good customer experience.

  30. I'm not sure those leaving facebook recently are all doing it over privacy. I left because Open Graph and Social Plugins represent a threat to an open web of social services. Ask your nearest developer to build a Like button that works with facebook and one other site. Turns out you can't, Facebook has made it difficult to hook in and offer choice to sites and users.

    Anyway, bigger things are happening than Zjuckerburg's high-school revenge.

  31. In California we live in an “at will” work state. Basically that means I can be fired for ANY reason. I would make sure that ANYTHING I put online is OK with my boss. Of course, I take risks all the time, but I know I can be fired at any time for what I put online. Hell, my boss might wake up tomorrow and decide he doesn't like this post and fire me. That's the risks and I know them well. Heck, there's risks to living life. 40,000 people die in cars in the United States every year. I bet your daughter still wants to drive, doesn't she? I'm far more worried about that (my 16-year-old son is learning to drive now) then whatever Zuckerberg is going to do to my supposed privacy.

  32. That's a good point. I notice over on Techcrunch, though, they have buttons for a variety of services. Even below on my bar you can retweet, FriendFeed me, or Facebook like me (and Google Buzz coming soon).

  33. haha.. Saw @JohnFugelsang perform the other night and he was saying how on twitter that when you say #justsaying, it takes away the credit, basically saying that you potentially have no testies according to Mr. Fugelsang.

  34. Cool Robert, privacy is dead! The crew will be right over to set up web cams in your home in every room and run them 24/7/365. Going on a vacation? No problem. Got a portable crew that will strip any privacy away 24/7/365.

    Privacy is not dead. It never will be no matter how many Facebooks try. Why? Because human beings will not allow it. Why?

    Because human beings VALUE PRIVACY and CHOICE.

    That's also why there will be something after Facebook too.

    Don't believe me? Check back in 3 to 5 years.

  35. Interesting, thought-provoking post. Thing is, I see these statements as contradictory:

    1. “I haven’t cared about privacy for years.”
    2. “If I don’t want you to read something I don’t put it on a computer.”

    Although perhaps you use “privacy” purely in the online context, in which case it's not a very interesting argument. I would love to know how many people don't care at all about privacy. There's no reason to believe that hoping/wanting/expecting privacy is anything other than a normal human trait. Wanting privacy shouldn't be interpreted as some admission of guilt.

    If parents are able and willing to supervise their children online, many a faux pas can be avoided. But many kids effectively grow up on their own in a highly connected and intimidating world and we need to educate better. What your argument says to me is that, with the doors thrown open, adults and kids alike might get a better idea of exactly what the consequences are of exposing their every thought and movement to the global archive. If they're not careful, it will bite back. Privacy in the hands of the beholder.

  36. Oh, I care about privacy in real life. I don't want you to watch me having sex, for instance. But you'll notice I've never put that online ANYWHERE. If I had, I'd expect that eventually to leak (as have several sex recordings of people in the past). My advice? If you don't want other people to see what you are up to, don't put it online. That way you're always pretty safe.

  37. Of course it's a walled garden. Good analogy. I want it to be more open. I want there to be many Facebooks too. But then there's only one Scobleizer, so can't be too hypocritical here. That said, Google can index what I write here. But Google can't index what I put into Facebook.

  38. It's rare that big companies stay big for long. How many companies that existed 100 years ago are still here? How many do we see as innovative and on the bleeding edge? Even Microsoft is starting to wane its influence.

  39. That's very true. However, the fact remains that the companies who say privacy is dead will be the same companies 3-5 years from now who are saying – what happened?

  40. I completely agree. The more open the better. if you don't want something on the Net don't put it there. And I find it bizarre that some are appalled that FB friends might know what you listen to on Pandora. Like, why is that even an issue?

    Like Scott McNealy said, “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”

  41. Actually, she doesn't want to drive, it's not green enough for her yet. And she is fully aware of how dangerous it is, being that she has a dad that's a bad driver and a mother that's too chicken to be on the same road with him and all the other crazies. (I practically have an anxiety attack trying to cross the street)

    We live in a state that has the highest car insurance rates in the country, and it's that way for a reason. Insurance here isn't for if you get in an accident, it's for when. (I am pretty sure you've been to NJ before and know just how it is here)

    Someone is going to come along and make a nice online service that will give everyone the privacy that facebook originally did, by default, and come up with a way to import everything from facebook. They will make a commitment to maintaining that privacy and make that the focus of their startup. When they do, a lot of people may give facebook a second thought, especially as their friends start signing up for the new service. What facebook will be left with is a bunch of casual gamers that post nothing but mafia wars crap and people like you that don't care what the whole world knows about them.

    1. ROTFLMAO… And I thought I was an idealist!!! Get real there is no money in it. How many of Facebook users do you think would PAY for such a service. Hahahahahahahaha Funny lady.

      Thanks for the laugh…

  42. While I'm out of Facebook now (public's cool, but choice, transparency, trust, and consistency are better), it's how they implemented the new menus that finally got me to cut the chord.

    Totally agree that physical safety for drivers is a more immediate threat, but you we're talking privacy right?

  43. I have to say I like the idea of opting in instead of out. Just make it easy to opt in.
    As fare as being indexable by Google or other search engines. It would be nice if Facebook had “Share with World” check boxes all over any content you put up. Then you can expose what you want to the outside world.

    And Robert, I'm a geek… but the only people I have as friends on FB are real friends, family members, and a neighbor or two. That is what it is really good at. If I want to post out to everyone I use some other tool.

  44. I think most have missed an important point. Facebook is *selling* privacy. They are opening more of users' information up so that they can turn around and sell that information to advertisers, who can now target their advertisements better because they have unlimited access to our profiles, and can hold the information forever. They don't care about an open and free web, they care about using our information to increase their revenues.

    Also, your car analogy is illogical. Surfing the web is generally safe for one's privacy, while driving a car is taking a known physical risk each time you get on the road. If I don't know there is a risk for anyone tracking my personal information on Facebook (as most users don't), that's not the same as checking an “I accept” box each time I log into my account. In fact, I never checked the “I accept” box, Facebook checked it for me.

  45. Hey Scoble, I'm totally in agreement mostly because I believe everything should open up for the betterment of humanity, I mean sure there's always going to be low-life's who extort people through networks like this, but they could easily do the same thing by going through someone's trash, and can find personal information in phone books, and google searches… I doubt I have much privacy left, having 26k search results for my name – so I'm to the point where I don't much care anymore, I can see where a lot of people value their privacy more than us though, there are those that seek after attention and don't care about privacy, and those that love their privacy and don't want people to have any access unless granted.

    One more thing – thanks a bunch for the Pip.io link – it looks pretty awesome, though it needs a lot more people to join. I like ho you can start little mini chatrooms and groups.

  46. app's point, bob, is that the promise of scope of privacy has been broken over and over. The audience to whom ones stored FB information is revealed, has grown by dramatically since 2005. Much to your pleasure, I'm sure: but please, allow for the possibility that there may be those who wish to share *some* personal information without taking their clothes off as you do.

    It isn't just “hackers” having access to data marked for “friend” access, but now, unspecified monetizing apps.

    1. LOL… Then don’t take your *clothes* off in public.

      We can’t expect a free service to ask for everyone’s permission every time it changes it’s business policies.

      If you don’t like it leave & go PAY for a private service.

  47. Yes, I get it. Post nothing online (including email, credit card purchases, bill payments) that you wouldn't be willing to see on a public billboard. Same goes for phone calls, and other mechanized communication, right? Privacy: two people, communicating face to face in a remote location. Otherwise, as the Zuckster said, privacy is dead.

    Horsehockey.

  48. I'm pretty annoyed with Facebook myself, but am thinking more about privacy as a cultural value. In some countries, people equate privacy with loneliness. I have friends in Vietnam who pour their hearts out on Facebook and are happy to friend strangers. Of 400 million users on Facebook worldwide, how many actually care about privacy in real life, let alone on Facebook?

  49. problem Robert is that you're very far from a classic Facebook user. Ask my 14 years old son and you will see, the LAST thing he wants is anything public on his Facebook data.

  50. My wife is pretty “normal,” Robert. She used Facebook as a way to share some things with friends and family that she didn't want on the open web. More and more, she's backing away from that, because she doesn't trust Facebook.

    I totally get the idea that if you put things out in digital form, they may end up on the web, in public. But we do have things we put out into the internet that we reasonably assume will be private. Email is probably the classic example. If you're so into being public, that you want to live your life in public, that hey, what's anyone got to “hide,” please start publishing all your email for all of use to read.

    I don't see Mark and gang suggesting that we want our email to be part of this great push toward abandoning privacy. Yes, people are more comfortable it seems to be sharing some things. That doesn't mean they want to share everything with everyone.

    Facebook's great genius was that it wrapped up Flickr and YouTube and Twitter and more social all in one package. That made it easy for sharing. Facebook's great mistake now is that it wants to force people to make everything public when some people still want to retain a sense of control on what's being shared.

    That's even more the case when we get into issues of web sites magically knowing who we are and reporting back to the Facebook mothership, that seems to unilaterally declare things that were private were now public.

  51. Facebook remains as a good bulwark against Google, the data-scraping ad agency.

    Facebook didn't grow because private scandals happened 4 times; most people didn't understand them or didn't hear about them, it grew because it was more private than email, which has become overrun with spam if you use the free Yahoo type accounts, and in control of your employer and not private if you use your work email.

    People came to Facebook to get better and more private email, essentially, with pictures and news. Your use of it obviously isn't typical.

    When geeks demand FB to become more open, they merely mean that they want their class of API makers to get access to a platform for their benefit. This isn't necessarily to the benefit of the rest of us normal users.

  52. Sorry, I disagree. Just ask the high school students who are trying to get a job after their friends posted those pictures from the party…..

    1. Here again, we must all learn to take responsibility some time. If you don’t want your friends taking pictures of you being drunk & stupid… don’t get drunk!!!

      We need to teach responsibility and take responsibility for our own actions & quite blaming others!!

  53. Whoa?!? Here’s the deal: I wish Facebook had NO PRIVACY AT ALL!

    Your opinion is valid but what if I don't want it to be public? What if I want a place to say things to my friends and family that competitors, employees, clients and recruiters can see?

    I respect your wishes but on this topic, you don't necessarily respect mine – put yourself in others' shoes and maybe you won't have such a hard opinion.

    Facebook is not pulling a “180″ but they are pulling a “90″ and most people that I've conversed with on the topic don't like it…

  54. “And I would go further. I would NEVER post something online that I don’t want my boss or wife to see”

    The thing is, FB knows the vast majority of people don’t use this same level of discretion. They specifically designed their service for people to post personal information, most of which people probably wouldn’t want being accessible to everyone. Whether they’re posting messages to their family, angry rants about their workplace, or drunken party pictures, there’s always some things that people expect limited access to.

    If everybody suddenly used Facebook to only post things they wanted public it would probably just turn into a place where everyone does nothing but play farmville.

  55. Whoa, the arrogance to believe that Robert Scoble knows what's best for everyone.

    “I’m just so bored with all that talk. Just what are you doing that needs to be so damned private? Are you having sex inside Facebook? Doing illegal drugs? Cheating on your wife? Damn, your Facebook life must be SO interesting!”

    Well, that's none of your god damned business. Get the point? Just because the high and mighty Scoble wants everything to be public, doesn't mean everyone else does.

    “Me, count me out of this whole privacy thing. I want everything I do to be public and then I don’t have to spill thousands of words crying when Mark Zuckerberg takes my stuff and exposes it in a search engine.”

    Ok, What would you do if Google decided to change its privacy settings so your emails are open to the public? If your life is SO NOT interesting, you wouldn't mind would you?

    This might come as a complete surprise to you, but there are people on Facebook, who only signed up because they believed that their stuff was private enough. Now techies like you and I might take that with a pinch of salt, but the rest of the world may not. Like someone else here said, stop sucking up to the establishment, and put yourself in other people's shoes. It's called empathy, you should try it sometime.

  56. I think they still need to have a degree of privacy and Facebook. is important not to violate their privacy all. friends can have access but the rest of the world? Why do I know everything.

  57. Agree with Robert here for the most part (the open vs. closed self indulgent debate is kinda funny – “Me, I'm right, me!”). ;-) No one is a Social Media expert, but i value other's opinions small or large. Privacy, get over it already folks.

    On a side note, I think the Zynga / Facebook war is far more interesting…

  58. Just because you as an internet celebrity see Facebook as “something that is much more public” than being for real friends doesn't mean most other people want it to be like that. I personally know every person who I am Facebook friends with and they are the people I want to communicate with in that venue. Want the open web? Use scobleizer.com. Facebook are already playing far too loose with privacy—please don't encourage them any further.

    If Facebook went open I would leave immediately.

  59. Yes agree……..Lot of concern already on FB privacy and i see daily posts about this on blogs…..i will also like privacy as main concern but at same time admit that vast FB user do not care about this

  60. my 2 cents about it: FB is so unlikeable ohh,so hate-able even Evil…..it's HOT alright and people in Israel ar wearing Like buttons? ohh well , big deal…..regardless of all the FB users the fact remains the same:SHALLOW,STUPID ,STINKS & SUCKS BIG time!

  61. Facebook is like shark bait. For those that like catching sharks, it's probably fine… but I don't want to be part of the bait.

  62. the employees made “good”/positive videos of the business, and the business fired them for it? so, some businesses don't understand social media/the 'net, and they have retarded policies regarding it.
    (It wasn't Denny's was it, they are douchebags when it comes to their social media policies).

  63. i thought i read recently that Louisiana has the highest auto insurance in the US?
    Who Dat!

  64. Robert, it's good to be you, deciding to live in public. However, for the more discerning, the issue isn't always about having stuff to hide. I interact w/a number of communities of friends, some from family, highschool, college, kiteboarders, snowboarders, geeks and biz friends. In some cases there's overlap, but not overwhelmingly (at least not at this stage). The issue of control over how to distribute information is not about keeping secrets, but rather about keeping relevance. When I'm sending out updates about wind conditions, this does not need to go out to my entire list of friends, just kiteboarders. Too many irrelevant comments can result in many turning down the “din” on my postings. Having said that, for different groups I post very relevant information and know in advance who would care versus who wouldn't. Why shouldn't I be able to control this distribution? On Twitter I do this via two personas, which isn't ideal.

    As well, this don't “post anything you would want your mom or boss or {add your favorite heartfelt group here}” attitude is a cop out. Context is a very sensitive thing that keeps getting overlooked by you (it appears), Paul Bucheit and Mark Z (you're in fine company here :). The most innocent item under the wrong context can be heavily misinterpreted and that's just a fact of life. How I speak to one set of friends may be different than to another set. This isn't to say I'm keeping secrets, just that we have a shared past that enables us to communicate differently. In the physical world, the way this is dealt with is by selecting who I tell a story too and how I tell it, and knowing that there's a low likelihood that (a) they will talk to a friend from a different part of my life and (b) that they will communicate the thoughts and ideas in the same way as I relayed them. These are necessary filters that are poorly implemented online, and with the promise that Facebook made about catering to “you and your friends in the physical world”, they implied that they'd keep working on improving this. Now they've gone rogue, so to speak, and are doing the exact opposite by trashing and complicating these filters.

    Here's a simple thing they could have chosen to do (though it may not have supported their open distribution model from a financial gain perspective). Why not allow one to use the “friends groups” as an option when sending out a post? A rather mundane level of control that would have done so much for users and relieved many from feeling violated. An actual feature that would support better communications through more control and more welcomed messages from friends.

    Suffice to say, you don't want any privacy (aka. control over distribution of your words) in a system that offers it and claims to stand by it's model, but it's an entirely other thing to tell people who don't want to have their info exposed that the service has privacy controls and then systematically start reducing and removing these. Paul Bucheit's recent comments upset me too because neither of you consider that the need for celebrity is yours and not necessarily the rest of the 400M people out there. Note, your wife lives w/you and is exposed to how you have chosen to live publicly so I wouldn't put here in the group of the unwashed masses. For everyone you can point to who doesn't care about these privacy issues, I can point to several who do care and some of which are newbies. If anything, this latest noise will help keep those who have stayed away, away. I have lots of friends who have chosen not to be on Facebook and where I used to try and convince them otherwise and of the benefits of connections, now I'm being more supportive of their decision and recommending they stay off.

  65. I don't think most people would have a problem if Facebook were open to start off with. They would've stayed away or they would've used the services appropriately, just like they use Twitter, with the knowledge that everything they post is public.

    All you need to do is to take a look at how Facebook/Zuckerberg has changed – conveniently to fit their business goals I might add – their privacy policy since 2005. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04/facebook-t… It is scary how diametrically opposite the current policy is from the one in 2005.

    Robert, I will challenge you to be honest and tell us that you wouldn't have a problem if your bank did that to you.

  66. Good, if you want FB to be more open, set all your privacy settings to “public.” That's your choice. But having the company set them that way for you after having sold itself a private network for years is a bait-and-switch for most users.

    And people DO care about privacy, they're just uninformed. For example, a post I wrote on the subject (educating users on how to adjust their settings to achieve more privacy) sat on the New York Times most-emailed list for months on end…and not just the tech articles list…the comprehensive list. It would probably still be there, too, except that it appears NYT no longer tracks stats for external sources.

    A follow-up post on the same subject sat on the most-emailed list for weeks. My own personal network of friends and family have shared these and other tips I posted about privacy with their networks of friends and the comments have been ubiquitously in favor of privacy.

    I agree with the commenter above that it should be about choice. Not everyone wants their kids' pictures and personal conversations public. That's their choice. Default settings should not be public. And FB should not be prompting you to accept recommendations and links that, by default, are public.

    The company knows that most don't understand these things and they're betting big on that fact in an ambitious takeover of the web itself. It's actually pretty amazing…and gutsy. But they will achieve this success by duping unsuspecting users & publicizing things people thought were private. It is very, very wrong.

  67. On this site (Insurance Information Insitiute) they list Washington DC as #1, followed by NJ, then Louisana. But since I don't consider DC a state (it's a city), that would make NJ #1 in my book, with Louisana at #2.

    http://www.iii.org/media/facts/statsbyissue/auto/

    Think about it. It makes perfect sense. NJ is the most highly populated state, per square mile. We are packed in here like sardines. So it would make sense that we also have quite a high number of cars per square mile, too. And the more cars on the road, the more accidents you are gong to have, and the higher it will cost to insure your car. We also have Newark, a hot bed for stolen cars, which contributes to the problem.

  68. No, it wasn't Denny's, but I won't say which company it was, since my daughter loves her job and plans on sticking with the company long enough to rise up to a managerial position and take advantage of educational benefits, along the way.

  69. Wow. This is wrong on so many levels, I almost don't know where to begin. Here's the short list, in no particular order:

    1. Confusing Facebook's stance on privacy with any reasonable notion of the “Open Web” is just dumb. I think this dead horse has been sufficiently bludgeoned in the comments above, but the fact that you continue to defend your position doesn't speak highly of your understanding of the complicated issues involved here. Facebook isn't eviscerating privacy for the sake of openness – they're doing it to facilitate corporate access to users. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just plain wrong – and astoundingly naive.

    2. You want to be totally exposed on the Web. Well, good for you. Then again, do you really think you're similarly situated to the vast majority of Facebook users? Again, this has already been said, but it deserves repeating. Just last week, I talked to a co-worker about her concerns that an ex-boyfriend was using Facebook to stalk her, and it was having a very chilling effect on her activity on the site. Do you honestly mean to just dismiss these kinds of concerns? Yes, hackers could expose her activity on this and other sites, and all online activity carries a certain amount of risk. But we're talking about a platform deliberately facilitating involuntary exposure. No difference in your mind? Really?

    3. Opt-in as a default vs. opt-out. If this were a debate, you'd be getting crushed, Scoble. Solves for your desire for total openness without sacrificing my desire for privacy. It is utterly indefensible for Facebook to put the onus on users to navigate their arcane privacy settings and keep up with their frequent policy changes just to maintain the level of personal security they enjoyed when they joined.

    4. Trust matters. In 2006, I was hired to consult on the social architecture of a new social platform. I was asked how to create a “new MySpace,” and my short answer was, why would you want to do that? From a social perspective, MySpace sucked. It was impossible to find RL friends, or even like-minded individuals, or to make relevant, meaningful connections. Instead,I suggested modeling Facebook's trusted social architecture. When Facebook opened up to the public, my various peer networks quickly migrated to the site – everyone from high school classmates (we'd graduated 20 years prior, FYI), former students, and collegiate debate colleagues – and the one thing I heard from all of them was that they finally had a place to (re)connect and communicate with REAL friends & family online. I'll stand by my initial assessment – TRUST is the primary reason behind Facebook's phenomenal growth, especially with non-traditional user segments (like my over-40 cohort). Take that away and Facebook will be in serious trouble.

    5. Just because Pip.io isn't a viable alternative (it sucks, for lots of reasons), don't think another one can't or won't pop up. Remember 2006? Pete Cashmore asserted that MySpace's dominance was unassailable because the network had attained “critical mass”. Of course, now we know that's a laughable statement. Facebook would do well to remember the lessons of the recent past. We can and will leave for greener pastures, and there's nothing Facebook has built that can't be relatively easily replicated – other than traffic, and that will take care of itself if they keep up these kinds of shenanigans.

  70. I deactivated my account on Facebook yesterday. I found what I believe is a serious bug that amounts to a serious breach of privacy. I found out that one of my FB friends can see any post I make a comment to on a friend's wall even if he is not friends with them. The entire post shows up in his newsfeed. I checked all my settings 10 times. This is not the Recent Activity bit which tells him I commented on someone's status. Its the actual post which he should not be able to see at all if he is not friends with someone! IT IS A SERIOUS BUG / PRIVACY BREACH!!!! He says this has been going on for over a year or two.

    I also found out that this is happening to another person I am friends with and he is getting the same kinds of things showing up in his newsfeed from people he is not friends with, friends of friends.

    Now I don't know which of my friends has this problem in their newsfeed and which don't. I cant comment on any of my friends status updates anymore for fear that what I say is going to show up in his or someone else's newsfeed who shouldnt see it. Hence the deactivation. Some of us still care about privacy!!!

  71. People are fired for sexual orientation every day. And yes, it's discrimination.

    And maybe Ireland is Catholic and repressed, but there are laws on the books prohibiting this discrimination:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the

    In other nations, people can be sentenced to prison or death.

    AlexShleber's point about legitimate privacy issues is a good one: there are reasons many people want to choose the time and place and person to share information with.

    Even movie and TV stars when doing the talk show circuit, many who live lives much more public than dear Scoble will still arrange for their publicists to run interference with the show's handlers and bookers so that certain topics are not broached. (Case in point: all the 40+ actresses with newborns who are never asked whether they went to a donor for eggs.)

    The average person who was badgered into joining Facebook by their friends or family doesn't have the same sort of protection that a good publicist can give — or the same sort of protection constantly generating SEO friendly material can give, like Scoble has.

  72. But privacy isn't simply autocratic. There's a share element to privacy.

    If you have an ex-wife anywhere who starts revealing lots of things that you regard as private, that still impinges on your privacy. But she doesn't need to go on a smear campaign or de-privating-Scoble campaign.

    If she shares private details on Facebook, thinking that only her best friends will see what she writes and posts from your joint past, having everything being completely indexible and Like-able is going to be a nightmare.

    Having everything that everyone ever emails or texts to a friend easily and widely available isn't the same thing as having your work email opened up during a court case.

  73. Facebook makes it easy to share photos. Most people would rather upload a bunch of photos once than have to upload the whole roll to every single friend or family member who might be interested in seeing Felicia's 4th birthday party.

  74. I'm reminded of an argument I was having on a mailing list recently, of which there are two mailing lists that are of the same ilk, and probably over 50% of the participants are on both lists.

    One person thought that it was “rude” and “unethical” to be crossposting emails from one email list to another. And considering that the participants are usually rational, I replied back that it might be rude, but I saw nothing unethical about it. I never did get a rational answer back. A lot more emails were spent talking about crossposting in seven days than emails that actually get crossposted.

    The list is unmoderated, any person can join and look at the archives to see what's there. Sorry, that's thinking that there is privacy there where there isn't even a hint of it.

    And I'm pretty sure my Facebook profile is about as open as it gets as well.

    When it's to the point that practically everything you type and look at on the Internet gets recorded one way or another, I have to ask, just what kind of privacy do you think you have? If you're that worried, shut the computer, the router, the modem and probably even your phone (wireless or line) off, and then try and live your life without any of it — for the rest of your life.

  75. All valid points Bryan, but let me make that decision for myself. I don't need you, or Robert or Mark Zuckerberg making that decision for me, on the assumption that that's what I want.

    The issue here is not as much about the privacy itself, as it it about the ethics (or lack thereof) behind the frequent changes in the policy to suit their corporate goals.

  76. You can TRY to make that decision for yourself. But I think in the end, to really keep whatever private, you're just going to have to face the fact that it shouldn't be on the Internet, period. But if you plan on participating anywhere (and this includes in real life, I hope you understand that), you are most likely going to lose any hope of privacy. It's just in real life, we don't have Google (among others) going around and recording it for posterity either.

  77. The “stick a bunch of buttons on it” approach is my problem with Facebook's closed Social Plugins. I dev for MUZU.TV and we want to offer Facebook Like, and Twitter share and a MySpace button and so on. But we don't want to stick a bunch of buttons on our site. We want one button tailored for the user. And we want to know when the user clicks it so we can use the data to power our social features and Most Popular lists. But we can't piggy back on Facebook's new button, it's an iframe or fbxml with no callback parameter.

    So we either ignore facebook (not a good idea) and implement our own Like button that isn't very useful or we adopt Facebook Like and… well, forget about doing anything on our site with the data. Synching the data back through Open Graph is next to impossible because we have 53,000 possible Like pages and you need to manually admin each one before you can get the data back throng the API.

    We think some of this problem is simply that Social Plugins and Open Graph are very new and half baked, that they will change to fix these issues.

    But some of it seems like positioning by facebook and they are powerful enough to ignore our needs.

    Really we need proper competition for facebook so that no one website can dominate the choices of others (*cough* google *cough*)

  78. A novel concept you have there. Or not. Google's Eric Schmidt said, “If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.” Right? Yet, for about a year, Schmidt blacklisted CNET reporters from Google after the tech news company published an article with information about his salary, neighborhood, hobbies, and political donations — all obtained from Google searches.

  79. Which just shows how big a hypocrite Schmidt is.

    What we do in this space gets recorded. That information can be released inadvertently, or deliberately. I'm not telling you to just embrace the suck just because you can. You can adjust your privacy settings as you will. I would grant that FB needs to figure out just where they would like to see the defaults, and keep to it, and not readjusting everybody's security every time they feel it needs to be tweaked. We can either let market forces make them figure out how to deal with it, or we can go with draconian legislation that won't fix the underlying problems that you see.

  80. Bryan I think expectations for privacy are set by the type of service one is using on the internet. For Twitter and Linkedin, one doesn't expect or necessarily want privacy. For Facebook however, given how it started and was/is marketed and used and the fact that 1) there are settings which allow for various degrees of privacy or openness and 2) the Canadian government lawsuit against Facebook last year determined that they needed stricter privacy settings which leads to 3) as a global entity FB is subject to not just privacy laws in different countries and cultures but a differing set of cultural privacy expectations.

    I think a reasonable person would say that if I am on Facebook and I have set my privacy settings to the most closed settings, then there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. There is a difference however in having that expectation and having suspicion that I may need to still excersize reasonable care and caution in what I post to Facebook as one cannot control the actions of others (including FB) on what they might do with someone else's content. Therefore – as such – I do not post photos of my kids or post anything which I may consider to be too sensitive for anyone in general to see or read. However I have a reasonable expectation that my comments on one friends wall post will not show up in the newsfeed of another friend who is not friends with that person. It's not how FB is supposed to work! This is a glitch which made me realize ok they have the settings but a bug can circumvent it, therefore I deactivated my account.

    While people should be cautious about what they share on the internet if they have a concern about privacy, I don't buy the argument that we should expect our privacy to be eroded to nothing and expect that is how the world will be and if we dont like it we shouldnt use the internet. There are laws and regulations which still protect our right to privacy. The laws maybe havent caught up to the technology but they will. Generally speaking advances in technology and science occur faster than the ability to understand the consequences how something like gene patents and tests should be administered. But people should be aware that it's much easier for the government to compell a third party like Google/gmail and Facebook to turn over your information than it is for them to get it directly from you in your home.

  81. I guess it really is old-fashioned about me, but I think that a generation with no wall between public and private has a name: psychopathic. Hey, don't take the brown acid.

  82. From your early blog entries mentioning how your father worked in top-secret Lockheed Martin and dismayed you by sharing little about himself…your bias toward compulsive “sharing” has seemed rather clear. You’ve chosen to make your career based in part on decrying the existence of individual unwatched quiet lives. You’ve freely chosen to live your life online. That’s fine. But it’s your choice. You’re, it seems, and perhaps you’ll forgive my vagueness, “that kind of person.” Which is not like everyone. You live out loud. You pontificate. You turn the camera on your wife who’s talking baby talk while you squeal in the rain outside the Seattle Library, narrating narrating, talking about yourself, and then leave the video there for 7 years. Perhaps you feel you don’t fully exist if, for whatever reason, for a time, you’re hampered from publicly broadcasting yourself, your life, your opinions, your rants–and being watched, read, observed, consumed, and commented on. That’s fine. But, again, many people aren’t like you. And don’t want to be. Like me, for example. Wanting to connect with friends, send and receive invitations, share photos, get the latest from a business you care about, ask your community for a bit of input or advice, share some playlists and videos–that’s what most people do on social sites. You’ve chosen to create a life where you blog…blog about blogging, blog about blogging, speak about blogging, blog about speaking, self-expose, self-promote, wave your arms, wave your opinion banner, talk talk talk about yourself, blare your opinions, endlessly, indiscriminently, all very publicly. You”ve made your name and whatever “fortune” based on declaring that everyone ought to see things as you do. Mocking people who don’t. And you’re rewarded by people who find it compelling or amusing or who believe you own a nugget of truth. And I don’t doubt that it’s difficult, if not impossible, for you to reflect or synthesize complexity. And instead facilely declare privacy as unnecessary or passe. With all the outward projection of yourself that goes on, it would be nigh on impossible to quiet down and actually think things through, imagine another perspective, experience, or preferences other than your own. And then keep it to yourself for a while to see what happens…or doesn’t? (You won’t ex/implode if you don’t share and expose yourself) You’ve been lauded for your blurts and bleats for almost a decade. I doubt you can shut up. Or stop “sharing” if you tried. You long ago gave away your privacy. You don’t got none more to lose. Not everyone would find what you do or say as reflective of the kind of world we hope to create and live in. Your glibness and strong self-will to some may be an asset. But to me, your cleverness doesn’t translate to depth or to actual meaning. Or inspires depth or appreciation for that which is meaningful. You want to be turned onto new music? Go to a local business and talk to the owner, or have a conversation with some people in a coffee shop. Is your life really that much better or worse or deliciously smug knowing Kenny G popped up on Cooper’s playlist? Give the guy a fucking break–you have no idea what it means for Kenny G to have shown up in his Pandora. You know how quirky Pandora is. Do you care about meaning? or is that too slow and pedestrian? Of course you’re going to espouse pushing privacy over the cliff—there’s no public evidence of your ever having valued your own unwatched private quiet non-commerical non-monetizable time. Why would you value anyone else’s? And besides…your ability to profit, sale of books, speaking engagements, is predicated on doing everything you can to manifest your opinion into reality. That’s fine. But beyond that being one person’s story—yours—this is what’s really boring to me. Not privacy. Your publicness is boring. Your zeal for monetizing yourself is boring. Your aggressive push to convert people to your way of thinking is boring. Your desire to ramrod your self-interested opinion up the public marketplace of ideas in order to further their own profit is boring. Yawn. Ultimately, tho, this is about choice. Allowing people to live as boringly public or as boringly privately as they choose to live. And companies mining, harvesting, and intending to utilize our behavioral data for commerce be transparent about their intentions — and allow people to exercise free choice. And opt in or out as they freely choose.

  83. I wanted to comment, got too long, made a blog post of of it: http://bit.ly/cBDqUm

    In essence, I deeply disagree with you. We are not all celebrities, and I don't think users are ready for such a shift. The sns trend is still fairly young and there is a lot of examples proving that users are not familiar with it yet, at least not enough.

    Facebook started as a really cool tool to share things with your friends, not it's a marketer's paradise and a productivity pit. Not remotely as practical to satisfy its own basic claim as it was before. Users are confused and FB is playing on it. I can't say I like it.

  84. Having an ex-wife anywhere that wants info on your current life, popping on to facebook and taking the info she wants from the profiles of you and whoever you are with currently, isn't such a good thing either.

    Make some dinner plans you think are private, between you and your facebook friends, and your ex-wife then having access to it and showing up at the right restaurant at the right time, just to harass you, would be a nightmare.

    Which was the point I was trying to make in my earlier comment about people unfriending their ex's to prevent things like that.

  85. No, my dad's lesson is clear: if you want something to be kept private keep it away from consumer Internet services. Hell, even keep it away from family dinner table!

  86. Give me a break. First of all, if you are trying to avoid an ex-wife it would be best not to put anything into writing on a computer. Why not just call all your friends and tell them where to meet you for dinner? When I was going through my divorce the last thing I would have done would have put something on the computer that she could use against me.

  87. So how long do you think one should be so careful? Is a year after the divorce enough? Five years? Wait till your ex gets remarried?

    With the kind of info you make public, I am glad you don't have an ex as crazy and dangerous as the one my husband has. Even 10 years later she would still be dangerous.

  88. I don't know. My ex is welcome here for dinner, so I guess I'm happy I don't have anyone like that in my life. If I did I probably would put far less online than I do now.

  89. I see the advantages of the current openness, and I benefit from them, however I would like to be told when “default” settings are changed, actually before they are changed. You mentioned finding music because of your friend’s list I agree this is good. HOWEVER, I have placed my phone number on my profile because I want the people I “friend” to be able to call me, I DO NOT want everyone in America to have my number. If necessary I will remove my number. But, it is nice to be able to give it to my friends, some whom I have not talked to in years. Just not to the whole world, and not without being warned first so I can decide if I want it “public” or not.

  90. Interesting take on privacy vs. let it all hang out. Why are we here anyway? For connection. For attention. Because we want to know what other people think and feel without having them deliver the goods through a social mask, maybe. Etc. Once in a while I dutifully privatize my settings; but I always change my mind and go back to clicking “Everyone.” Even if I hate you — I want you to read my stuff, and I want to read yours! But usually I start liking people once I get inside their minds in this innocuous way. So, go Face book! Why the hell not. I’m with the author of this blog, and I really like her honest style.

  91. Do you remember in the 90's when people talked about how dangerous it was to meet people online (e.g. internet dating)? You could meet a crazy person and be killed. Well, the same thing can happen at the bar. Now, almost everyone knows someone who has met their wife/husband on a site like match.com. Well guess what? That photo of you at the bar, or that person you're speaking to in private – these things can come out with or without the internet. Maybe the problem is that you have things to hide.

    The fact is the internet is becoming more and more like the real world – at scale. People have to get comfortable with this. I think a lot of these privacy concerns are purely because it's a good controversial media topic. If you're really upset about privacy, you do have the option to NOT join Facebook. But that's not an option, because they have added so much to your life… in fact, aren't the benefits much better than the risks?

  92. It could be that person who's original post you commented on has “allow friends of friends to see posts”, which I believe is the default.

  93. Robert, first – I am with you and I am pretty much Ok with everything I post on Facebook being totally public.

    HOWEVER, ask most young women out there and they will tell you how important privacy is to them. It is of course for obvious reasons – but I ask you, should we just tell them just to stay away from Facebook and alike sites? It seems ironic, since that is the population that traditionally loved to SHARE most (and likely top facebook users already).

  94. No, we shouldn't tell them to shy away from Facebook. But I will do them better long term to tell them to keep stuff off of the Internet they don't want others to see then to try to teach them how to use Facebook's privacy system which may or may not change at some point in the future anyway.

  95. Thanks for reply, and I am definitely working hard to educate women in my life on that.
    I think everyone agrees that Facebook can do more in this department as well, starting by setting defaults to As Private as Possible, rather than Public with few exceptions…

  96. I think the focus on whether you're a typical Facebook user is misguided. The fact that you happen to want everything public is irrelevant. The key point, in my opinion, is that Facebook created a place where people felt they could privately share things and then once they had in everyone inside they changed the rules. And they know damn well that most people don't know or understand the changes. So your rant about wanting everything public and use of extreme examples of why other people want things private is all well and good – but it really doesn't have anything to do with the reason people are angry. They're angry because they feel duped. For what it's worth, i think you're one of the most valuable, important voices on the web, but in this particular case i couldn't disagree with you more.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/much-ado-about-p

  97. Where shall we draw the line, then?
    I mean, what would you do that you're so ashamed of you wouldn't tell your dad about it?
    I don't want to share anything about my tastes because of the commercials which always get the keywords wrong, about my private life because my boss added me, about my appearance because I'm wearing a weird haircut, about my religion/political opinions because it offends people, about my location because I DO have stalkers…
    What shall I share then? My insights about tech? What happens when I want to leave my geek persona for a while?

    I insist, you don't get it, Facebook was a really cool tool to share with your friends online the same things you would offline, and now it's become the thing you want to avoid getting private with. Don't you see the problem?

  98. I completely echo Mr Goldstein. To create a relationship on one premise and demonstrate behaviour on entirely another premise, is frankly insidious. To use your own analogy, it is the online equivalent of lying to your wife family and friends all at once. Facebook should roll this back or someone else should take their place. The problem and unintended consequence with “public”, and open web, is it actually drives the opposite behaviour and pushes its users to behave in a more guarded, unopen manner. Particularly if your trust has been repeatedly abused. According to the immutable laws of physics, the mere act of observing an object, will change its trajectory. We are now the observed objects. And therein lies the rub for facebook.

  99. Hi adir1, that's an interesting question. But I don't think so. I think what that setting means is that he can go directly to that person's wall/newsfeed and be able to see everything. What he is seeing instead is stuff showing up in his newsfeed. If what you're saying is true, based on what he sees, we'd all be seeing loads of crap from people we don't know who we are not friends with show up in our newsfeeds and that would be really confusing and quite spammy!!!

  100. you can, it's called a Page. if you want it to be so open then why have 2 profiles. you said it yourself, you have two profiles. One private, the other public. Get rid of the profiles, move to a page and do what you do with either on your Page…you haven't and you wont… isn't that hypocritical of you?

  101. I'm glad to hear that. Truth is, is that I agree with you. But I would phrase it this way. It's the end of the illusion of privacy on net. The net is all about sharing and to think someone can post something to it and it be “private” is based on a false assumption. Facebook played the magician and created this illusion for people and now they're removing the “vale”. And as with anything people don't like change specially ones that slam them with reality.

    I also had my profile set to as public as it could be, however, lately I've realized that I don't want Facebook being the gatekeeper of my interests, I don't trust it enough for that. So I've closed everything down to “only me” and I keep the profile active to interact with those friends that still use it.

    My public social sharing is currently exclusively kept by Twitter and it's current capabilities.

  102. Did you sign up for Facebook when it required a college E-mail address? For some of us we didn't sign up to share all our information with the public. I guess it's Facebook's right to run their business how they want, but that doesn't mean I don't think they suck for what they've done here.

  103. With all this concern about Facebooks privacy policy and you're solution of just keeping it public. I haven't read anything about the real concern people should have regarding privacy. And no it's not about what silly skeletons people have in there closet, I can careless about that and what people may see in mine. My real concern and THE real concern is IDENTITY FRAUD.
    I don't delude myself with thoughts that it can be squashed but I do want to make as difficult as possible for criminals. And with this all public stance, it makes it very easy.
    I mean. FB has your name, FB has your birthday, FB has your street address. All things typically entered by a facebook user, yes? if it's public, what's to slow down a criminal from using or selling that information to steal your identity and open up credit accounts or have it used by some illegal alien nefarious work.
    This is what really scares me. Shouldn't social companies like FB at least put in some privacy restrictions so we, as users, can select who gets to see that information? or should we not share that information to friends/family via these social venues?

  104. FYI it's not a REQUIREMENT to give your sexual preference, relationship status, or a lot of the other “privacy” info on Facebook. So DON'T.

  105. Paul,

    Unfortunately, here in the U.S., there is still a lot of discrimination when it comes to sexuality. It's also still a very taboo subject.

    If you're not straight & other know it they're uncomfortable around… for the most part. Always exceptions though.

  106. Paul,

    Good point, I didn't realize how much Google IS on the net until I starting sharing the articles/blogs I find useful to others…

    Competition is always good… choice is VERY good. But, even if someone comes along with competition to Facebook we'll still run into the same “privacy” issues.

  107. Doesn't the avg. human want the world to revolve around him/her self? Ah reality will hit him sooner or later… probably later. Ah such is life.

  108. Ok my last rant here… Hasn't anyone watch an action/thriller in the past 10yrs (The Bourne trilogy, Mission Impossible, Transporter, & 100 others) or TV… NCIS anyone?? Look at the information that these show being retrieved… Are you all really naive enough to think this is ALL FICTION??!!

    Ever heard of the Patriot Act?? This took away our last rights to privacy.

    Privacy in U.S. not any more!! Not since technology & Bush.

    All we can do is our best to keep what we want out of the public eye… & take the responsibility to live a life we are not ashamed of.

    Bless~ed Be! & Regards,
    Elizabeth Jo

  109. Elizabeth, *I* know that, and haven't, but that is no argument toward the other 400M FB users who may have trusted FB. It's like saying “you're not required to give your online banking app your account number, so don't”… this “absolutist argument” as I like to call it just doesn't hold water.

  110. When most geeks say “open web” they mean can they use APIs to get to data and/or can Google or Bing's spiders get inside the walls and get to the data. At least in my experience. Well, now we are finding out there's a cost of being “open.” Twitter is open. Facebook? Not so much. sesli sohbet

  111. Your wife doesn't care about Facebook privacy?

    Is that a lie or oversight?

    “Maryam only shares some of her profile information with everyone. If you know Maryam, send her a message or add her as a friend.”

    Or, maybe it's because you are missing the point. The privacy people are worried about isn't what they type in their status updates, it's all that personal info like their address, phone number, and kid's names. I notice that regardless of how “open as can be” your profile is that there is no information about your children. I assume this is deliberate in order to protect them and their privacy. Your response will no doubt be that people shouldn't put that kind of information online. However, this is EXACTLY why Facebook is big and popular. Family and friends join Facebook when they have never joined anything else online in order to stay in touch with real people from their real lives. Take that away and you have just another techie social community and Internet marketing platform that your Mother has never heard of and would never join in a million years.

    Sure, when you use your Facebook profile as a carefully executed extension of your self-promotion strategy, who cares about privacy. When you actually use it to stay in touch with friends and family (which is why Facebook has 500 million users) then its another thing entirely. Of course, if the former stays and the latter goes, then Facebook becomes just another Digg + MySpace waiting for Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo to step in and buy up a little extra traffic.