Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Nocera’

FaceBook jokes aside, are there GENUINE dangers in Social Media?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 11, 2012

Slowly, but surely, there is a resounding “YES!” which is beginning to reverberate throughout the nation, in response to that question.

Recently, news reports have emerged that FaceBook‘s lawyers are seeking a way around the “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998.” Mr. Zuckerberg’s opposition to COPPA is well-known. In a May 2011 interview with CNNMoney writer , when asked how he would deal with COPPA, said “Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process. If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works. That will be a fight we take on at some point.”

[Ed. note: The COPPA may be read here: http://www.ftc.gov/ogc/coppa1.htm]

That federal law, in essence, forbade (that is, made illegal) any effort by an online entity from collecting personally identifying information from children.

And, true to form, there will doubtlessly be laws enacted, and court cases decided that deal with issues of commerce, privacy, First Amendment rights, and other certain freedoms that we as people freely exercise.

Doubtless as well, those pushing the limits will be corporations – those “artificial” persons, which – according to the United States Supreme Court – also have the EXACT SAME RIGHTS as any real person.

And then again, there’ll be the TEA Party/Republican radicals that scream “too much government, too much regulation, smaller government, less regulation – let the free market decide!”

In essence, not only have you already become a commodity that is bought, sold & traded (think “slavery” – yes, I’m dead serious), but you will soon no longer have any rights to control the invasive eavesdropping/electronic surveillance/stalking that the companies perform against you while you peruse their websites or use their software. Suffice it to say, the information they collect about you is not yours, but rather theirs.

And just so you’ll be aware, this FaceBook problem is not exclusively limited to the United States.

Before closing this commentary, I’d like to let readers know that there are several good browser add-ons that assist privacy efforts. Among them are “HTTPS Everywhere” – by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and “DNT+” – by Abine. Of course, Aurora by Mozilla/Firefox is a more secure browser than either Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Apple’s Safari.

I encourage you to also read the Consumer Reports article on FaceBook privacy which follows this item.

ADDENDUM Tuesday, 26 November 2013:

F.B. (Fluff Busting) Purity (FBPurity.com) is an anti-spam, browser extension / add-on that lets you clean up and customize Facebook. It filters out the junk you don’t want to see, leaving behind the stories and page elements you do wish to see. The list of story types that FBP hides is customizable to your taste. It alters your view of Facebook to show only relevant information to you. It removes annoying and irrelevant stories from your newsfeed such as game and application spam, ads and sponsored stories. It also hides the boxes you don’t want to see on each side of the newsfeed.

Wising Up to Facebook

June 10, 2012, By

WHAT’S the difference, I asked a tech-writer friend, between the billionaire media mogul Mark Zuckerberg and the billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch?

When Rupert invades your privacy, my friend e-mailed back, it’s against the law. When Mark does, it’s the future.

There is truth in that riposte: we deplore the violations exposed in the phone-hacking scandal at Murdoch’s British tabloids, while we surrender our privacy on a far grander scale to Facebook and call it “community.” Our love of Facebook has been a submissive love.

But now, not so much. In recent weeks it seems the world has begun to turn a jaundiced eye on this global megaplatform. While that may not please Facebook’s executives, it is a good thing for the rest of us — and maybe for the future of social media, too.

The recent history of the Facebook phenomenon has been a serial bursting of illusions.

Most conspicuously, there was the

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