Much Ado?

Bruce McArthur Facebook, Politics, Privacy, Social Networks

Okay…I am feeling a little like it is time for some soapboxing. Don’t worry, it’ll be short.

I was soooo relieved to see that certain members of our esteem senate in DC continue to look out after us, since we’re too stupid to do it ourselves. Thank god they have the time to tackle the tough issues like Facebook, now that the minor stuff like unemployment, immigration and the exploding national debt have been dealt with.

I feel better.

Back to Facebook. As I have said before, I love the new tools Facebook has introduced allowing greater “socialization.” I guess, though, with 500 million users, not everyone will agree with me. Particularly when it come to privacy.

I certainly understand that privacy is a concern. I believe Facebook feels the same way. That’s why they allow users to customize their privacy settings (As an aside, the more this technology evolves, the more important it is to manage your privacy settings. We have to get used to this fact. Managing your privacy should be top-of-mind when interacting on any social network.).

Regarding the new tools: The “Like” button, which you will see popping up on all sorts of websites, is totally opt-in. No issues there. Great for small businesses.

There is also a concern about linking pages to items in your current profile and allowing your profile to be available publicly through the expanded use of “connections.” Don’t like that? Go to Account/Privacy Settings and change it. Pretty easy.

The other big issue is that users now have to opt-out of “instant personalization” but should be allowed to opt-in. While I do not necessarily agree, I do concede a point here. Still this is not the stuff congressional hearings are made of. In the interest of helping those with a worried soul, the following is a link to a great article in Mashable that will take you through the steps you need to sleep better at night:

http://mashable.com/2010/04/25/disable-facebook-instant-personalization/

So is this all much ado about nothing? No, but in my opinion, it is much ado about very little. The legitimate concerns that some have over privacy are easily addressed. With little effort, one can make Facebook, which is after all a social network, as social or unsocial, as you want.