Friday, April 25, 2008


I don't have time to go into it now, though I have a small window between Practice Finals and Research Papers that might give me a few hours of weekend evening this weekend. I doubt I'll spend it on Facebook, but, it's interesting to me anyway. I have several questions:

1. Somewhere in here (in links off of the Blackall post) I've read that for whatever reason a birthdate is extremely valuable information to identity thieves. My birthdate is no secret but it's especially no secret in Facebook. I'm not sure how it happened, but everyone in my Facebook friends registry is now informed of it, and not only that, but somehow I've accepted some people into there who I wasn't clear about; I was pretty sure they were former students, or at least married to them, but now I'm not even sure of that. Is this trouble?

2. The Hirsh article says that essentially businesses are involved in a partnership to all know what kinds of purchases you make online, and all work together to collect information about it. Facebook is at least considering being all over this situation, enabling businesses, informing them, selling them your information, etc. What's up with that? Am I the only person whose idea of "friends" stops at the line marked "corporations"? Not that I have anything against MasterCard, mind you. I don't steal from big ones, small ones or the government. But, I also don't want them stealing from me. I'm not telling anyone my favorite movie anymore.

3. Facebook takes some heat for every little move it makes, every application it allows people to add. That's because a quarter million people are signing up each day....(where did I read this?) I feel like a sloppy researcher as I can't point you to the facts. But a social network researcher has his/her hands full these days, keeping up with rapid changes and their implications. Here are some things to think about: I got onto a "group class experiment" which had been joined by thousands and thousands; it was a Facebook group, and it had dozens of messages from porn spammers right on the top. It made me sick- this is no longer a "friends" network, obviously. Second, people drop movies onto my site which then sit there until I can at least watch them. Some of them, frankly, I don't want on my territory. I was never one for "America's Funniest Home Videos" anyway. How many times can you watch some poor schlub fall off a ladder? Not to denigrate the friends who sent these; I think they just want to give me a laugh, or whatever. I hope I don't offend them if I just delete and move on. They're still my friends, I hope they know that.

More about this later. It's important. It's not all FB's fault. I think this Mark Z. was just a kid, invented a platform, didn't quite know what would come of it. These things take on a life of their own...

Blackall, L. (2007, Dec. 8). Losing my Facebook. Learn Online. Accessed 4-08.

Hirsh, J. (2007, November 14). Beware of Facebook's Beacon? CBC News, Canada. Accessed 4-08.

Stutzman, F. (2006, September 7). How Facebook broke its culture. Unit Structures. Accessed 4-08.



Post a Comment

<< Home