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Rumor has it that Facebook is close to reaching a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to settle charges related to privacy. While the privacy settlement may sound like a good idea, it is sort of a smoke and mirrors exercise because the reality is that privacy and social networking are polar opposites that don’t play nicely together.
One of my PCWorld peers, Jon P. Mello Jr., took a close look at what we know of the settlement terms, and found it lacking. The conditions of the settlement seem to address only a certain set of privacy concerns, varies based on when you joined Facebook, and doesn’t affect new features that Facebook rolls out in the future. It is basically a slap on the wrist for something that occurred in 2009 which appears to do more to confuse the privacy issues than resolve them.
Social networking and privacy don’t really go together very well.Face it–”Facebook privacy” is an oxymoron. It is a social network. The name alone implies a network of connected individuals who are social with one another. Asking a social network to concern itself with privacy is like asking a rock concert to try not to be so loud, or asking a swimming pool to not be so wet.
When Google introduced its latest attempt at social networking–Google+, many cheered the concept of Circles as a victory for privacy. Google+ Circles let you create separate social networks within the social network. You can have Circles for family, close friends, co-workers, your softball team, or any other collection of people you can think of. Facebook followed suit and added a feature that lets you post updates so they can only be viewed by certain groups.
The concept sounds nice, but the reality is that it provides a false sense of security while actually confusing the privacy issue even further. Contacts can exist in more than one group, like a close friend who is also a co-worker, or a cousin who is also on your softball team. When posts are commented on, it often exposes them in different ways than originally intended, and posts can be reshared unless you take extra steps to try and lock it down.
You need a Venn diagram cross-referenced with a spreadsheet to track which group or groups are supposed to see a given post. If you call in sick to work, you’d better be very careful about which social networking contacts you share updates and pictures with from your day at the beach.
There is some privacy there, and both Facebook and Google continue to hone privacy controls and add features to give users more granular control over who can see their information. At the end of the day, though, these are social networks designed to share information with others.
You wouldn’t be surprised that a rock concert is loud, or that a swimming pool is wet, so don’t be shocked when you learn that a social network shares data. It is better to assume that anything you post on a social network may one day be public, and think carefully about posting that rant about how fat and lazy your boss is no matter which group you think you are sharing it with.
Sinead O’Connor. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Irish singer Sinead O’Connor has become the latest star to quit Twitter after a suffering backlash from fans.
Actor Ashton Kutcher closed his account on the popular social networking website earlier this week after sparking outrage by ‘Tweeting’ in defence of fired U.S. college football coach Joe Paterno.
Kutcher subsequently relaunched his account and handed control to his management team.
Now Nothing Compares 2 U singer O’Connor has removed herself from the website after receiving a barrage of criticism from her online followers.
She tells V Magazine, “I’ve stopped Twitter now because, although it was fun for a while, I had to stop because I was getting too much abuse. Some people just take things so seriously, and things I was being funny about they would take terribly seriously.
“Plus, it’s a bit of an addiction; you got to stop it at some point and get on with living.”
In September, O’Connor sparked fears for her health after she wrote a Twitter message which suggested she was feeling suicidal. She later assured fans she had no plans to take her own life and wrote an open letter discouraging suicide.
Ashton Kutcher is handing over his Twitter account to his personal management after he tweeted several uninformed messages about Joe Paterno’s exit from Penn State.
On Wednesday night, Kutcher defended the football coach on Twitter before learning the details of the alleged sex-abuse scandal swirling around former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Kutcher then recanted and apologized on Twitter.
He followed with a blog post Thursday saying he would have Katalyst Media manage his feed as “a secondary editorial measure to ensure the quality of its content.”
Kutcher, who has more than 8.2 million followers, said Twitter had grown beyond more than “a fun tool.” The 33-year-old “Two and a Half Men” star said the platform has become “too big” for him to manage alone.
Article source: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9QUINSO0.htm
Madison – It’s late and I’ve got a story to write but it appears I need to clear up a misconception that started on Twitter Thursday afternoon, spread across the Internet and found its way to at least two fan boards (Ohio State and Penn State).
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema was interviewed on a Madison radio station Thursday morning and was asked about the recent scandals that have hit three Big Ten institutions: Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State.
Here is the full text of Bielema’s comments:
“Well, I obviously wasn’t well-versed in the situation, but JoePa’s done a lot for the game, done a lot for the world of college football… a guy that you can’t take away anything that he’s done from a football standpoint.
“All that other stuff I’ll let other people make decisions on. I think the NCAA’s very clear on the NCAA versus… obviously the other things around Coach Sandusky and all that are legal matters and I can’t see football or the NCAA getting involved in something like that.
“But you know, I think that this definitely brings a little bit of a cloud to the world of college football and that’s the only thing that I always have said along the way. Who in our minds would ever thought, you know, that the three major teams in our conference — Ohio State, Michigan, and uh, Penn State — would have these issues.
“But I guess just enjoy and embrace being a Badger fan.”
Now here is the tweet, culled from the above comment and posted by a media member in Milwaukee, that hit the Internet:
“…guess it’s a good time to be a Badger fan.”
Penn State fans, reeling from the news that one of their former coaches (Jerry Sandusky) has been accused of molesting children and seeing their head coach (Joe Paterno) unceremoniously fired, didn’t like the snippet at all. They appear to be under the impression he was comparing UW to Penn State alone.
Ohio State fans, who must be a wee bit irritated to learn that the NCAA has issued a “failure to monitor” charge and the football team could be in line for significant sanctions, didn’t like the snippet, either. They too thought Bielema was comparing UW to Penn State.
In the interest of full disclosure, it appears a handful of Marquette fans were chatting about the quote, too. I wasn’t aware MU fans followed UW football, but you learn something new every day.
Here is my take:
Not much to see, or hear, in this case.
I’ve covered Bielema since he arrived at UW in 2004 as the defensive coordinator. He has grown in many ways but he isn’t an eloquent public speaker and his words sometimes jumble, which sometimes obscures his message. Most football coaches aren’t great speakers, particularly when the topic shifts away from the game.
Bielema was asked again after practice Thursday night about the Penn State situation and Paterno.
He noted people should feel for the families touched by the alleged sexual assaults but his general message was the same as it was in the morning radio interview. That is, any time programs suffer through such scandals it is bad for all of college football.
“Any time anything (bad) happens in the world of college football, ” he said, “I think it’s bad for everybody.”
Bielema stopped there Thursday night.
But having listened to the radio interview and having covered Bielema for more than seven seasons, my interpretation of the last line from his morning comment is this:
“Rather than taking joy in the misfortune of other programs UW fans should celebrate what they have going right now.”
That is, a team still in the running for a Division title and a berth in the first Big Ten title game.
I’d love to post that on Twitter but something tells me just one tweet wouldn’t tell the whole story.
Article source: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/133670718.html
Editor’s Disclaimer: This post contains images of the human form that some consider graphic and may be inappropriate viewing for a workplace setting.
Whether we attribute it to the power that women hold over men, the unconscious envy of men denied the facility to give birth, or Courbet’s audacity to paint a frank image of a vagina as art in 1866, L’Origine du monde (Origin of the World), still has enough power to scandalize the censors at the social media giant, Facebook. Enough, in fact, that Facebook not only removes the image of the painting, they also suspend the Facebook accounts that post it.
At least that’s what well-known painter, installation sculptor, and media artist Matthew Weinstein found out this week. Weinstein, who has shown his work at the Sonnabend Gallery in New York City for nearly two decades, found that his Facebook account was suspended after doing no more than posting the art-historical icon, and despite it being one of the biggest draws of international audiences to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
It’s not the first time that Facebook has puritanically suspended accounts because of sexual and nude image content, or even displays of affection. Earlier in the month Facebook removed photographs of the painted breasts of 25 post-mastectomy breast cancer survivors that are part of the Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project (see Breast Cancer Body Paintings Called Pornographic By Facebook). This past spring it censored a gay kiss photo. (See Facebook’s Censorship Problem). Facebook also removed an image of Katsushika Hokusai‘s The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife (蛸と海女), an 1814 woodblock print depicting an octopus performing cunnilingus on a nude Japanese woman, that was posted on the wall of Jerry Saltz, the famed New York Magazine art critic and Bravo TV judge for the popular Work of Art reality show. At least that image was pornographic enough to warrant removal, but all the others are no more than expressions and iconography of factual life.
In the interest of journalistic transparency, I should report that in December 2010, my own Facebook account was suspended for posted nude imagery by artists Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Andrei Tarkovsky, and classical painted and sculpted nudes from ancient Greece and Rome. (I am also the culprit who posted The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife on Jerry Saltz’s Facebook wall after the print appeared on an episode of Mad Men). In that instance the account was restored when it was explained by an intermediary that I’m an art critic whose writing is featured on Huffington Post and after I agreed not to repost the images, nor any imagery containing nudity or sex on the Facebook site.
Update: As of 1:15 pm EST 11/11/11, Matthew Weinstein’s facebook account was restored. It was accompanied with the following message on his facebook wall.
Good Afternoon Matthew,
My name is Krista Kobeski and I work at Facebook, alongside Elliot Schrage, who has asked me to reach out to you directly in regards to your profile. Earlier today, I was asked to investigate the situation with photos being removed from your account in the past days. Firstly, I did want to apologize for the removal of these two photos and for the warnings that you have subsequently received. At it turns out, neither of the photos in question was in violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, and they were both removed in error.
Our policies are designed to prohibit real world nudity and are enforced by a team of reviewers in several offices across the globe. This team looks at hundreds of thousands of reports every week, and as you might expect, occasionally, we make a mistake and remove a piece of content we shouldn’t have. When this happens, we work quickly to address it by apologizing to the people affected and making any necessary changes to our systems and processes. We encourage you to re-post these photos, if you’d like. We’ve also removed these warnings from your account.
Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please let me know if you have any questions about our policies or practices, or if I can help with anything else.
Thanks in advance for your understanding.
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Add another future platform for SlingPlayer to the pile, as the company recently showed off this quick demo of streaming video through Facebook. While the old Sling.com streaming still works just fine, this one adds some new social features to the mix. That will let viewers share the shows and what they enjoy watching easily while not-so-coincidentally making sure their friends know they’re watching TV via Slingbox. There’s no word on when this will actually hit the OpenGraph’d streets, but so far it’s already in line behind players we’ve seen demonstrated but not yet released for Boxee and Google TV. Press play to check out the video and think back to a world where no one knew you were watching Law Order for the eighth time today.
[Thanks for the video, Dave Zatz](Credit:
According to a report at The Next Web, Apple’s iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads, account for at least 39 percent of the photo traffic on Twitter. Photo search engine Skylines has constructed a breakdown of the various platforms and clients that post photos to Twitter, showing that despite iOS 5′s relatively young lifespan it is already the seventh-largest Twitter client.
Combining the 5 percent of photos that come directly from iOS 5 with statistics from Twitter for
iPhone at 21 percent, and Instagram (an iPhone-only photo sharing app) at 13 percent, the 39 percent figure is reached. But, that does not include the percentages from other Twitter clients that are cross-platform, such as TweetDeck, Echofon, and Twitpic (which can be used when accessing many clients).
With iOS 5 still in its infancy, the sky is the limit for Twitter’s long-term viability and Apple’s contribution to it. The easy integration and swift adoption of Apple devices that are Twitter-ready should propel iOS’s mark on Twitter’s social graph and will most likely be the top photo-posting client sometime next year.
Personally, I post most of my photos to Twitter using Instagram, which also shares an enormous upside with iOS due to its iPhone-only stance and meteoric rise in popularity over the last several months. It will be interesting to see how much Instagram can hold on given Twitter’s iOS 5 integration.
How do you post photos to Twitter? Let me know in the comments!
LEADING THE DAY: Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are reportedly close to a settlement on privacy, related to changes the company made to its policies.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the company will have to agree to independent privacy audits in a settlement that is similar to the agreement the agency reached with Google over its Buzz social network this past spring.
Similar complaints were leveled at Facebook. In December 2009, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and other privacy advocates filed a complaint with FTC saying that Facebook’s changes to its privacy policies disclosed “personal information to third parties that was previously not available” and that those changes violated user expectations of the service.
Facebook and the FTC both declined to comment on the report.
Senate votes to uphold net neutrality: The Senate Thursday voted to defeat a measure that would have overturned the Federal Communications Commissions rules regarding net neutrality. Those trying stop the FCC rules, led by Sen.Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas), lost, 46-to-52, The Washington Post reported.
“These rules are the product of hard work, consensus and compromise,” said Senate Commerce, Science and Technology chairman Sen. John “Jay” Rockefeller in a statement. “So at the end of the day, the FCC’s light-touch approach to network neutrality prevailed, and that is a good thing.”
Judge rules in Twitter/Wikileaks case: A judge ruled Thursday against three Wikileaks supporters who were seeking the right to prevent the government from getting information regarding their Twitter accounts. The judge in the case ruled that because Twitter users submit their IP addresses when they sign up for an account on the service, they have a “lessened expectation of privacy in that information,” the New York Times reported.
“Internet users don’t automatically give up their rights to privacy and free speech when they use services like Twitter,” said American Civil Liberties attorney Aden Fine, who said court documents should be public. “The government shouldn’t be able to get this kind of private information without a warrant, and they certainly shouldn’t be able to do so in secret.”
Groups fight new ICANN program: Eighty-seven businesses and business associations have formed a coalition to fight against a new domain name program in the works at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), saying that opening up top-level domains will adversely affect businesses and their copyrights. ICANN and the Association of National Advertisers have been at odds over the new program, which would allow the approval of specialty domains such as “.computer” or “.xerox” for months. Some advertisers say that the program will force businesses to buy up several Web sites to protect their intellectual property rights.
Apple releases battery life patch: Apple released its first patch to iOS 5 on Thursday, which included a patch that “fixes bugs affecting battery life.”
The company acknowledged earlier this month that problems with its latest operating system had caused batteries to drain more quickly for some users — after iPhone owners took to the company’s support forums. Apple promised a fix within “a few weeks.”