Reverse Engineering Facebook Privacy Settings for Your Viewing Pleasure

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

No matter what your level of interest or involvement in Facebook is, you’re probably aware of its basic purpose: connecting you with people you know. And, based on how much information they want to share, that connection can sometimes tip overboard into the Too-Much-Information category.

We Share a Lot. But Does That Mean We Need to See a Lot?

The potential for Facebook to overload us with things we definitely don’t need–and sometimes plain just don’t want–to know has been an issue, to varying degrees, for awhile now. Remember the “MySpace ruined my relationship” t-shirt? Same premise. And how many jobs, marriages and friendships have ended awkwardly thanks to someone neglecting to pay attention to what they post online?

We live in a culture that increasingly values openness and honesty, in much the way that privacy was prized in the past. Facebook has continually worked to fine-tune their privacy settings to allow for full customization of your profile display, but this can only go so far. Once you are on Facebook or any other social network, a certain amount of information is always going to be available for public consumption. And by signing up for these sites, you’ve also opted to receive a flood of information from other users. But how much is too much?


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The Day the Tweeting Died

Thursday, 06 August 2009

The red and green line MBTA trains are “delayed”–which means down. Twitter is down, totally dark and inaccessible. Facebook is spotty and full of error boxes and “oops!” messages. I’m pretty sure the world is ending and we have no way to warn each other.

Think about it: if something horrible was going to happen, it would be pretty easy to get mainstream media in on the cover-up. But Twitter and Facebook are wildcards; the amount endoftheworldand speed of information on these networks is astounding. And it’s not unheard of for governments to block these sites in order to contain information. So while I fully admit that I have a vivid imagination and it has been exceedingly hot these past few days, I’m wondering if all these failures can be chalked up to coincidence.

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