Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sorry Mark, I shouldn't have killed the messenger

I will admit that I have been over critical of Mark Zuckerberg. There have been times that he has messed, such as changing privacy settings on everyone's Facebook account. But this mistake has left a sour taste in my mouth and every new Facebook feature has felt like an attack on privacy.

It hasn't even been a month since I wrote the post blasting Facebook for their newest feature that uses facial recognition software to add tags of people you know in pictures. There was definitely a sensation of fear that went through me that made me worry about my online privacy.

What has changed in the past month? I was one of the lucky few that got into Google+, the new Google property that has been called a Facebook clone. I've been a fan since day one. It's easy to share things that I want to share and it has a very open feel. Right from the start I had no preconceived notion that I had an privacy on the site and I was fine with that!

Once I came to the realization that I was fine with Google not trying to protect privacy it hit me that I should be fine with Facebook not respecting it either. I don't mean that as a backhanded compliment. Facebook started before we even new what social meant so there has been changes and there has been growing pains. We have been hurt by Facebook but then again it would be naive to think any company or platform could be perfect.

The biggest thing that is hurting Facebook from a perception standpoint is that most people joined with an expectation to privacy. Social isn't about privacy but about being open.

The thing that everyone needs to remember is that you shouldn't put anything on the internet that you don't want everyone to see. The internet never forgets and once some thing is on the net it can never truly be removed.

I'm not saying that Facebook doesn't have transgressions against it's users, far from it. Part of the reason I've been so critical of Facebook in the past comes from it's mishandling of user's trust and information. At the same time though we can't expect any entity on the net to be the protector of our privacy.

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