Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The price is that they get to watch

105 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    I don't pretend to know everything or understand FB much and frankly the last 'upgrade' is a bloody pain in the arse - but I somehow found myself using that Guardian app - called 'Timeline' - and had it for a few days. I found myself seriously not liking it when I discovered that it pushed what my friends were reading, and that if I even so much as looked at any article, it deemed that I had read it. Annoying more than scary.

    Took me a while to find the 'app' control panel and delete it. Problem is, I've no idea if I have deleted it or not, or if FB / Guardian / Timeline is still in the background watching me. Can someone bring on a better user experience that rivals FB? Oh wait. Conversation Salons. In coffee houses and pubs.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Only accessing Facebook in "pr0n mode" (aka Private Browsing/Incognito Window) might be the way to go.

    Functionality is emerging in browsers to have multiple profiles with their own set of cookies that don't move outside the sandbox. It would be feasible for a browser maker to provide this such that certain "untrusted" sites were always sandboxed thus - which would stop them acting as an identity provider, break like buttons, etc.

    If Google did this and defaulted FB into the blacklist, would they get sued for antitrust? And would users migrate away, disable the new functionality, or embrace it?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    that Guardian app - called 'Timeline

    those are two different things

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Has always come down to business models. If you're not explicitly paying for it, you *are* the product.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Sacha,

    that Guardian app – called ’Timeline

    those are two different things

    Are they? God I 'm getting old. I will have to pay my nephews to explain it all to me.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    I closed my Facebook profile last week (and put in a “request” to have it deleted – they kindly give me two weeks before they’ll do it, in case I change my mind!).

    I posted on my Tumblr my main reasons why:


    What’s on my mind?

    What’s on my mind is how Facebook makes me feel a little more uneasy every day. There’s something fundamentally creepy about it … and it’s getting creepier by the day.

    My principal concern is that, while Facebook looks a lot like The Internet, it is something very different. The Internet is an open system of things that link to each other; Facebook is a closed system that, every day, tries to close out the bits that go somewhere else, makes it harder for you to go (or link) somewhere else, and continuously encourages you to deposit *everything about you* with them.

    Facebook is the biggest information harvesting exercise in human history … and it’s gathering, filing and *using* that information in ways that you don’t know for the benefit of people other than you.

    I keep thinking one day I’ll leave Facebook .. and I know the bigger and more ubiquitous it gets, the harder – and more outlandish – it will seem to leave. But if I – and I hope, others, don’t – then one day we’re going to wake up and find we’ve handed the way we communicate, store our personal information, store and share all our media to one privately-owned company that will dictate to *us* the terms of how we (or *they*) use it. And if that doesn’t scare you it should.

    Think about it: that ‘mailing list’ of fans on your band’s page? You don’t own – or readily have access to – that. Those photos and videos you uploaded directly to Facebook (now that it discourages you to link to Youtube)? Facebook controls the storage of those – and can tell exactly who looks at them *without sharing that info with you*. All that chatting, bitching, flirting and planning you do on Facebook message threads? Stored *for ever* on someone else’s archive. Gulp.

    It sometimes makes me nervous about how I might spread the word about things I’m doing outside Facebook … but then it makes me *more* nervous to think I should be nervous about that!

    You can find me on Twitter: (@MrJonathanKing), on Google+ and at jonathanking.tumblr.com but, after the end of this week, you won’t find me on Facebook any more.

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi,

    I'm not sure that Google is much better. Did you know that, if two different people on two different computers search for the same terms on Google at the same time, they will get quite different results? Results that have been 'personalised' for them by a computer algorithm.

    The war between Google and Facebook has broken the internet. It is no longer a useful tool. (Or, rather, it is seriously harder to use it as a tool.) It's too busy trying to second-guess you. (I have a mad theory that the internet became self-aware in the 80s, and everything since is a consequence.)

    I highly recommend the film 'We live in public'. We are being interrogated by the CIA while someone fucked up on drugs fires automatic weapons in the background.

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewLong,

    Nancy Baym wrote an interesting piece recently on metaphors used to describe Facebook such as "nation", "homeland", etc. It was in response to the music sharing service Spotify (not available here yet) now requiring all users to have a Facebook account to use the service. To help their reasoning, they equated a mandatory Facebook signup as a"passport", not unlike the failed Microsoft approach all those years ago.

    Facebook as a cyber-state requiring its citizenship to frictionlessly share their daily lives?

    Dunedin, New Zealand • Since Oct 2011 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    We are being interrogated by the CIA while someone fucked up on drugs fires automatic weapons in the background.

    I had a dream like that last night. Next time I'll try the red cheese rather than the blue.

    I'm not on FB, and every time I start thinking I should be (because it's become the default for a whole bunch of stuff - family, clubs, business, etc), they handily do something like this to put me off for another few months.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Wow. Cubrilovic is on a roll. He's found a patent that makes Facebook look like liars.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Wow. Cubrilovic is on a roll. He’s found a patent that makes Facebook look like liars.

    TBF some tech companies patent for the sake of patenting - it doesn't mean that the patented feature is intended to be implemented. But I'm being generous here.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Good lord I can't believe that FB has added MORE settings in there for privacy etc. I'm not sure I'm smart enough for all this; but thanks for the heads-up. Looks like using a second browser just for FB makes the cookie situation simpler. I can manage that.

    I love some of the connections I've made and people I've rediscovered through FB, but the scale and power of the thing does freak me out. Especially as leaving it becomes a bigger deal the more universally it's adopted.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I think we need to bring the same critical attitude to Google. Between Google Analytics, Google Search and Gmail, they have amassed a pile of personal usage info that's at least as intrusive and potentially damaging to users as Facebook. I loathe Facebook, but I've recently come to see that they're just a tiny bit more blatant, that's all.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Butler,

    TBF some tech companies patent for the sake of patenting – it doesn’t mean that the patented feature is intended to be implemented. But I’m being generous here.

    It should be noted that it's a patent for something Facebook told Australia's privacy commissioner was a "technical flaw".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I loathe Facebook, but I’ve recently come to see that they’re just a tiny bit more blatant, that’s all.

    I suppose I just find Google's stuff more useful to me, and thus tolerate it a bit better.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I think we need to bring the same critical attitude to Google. Between Google Analytics, Google Search and Gmail, they have amassed a pile of personal usage info that’s at least as intrusive and potentially damaging to users as Facebook. I loathe Facebook, but I’ve recently come to see that they’re just a tiny bit more blatant, that’s all.

    I think the distinction is this: both Google and Facebook amass your personal data to (in effect) sell it to advertisers, which is all well and good; but Facebook also has the audacity to want to show it to your FRIENDS AND FAMILY OMG OMG OMG!!!1!!!eleven!!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to James Butler,

    Facebook also has the audacity to want to show it to your FRIENDS AND FAMILY OMG OMG OMG!!!1!!!eleven!!

    :-)
    FB’s always had odd notions about what its users want. Does it not occur to them to ask us?
    I understand that the $1billion annual profit derived indirectly from 750 million users makes us individually not worth a hell of a lot, but surely they could try not to piss us all off?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Does anyone here remember Community Zero? Before FB, I used CZ with a bunch of close friends who were widely separated geographically, so we’d all stay in touch. Each community was private. CZ started out with the basic package being free, and then they introduced charging for page impressions. We were happy to pay initially but the charges kept going up and we eventually decided we’d abandon privacy for a free shared blog. But we then we used the blog a lot less because it wasn’t private. And then along came FB, with all it’s complexity and semi-privacy. None of these solutions is perfect, but I feel nostalgic for CZ, where we paid our money and felt that we were in control.

    Of course a private community doesn’t allow networking and all the other extras that FB does.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Lilith __,

    surely they could try not to piss us all off?

    They gamble that the "us" who is getting pissed off is a tiny set, only partially overlapping with the other, huge "us" who don't either understand or give a shit. So far, they've been mostly right.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Cubrilovic is on a roll. He's found a patent that makes Facebook look like liars.

    Patent story starts here, apparently:
    http://www.seobythesea.com/2011/09/facebook-patent-application-target-ads/

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to James Butler,

    Facebook also has the audacity to want to show it to your FRIENDS AND FAMILY

    Not just friends and family, though, is it? It's potentially quite a few people or organisations throughout your extended network, as I understand it.

    You might not, for example, want a potential or existing employer finding out you've been searching for furry-forums, for example.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to James Butler,

    Facebook also has the audacity to want to show it to your FRIENDS AND FAMILY OMG OMG OMG

    Well, that's somewhat easier to control, honestly. The scenario I hate is that a malicious person, or a venal person paid by a malicious person, or a malign state agency, yadda yadda, commandeers the data amassed by Google or Facebook and uses it against us. We'd be aghast at the government snooping like this, but private enterprise has done it with our consent, and now that they've done it, the first warrants to hand over the goods to the state are probably already issued in the US, if not here.

    Of course there's always accidental leakage as well. It is inevitable that there will be some sort of widespread security breach in the near future that ruins lives via Facebook or Google.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

    The last updates did have this vaguely creepy feeling. But where is all this information they're supposed to have on me? How do I find out what I've been searching for? I can't even remember, so it might be handy to know.

    Having said that, I clicked on 'Download a copy of your Facebook data' earlier in the year and discovered my life wasn't as worthy of fossicking through as I might have hoped.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to JacksonP,

    How do I find out what I’ve been searching for?

    Here.

    As for your Facebook data, there is no reason to think they don't collect a lot more than what you get in that download. Indeed that's the whole point of the show Russell's doing tonight.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Butler,

    but Facebook also has the audacity to want to show it to your FRIENDS AND FAMILY OMG OMG OMG!!!1!!!eleven!!

    Having passively acquired 656 Facebook "friends" I wouldn't be totally relaxed about this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.