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The Facebook "Situation"

Facebook rolled out some new "features" recently and a lot of people thought they were making a huge power grab for control of the internet, assume the right to define our online identities and traffic in the personal data 500 million of us entrusted to them.

Facebook did a horrible job of explaining the advantages, disadvantages and over all ramifications of their moves.  This lead tech pundits to question their motives and their competence to keep our data and identities  safe.

In my Family Tech column appearing tomorrow, published Sunday May 23, I attempt to alert readers to the changes, the turmoil they created, their need to assess the impact for themselves, and steps users can take if they feel they need to protect themselves.  That was a lot to put into 600 words, so with this blog post, I want to curate some of the many blog posts and articles that have appeared casting 


The Changes

Facebook's
announcement of the changes

What People are Saying about the Changes

Jeff Jarvis is a Journalism Professor with CUNY

Jason Calcanis : Facebook is overplaying their hand

This isn't the first time Facebook has faced criticism over privacy.


New York Times

New York Times: Facebook Privacy : A bewildering set of options

How Facebook Users are Reacting

Over half of users say they may quit Facebook

Anger

Is Facebook worthy of trust?

Profile of Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO.

How Facebook was founded (if you read one link in this section, read this one)

Facebook/ConnectU settllement

How you can protect yourself

This site will help you understand what information you are sharing and how to control it.

Alternative Social Networking Sites

Social network empires are a fragile thing as the once preeminent Myspace learned.  When young people started moving off Myspace to Facebook, Myspace popularity disappeared and Facebook arose.   Many feel if there was an upstart now, they would benefit from  Facebook's bad publicity.

A list of alternatives.

Unfortunately none of the alternatives will really take over for Facebook until their is a consensus of users wanting to switch.

Google has their Orkut site, but other than Brazil, it has not gained popularity.

Some users could opt to meet together on Google's Buzz or Wave.  Wave used to be invite only but earlier this week was opened to all.

Recently a group of NYU students asked for $10,000 funding pledged to them through the site Kickstart.com  to fund Diaspora, a Facebook alternative they said they create if they got the funding.  As of Saturday 5-22-2010 at 12:30 PM, they have amassed $180,914.

Whether they build it, or if they do, Diaspora still needs to prove to be viable and popular.  If nothing else, this shows people's frustration for Facebook.

How to suspend or delete your account

from Facebook

from Wiki How

Facebook recently said they'd would be making their privacy controls easier to understand.  Will this satisfy users?  Do they regain trust?

Or is this the two steps forward, one step back tactic they have used in the past?

The users will decide.



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