renai lemay

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I just deleted my Facebook account. I do not wish to do business with these people.

Facebook simply doesn’t understand that their way of doing business is unacceptable. Given the repeated public statements by their founder Mark Zuckerberg, who’s on some personal mission to make the world “more open” — whatever the hell that means — that’s unlikely to change. Fuck him.

I’ve already outlined some of Facebook’s privacy problems a fortnight ago on the Patch Monday podcast, and for ABC Unleashed in Is it time to close your Facebook account?

The core problem is that the very idea of Facebook privacy is a contradiction.

As users, we want to limit the information we disclose about ourselves, to control who sees what. As Mark Pesce writes, this control goes to the heart of trust and personal safety. In theory Facebook agrees. “You should have control over what you share,” says its privacy guide.

Yet Facebook’s business model is best served by exposing your personal information as widely as possible. To advertisers, so they can target advertising more accurately and pay more for the privilege. To other users, to encourage them to share more as well. To search engines, to bring more traffic to Facebook. To anyone who wants to pay.

Throughout its six-year history, as this infographic shows, every time Facebook changes its privacy controls, the default settings always reduce your privacy.

If Facebook were serious about protecting its users privacy, it’d look very different indeed. And if they respected their users as people, they’d respect their clearly-indicated decision to delete their account — not deliberately make the deletion process hard to find and instead steer them through some half-arsed deactivation process while hitting them with emotional blackmail about how random friends will miss me.

No, Facebook, if I delete my account everyone will still be able to contact me. Any time they like. Don’t lie to me.

Jason Langenauer has posted his thoughts on leaving Facebook too. Renai LeMay documents five more reasons. They’re both good articles, but they over-think it. It’s all much simpler than that.

Facebook behaves like an arsehole, and I don’t do business with arseholes.

Stilgherrian’s links for 08 November 2009 through 18 November 2009:

See what happens when you don’t curate your links for ten days, during which time there’s a conference which generates a bazillion things to link to? Sigh.

This is such a huge batch of links that I’ll start them over the fold. They’re not all about Media140 Sydney, trust me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Crikey logo

On Sunday, Pipe International‘s new PPC-1 undersea fibre-optic data link from Guam to Sydney was fired up. As I wrote in Crikey in May, when the cable was landed at Collaroy on Sydney’s northern beaches, PPC-1 will increase Australia’s international data capacity by almost 50%. That’s like adding the third runway at Sydney Airport. So where was the media coverage?

I wrote about that in Crikey today, and it’s free to read: They’re building data pipes under the ocean: why no media coverage?

OK, there were some reports, in The Australian and in IT-related sites like iTnews, iTWire and ZDNet Australia. But where was the ABC? Fairfax papers?

There was a “robust discussion” on Twitter this afternoon between The Australian‘s Andrew Colley, ZDNet Australia‘s Renai LeMay, myself and others, and I’ll try to summarise that later. There were certainly key areas of disagreement!

For now, though, have a read of my Crikey piece and tell me what you think.

I’ve blipped up in a couple new places overnight. ZDNet Australia quoted me in a story, Australian Twitter use hits all-time high. Given the volume of my Twitterstream that’s probably my fault alone. And I’ve also appeared in cartoon form thanks to websinthe. More on both those stories soon.

15 January 2009 by Stilgherrian | 5 comments