Facebook Technology

Is Tide of Privacy War Turning Against Facebook?

A series of articles in the NY Times and elsewhere are being written about the increasing disgust of people for Facebook’s privacy policies. Apparently, a bewildering tangle of options are needed in order to set one’s privacy configuration in your own profile. What is more, a group of 4 nerds in NYC have launched a cry to arms against Facebook, promising to develop a social network called Diaspora* that will not need users to surrender their privacy to be sold to third parties.

Whether this is going to be the beginning of a long battle for the holy grail of social network dominance or simply just another trifling spark against the giant it remains to be seen. What it is clear is that a social clamor is mounting up for their most basic instincts in search of privacy protection. The proof is that Diaspora* has been raising funds for this new venture in Kickstarter and 18 days to go for closing of this round they have already been promised 1273% of the money they asked initially.

Perhaps there are now clear signs that cyberusers are getting tired of being imposed rules by the big monopoly or simply they just would like to see new blood providing more self-control options. It is clear though that the battle for personal privacy in the web continues and that the Tide of War might be turning against Facebook. What it is not so clear though is how all this will affect the end user.


  1. Thanks Keith for your comment. I have read your blog entry on reasons why you chose to leave Facebook and followed some of your links there.

    After all I have read I have also decided to deactivate my account.

    I had not logged in to my Facebook account for a long time. Before I could log in though I freaked out as I was being asked to guess people tagged in my contact’s pictures.

    Who authorised Facebook to make use of these personal pictures to verify my identity? I certainly would not be happy if the pictures I have been tagged in are used in this way without my consent. What a transgression of one’s privacy!

    This is not all. As I was deactivating, Facebook put a picture of two friends saying that they are going to miss me, making me feel I am letting them down. Certainly this is manipulation of feelings.

    I did also opt out of receiving any emails from Facebook. But if it wasn’t enough, any time I want I can return to my account! So all this personal information remains on the site indefinitively.

    I somehow feel a bit liberated but not completely, after all, this company possesses a chunk of my personal life, even though I have asked to close my account.

  2. I think it’s not so much that people are getting tired of ‘being imposed rules by the big monopoly’, but that those rules are now locked in an ever-changing dance. It’s hard to keep up with facebook and I imagine that a lot of people don’t bother to check on the privacy rules with any regularity (if at all).

    Transparency, or rather the lack of it, is becoming the big issue that facebook will have to deal with. People want to know what is happening to their data and what the ramifications are when you browse to one of facebook’s ‘partner’ websites without first logging out of facebook.

    Last week I decided that enough was enough was enough and I deleted my account (I blogged about the full reasons for this: http://blog.keithbradnam.com/why-i-deleted-my-facebook-account.

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