Monday, January 30, 2012
Facebook The Evil Empire Part 3: “Timeline” Is Not Your Friend
In early January, I wrote a follow up editorial titled Facebook: The Evil Empire Part 2” which spoke to some problems I was having with Facebook locking me out of my account plus their poor customer support in getting the issue resolved.
Facebook earns my scorn again for its impending “Timeline” which will outline and catalog every little single thing that a person does using Facebook. Many don’t realize that Timeline will also reflect everything that a person said they “liked”, every place checked into with Facebook, every photo in which a user has been tagged, and any activity done using a Facebook app. It will be very easy for anyone to track everything you’ve said, everything you’ve done, and every place you’ve been.
That is – if you let them.
I loathe Facebook, but maintain a Facebook fan page for one of my blogs (as a convenience and courtesy to my readers who use Facebook), and my main Facebook page is reserved for immediate family connections only (none of which post very much anyway). I rarely post anything on my family page, and never post any personal information on my fan page. If I need to communicate anything of real importance to family or close friends, it’s done in person, by phone, or by email. I guess I am just one of those people that doesn’t think that the minutia of my life has to be chronicled for posterity by Facebook. After all, Facebook could care less about the actual people using Facebook – Facebook simply wants all the data it can get on you so it can advertise to you and make money off your personal activities.
Before Facebook Timeline switches on for everyone – which I believe will begin in the next week or so – I suggest everyone review what they have on their Timeline and delete what they don’t want others to see. Also, check all your Facebook privacy settings to make sure you’re sharing with only those people you really want to see all your activities. Review all the Facebook apps you’re using and revisit whether you really need to use them at all. Facebook users may not see the harm in having all that data out there about themselves, but it’s for the things that Facebook hasn’t told you about OR dreamed up yet for using your personal data that should be of concern. Because after all, Facebook is really NOT YOUR FRIEND
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