Facebook's under attack of late for their disregard for people's privacy. I avoided Facebook for a while but finally took the plunge a few years ago. It's been somewhat useful for seeing pictures of friends, chatting with them a bit, and getting invited to things I'd like to attend (although most invites I get are bordering on spam).
- turn off anything that automatically posts to your Facebook - for me that was Flickr, Posterous, and a few others. Now, those uploads/posts only go to those tools. Facebook doesn't get to have my content. This alone will make people stop interacting with a lot of your content, and make you feel less driven to respond
- Stop "liking" things! Facebook has made it so seductive to websites to add "like" buttons to every page they have. Instead, join a social bookmarking site like del.icio.us who's had the same privacy settings for years! And it keeps track of the websites you want much easier. Stop liking means less comments to respond to.
- Stop posting photos there. There are much better photo upload sites that are easier, more flexible, and have easy-to-understand privacy settings. Look at the included image of Flickr privacy settings. Nothing confusing there. Again, less content means less interaction.
- If you have to post something on Facebook, know that on your wall/profile, you can click "remove" so that people don't see the update. You don't have to let everyone know you "liked" something. Even if you already clicked like. You can even go backwards and click remove.
- Mentally recognize why Facebook hosts your content for free. The more you send Facebook, the better they "know" you and can better advertise to you. They can tell advertisers your location, age, gender, what type of phone you use to access Facebook, what type of cameras you use to upload photos, how often you look at profiles, what profiles you look at most, etc - this is all about advertising, and Facebook sells you to the highest bidder. Sure, all ad-based sites work like this, but just recognize it. It makes it easier to not post something when you feel you're being sold.
As usual the New York Times provides an elegant summary via an infographic - in this case, of Facebook's privacy options. If you're a Facebook user, you've probably stumbled through much of this before, but I bet you haven't seen it all! Sadly, I think I have in my quest to remain somewhat private in parts of my online footprint.
Coming soon, my guide on how to wean yourself from Facebook's grip
Via my school's webmaster
A Little More About The Project
21 APRIL 2010 by maxwell
Diaspora aims to be a distributed network, where totally separate computers connect to each other directly, will let us connect without surrendering our privacy. We call these computers ‘seeds’. A seed is owned by you, hosted by you, or on a rented server. Once it has been set up, the seed will aggregate all of your information: your facebook profile, tweets, anything. We are designing an easily extendable plugin framework for Diaspora, so that whenever newfangled content gets invented, it will be automagically integrated into every seed.
Now that you have your information in your seed, it will connect to every service you used to have for you. For example, your seed will keep pulling tweets and you will still be able to see your Facebook newsfeed. In fact, Diaspora will make those services better! Upload an image to Flickr and your seed can automatically generate a tweet from the caption and link. Social networking will just get better when you have control over your data.
A seed will not just be all your existing networks put together, though. Decentralizing lets us reconstruct our “social graphs” so that they belong to us. Our real social lives do not have central managers, and our virtual lives do not need them. Friend another seed and the two of you can synchronize over a direct and secure connection instead of through a superfluous hub. Encryption (privacy nerds: we’re using GPG) will ensure that no matter what kind of content is being transferred, you can share privately. Eventually, today’s hubs could be almost entirely replaced by a decentralized network of truly personal websites.
Stay tuned for more updates on updates, and be sure to check out our Kickstarter!
I thought there was some real potential here. I gave them a small amount of cash to help out, I think you should, too.
My webmaster forwarded this to me today. As a school that uses Facebook, this is something to make very clear to the students and adults in our community.