Or, more to the point, Facebook’s privacy instability is a feminist issue.
[Trigger Warning: Discussion of loss of privacy and its impact on survivors of violence.]
Social media is a gamble. Unless you’re using a service such asÂ statusnet which allows you to run and federate your own server, social media involves the placement of information about yourself, your activity and possibly your location, on someone else’s server. And for organisations like the Library of Congress to archive forever.
Facebook is probably the most cryptic and misunderstood as far as privacy goes.Â The chances of any given Facebook user of any demographic actually knowing what they are now signed up for? Anyone’s guess, but I’m pretty sure it’s not good odds. Even the geekiest of us get confused.
No longer do you make a choice about your own information; you now sign away information about your friends to your other friends. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has chronicled the (really quite scary)Â changes over the past 5 years.
No personal information that you submit to Thefacebook will be available to any user of the Web Site who does not belong to at least one of the groups specified by you in your privacy settings.
When you connect with an application or website it will have access to General Information about you. The term General Information includes your and your friendsâ€™ names, profile pictures, gender, user IDs,Â connections, and any content shared using the Everyone privacy setting. … The default privacy setting for certain types of information you post on Facebook is set to â€œeveryone.â€ … Because it takes two to connect, your privacy settings only control who can see the connection on your profile page. If you are uncomfortable with the connection being publicly available, you should consider removing (or not making) the connection.
Matt Mckeon has drawn up another great visualization of the changes to Facebook’s privacy practices over the years as well.
The worst part is that the privileged complacency for privacy stems from on high. Zuckerberg isÂ definitely not an ally. Why would he be? Eroding your privacy correlates with him getting richer.
Facebook isÂ one of the most accessed websites on earth, and theÂ demographics put women as the majority consumers. How can the privacy issues affectÂ oppressed groups in our society that live in intimate association with their oppressors?
In a society where publishing any detail of her sexual activity online can have a woman declared to be “asking for it”, or where geo-ip can let an attacker find you, social media — especially facebook — becomes a feminist issue.
Some of us remember a few months ago when Google released its Buzz social networking thingamajigÂ without really thinking the whole privacy aspect through properly. The outburst then led to a backflip from Google. I somehow doubt that the Big Blue Book is going to be quite asÂ repentantÂ as the Rainbow Borg.