Your private life, well, it’s not so private (higher ed, social media, and privacy)

March 4, 2010

Interesting article about faculty and social media, touching a tiny bit on online presence & digital identity ( because you know — say it with me kids — if you’re not building your digital identity, someone is building it for you…)

but also further removes the illusion that faculty members — or anyone, for that matter — can maintain a completely private life on the Internet.

Heh. Did we think otherwise? Come to think about it, is any part of our life private? Our financial transactions and life are stored online, webcams almost EVERYWHERE, so what IS private?

Faculty may make efforts to preserve their private lives, but professors really have “24-7” jobs and can never fully distance themselves from their identities as educators held to high standards, said Brad Ward, who advises colleges on using social media.

I think that the EXPECTATION that we ALWAYS have to represent our institution or company is outdated and doesn’t fit very well with social media. If you expect to participate in social media, there has to be understanding that people will be… well… people. Otherwise, it just into yet another digital platform for pr and publishing.

Facebook: content vs. action, privacy & more (presentation)

February 8, 2010

Presentation in January:

  • Uses of facebook
  • Social media netiquette
  • Privacy issues (including changes in Facebook privacy; content vs. action)
  • You are your brand

Social media etiquette

January 19, 2010

I’m tweaking my facebook, privacy & identity workshop, so I tidied these up. You can read all of my previous writings about privacy, here, facebook ones are a here, and here are the commandments… LOL

Social media/ Facebook Etiquette

· Be aware of what you can control and what you can’t. Make sure to read TOS and Privacy statements – they do sometimes change. Don’t be caught by surprise.

· Use preferences and settings wisely to control and manage your social network. Consider what you want to keep private and what you want to share.

· Pages (a website) and Groups (discussion forums) provide alternatives to having a personal profile.

· Develop your own social media policy and use your social media appropriately. Are you using it for PR? genealogy? To keep up with family? Network professionally? A combination?

· Do not spam, spy, cyberstalk, or bully. If you are a victim of those behaviors, deal with them appropriately. Report inappropriate behavior.

· Consider carefully who you friend. Be very careful about friending staff that you supervise, students, or children that you may know.

· Consider your language and appropriateness of content. Does it match your audience and your social media policy?

· Consider if facebook (or any social media) is the best choice for the activity. If you want to create an open event, facebook may be a good choice. It may not be the best way to archive links or discussions.

· Remember: social media is about sharing (sometimes called microsharing). Accept that your social network may not have the same political or religious beliefs as you, and they, are well, human.

· …finally, if it’s on the web – it’s published. It may be private, but it is archived somewhere.

scrubbing your identity from facebook accounts

December 20, 2009

Alot has been written about how hard it is to really get rid of your facebook life should you so want to (just google — lol), but facebook does say that you can do it in one shot, which this fb group explains. Deleting an account is supposed to scrub facebook of all of your posts, comments, tags, your virtual footprints… You can go directly to the link, here.

Of course, you can always manually delete each tag, post, video, photo, comment,etc. (which was the original way to do it, and then your account just moved to inactive at some point); but deleting your account (in theory) should scrub the site.

Another option is Seppukoo which allows you to not only erase your fb info, but to do it with a bit of humor, by killing off your alternate (?) virtual identity.

Facebook is now taking legal action against them. The thing with fb is that it is a COMPANY building a huge db of consumer info, which is an obvious minefield for privacy issues, both from 3rd party access (games, quizzes, linked accounts to other services like twitter, etc.).

The short answer is: WATCH YOUR BACK. The information you are giving out to a company (not just facebook, but any company including google) is not only available on the web, but on their servers, and anywhere else they store your data. Just because you might be able to delete info from a publicly available website, does not mean that it still does not exist, either in a backup file or in a cache somewhere.

Lawsuit against Facebook

November 16, 2009

I wonder how many more lawsuits are out there pending against facebook? And to answer my question, this is actually a followup to earlier legal action.

This one accuses Facebook of “conspir[ing] with Blockbuster to violate a federal law protecting customer video-rental and sale records.”

According to the article the previous law suit (which resulted in a settlement on Facebook’s part), “some 44 companies agreed under the Beacon program to supply Facebook with information about the online transactions of Facebook users, so the data could be broadcast to “friends” on a user’s Facebook page. Users were not asked if they wanted to opt in to the program and, according to the suit, could only opt out by visiting each of the individual partner sites to prevent their data from going to Facebook.”

Yet another reason not to link accounts like amazon, YOUR BANK, or another account with personal info that you might NOT want to let the world know about, with Facebook.

Facebook is a company – just like google, microsoft, etc.

Read the wired article here
or my writings about facebook and about privacy.

For Zynga game users (you know, farmville, mafiawars, vampirewars, etc….)

November 13, 2009

Interesting article about the fallout over Zynga (Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc., which all have huge communities on facebook) and its scam ads. Hmm, yet another reason to pay attention to what you click on and ALWAYS read the TOS. 😉

“Zynga insists they are serious about cleaning up the industry. And today Pincus has announced that the company will remove all offer advertising from their games.

This isn’t a meaningless action. Offers account for 1/3 or so of Zynga’s rumored $250 million in revenue.

All offers will be removed by the end of today, says Pincus, “until we can control their inclusion and presentation ourselves.”

The blog post also discloses that Zynga is an investor in DoubleDing, an offer provider that competes with OfferPal and SuperRewards. DoubleDing was serving the mobile offers that popped back onto Zynga on Friday.”

Read the Tech Crunch article here and the earlier article hahere.

Be careful out there folks.

Fix facebook feed — facebook "enhancements"

October 25, 2009

So, if you logged in to facebook over the weekend you saw that FB has wreaked havoc on your feed, greatly impacting the information you send out to your friends and what you see from your friends. Friend spam! I love it (not really…..) Of course, along with the bad is some good options. Potentially LOTS more control over what you share (or do not share).

Unless you update your FB settings, when you friend a person (or are tagged in a photo or a host of other activities) , all of your friends (unless they have hidden you — and what’s the real point of that?) now see a note about the activity in their feed. FB has also changed the feed to include more info from friends, but it is limited to a random (at least, I’ve read it is random) 250 friends. If you have less than 250 friends, you should see everybody.

This enhancement caught a lot of people by surprise including me (I was presenting and demoing Facebook and it was changing as I was showing it!) The feed can be edited to include everybody (there should be an ‘edit feed’ link on the lower right of the home page, but I haven’t had any luck getting it to display).

The other settings can be edited under
Settings>Privacy Settings>News Feed and Wall

Regarding changing the feed to include more than 250 — perhaps, because I do not have more than 250 friends, I will not see this option until I reach that treshold. I really don’t know, I tried the “fix” and it didn’t work for me, but does for others. The important part seems to be clear your cache, and privacy out of your internet browser.

Here is a video demonstrating what to do to fix the 250 treshold

Here is a great NYT article about what facebook is doing!

…and here is my presentation about facebook privacy (which I did last week before these changes hit). In a nutshell> check your privacy settings. What YOU POST (BROADCAST) is not what you SEE (news feed).

Facebook and Friendfinder — what you need to know

August 25, 2009

Interesting post about how facebook uses your email address to connect you to people through friendfinder

Delete your info here

…which all just goes to show, we all need to stay on top of what information we put out there. I don’t use friendfinder, but apparently my email address was harvested from a couple of mailing lists by people who DO use friendfinder via facebook.

…and don’t friend me on facebook, if we are not in the same professional circles — especially, if we’ve never met or had a conversation (either f2f or online) because I won’t friend you back unless you WRITE A REALLY REALLY GOOD MESSAGE EXPLAINING WHY YOU ARE APPROACHING PEOPLE ONLINE THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW…. AND EVEN THEN, PROBABLY NOT. GOT IT?

changes in facebook privacy

July 11, 2009

Interesting article about the upcoming changes in facebook privacy. I’m not surprised facebook is moving towards public feeds, because as the article puts it:

Facebook holds a giant reservoir of demographic and sentiment data. It is the mother lode – and it’s been inaccessible so far because everything has been private so far.

For public entities and organizations such as libraries, universities, etc. a public feed might make facebook more useful for outreach and education. However, for the general user or private organizations, I can see where the changes will be huge, especially, if facebook doesn’t clearly explain how to opt out or restrict the public feed.