Author Archives: Dalal Abou-Jamous

NewSpace?

MySpace works to become private alternative to Facebook.

In regard to my last post, PrivateBook, I thought it would be appropriate to continue with the theme of poor Facebook privacy. While Facebook’s population is increasing at a rapid rate, almost double in six months (according to Quantcast), users’ privacy  has dwindled.

We are constantly learning that Facebook has added new ways for third parties to learn “private” information about Facebook users. Although this may be a success for Facebook, users seem to be less than thrilled. With an increasing worry about their online privacy, users have become frustrated with these new settings.

As a result of the recent activity Facebook has engaged in, an outdated MySpace is stepping up to the plate to satisfy those worried about their online privacy. Jennifer Van Grove blogs about MySpace’s new plan on Mashable, a site dedicated to news in social media.

According to her post, MySpace is “announcing that the social networking site will soon make the default setting for updates ‘friends only.’” Although MySpace has yet to act on their plan for better privacy, their intent is to protect their users. Mike Jones, Co-President of MySpace, states, “MySpace’s core value of allowing self-expression and representation to yourself remains true, without the fear that your unique contribution to MySpace will be unknowingly used for an alternative purpose” (Mashable).

While this statement isn’t formally directed at Facebook, it is definitely a low-blow. I suppose only time will show just how important online privacy is to Facebook users and whether or not they make the switch to MySpace. Quantcast demographics show that MySpace is currently used by 185 million people, I wonder, however, will these numbers reach the expected 500 million people Facebook hosts (Time Magazine’s) after MySpace’s new and improved privacy settings come to life?

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PrivateBook

Dalal Abou-Jamous

As an online generation it is often assumed that if we have friends, we have a Facebook account and that we are on it about 8 hours each day. With hour-to-hour status updates, new pictures posted weekly, and daily posts on friends’ walls, is the mass amount of your online communication really private? Many people don’t know that Facebook changes the security settings more times than your sister changes her outfit before school. Not only is it a task for Facebook users to stay up to date on the privacy of their pages, it has become a responsibility. What you post on the World Wide Web can make or break you…

The truth of this statement relies entirely on the individual. Can university administrators see what you post on Facebook? That depends on if you take advantage of the privacy settings. Dennis Devlin writes about this question in a Brandeis blog, stating that there are three levels of Facebook privacy: Friends, Friends of Friends, and Everyone. It is solely up to you what others are allowed to see. Through the connections you make on Facebook, people can view the groups you are a member of, the pages you are a fan of, and the different networks you join.

Posted in his article on PCWorld, JR Raphael explains in 5 steps how to manage your Facebook privacy settings, and also shares Facebook’s new “Instant Personalization” feature. Facebook’s Instant Personalization is one more way to put your name out in public without much knowledge of what you are being associated with. Being unaware of this new setting could cause you to share some things you would rather keep a secret. Facebook automatically enables this feature on your account. As previously stated, it is now your responsibility to allow or deny access to this “Instant Personalization,” which allows third party members to pull your information to personalize their features as soon as you arrive to their websites. To help you filter which websites have access to your personal information, Facebook has created a Help Center that lists the third party websites involved with Facebook. You can study this list to see if any new sites have been added that you should be aware of. Scott Hale shares his opinion on his blog Highway to Hale, “I think it’s GREAT.” No one forces us to post personal information online. What we share, we share willingly and if we don’t want something out there for everyone to see, we shouldn’t put it on Facebook.

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Highway to Hale