Posts tagged “twitter”

Facebook censors dissent among users

facebook screenshot

Facebook won't allow users to post messages critical of their privacy options, or so I discovered this afternoon.


In the midst of trying to warn my friends, family, colleagues and cohorts on Facebook about a major hole in their privacy and security, I discovered that the problem is far worse than even what I initially was complaining about. I attempted to post the following text as a status update:

Just discovered that facebook implements their security settings haphazardly. So, for instance, if you have a list of people set up so that they don’t have access to your wall, that does not mean that they will, in fact, not have access to your wall. Yet another reason why you should not trust this privacy abomination.

I was subsequently confronted with this error message:

Facebook’s systems block chain letters — like this one — that contain false and misleading information. Please be careful when deciding whether to pass along messages like this. To learn more please read this blog post.

See the screenshot above for evidence. Needless to say, I’m disgusted. This isn’t the first time that Facebook has unjustly censored individuals. Good thing I have my very own trusty news machine, already set on “BLAST”, to fire off this alert to the interwebs.

So what to do now? Quit Facebook? Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. Once you join, they’ve got you. Literally, forever. Well, that’s a bit dramatic. They have you until such time that a non-human citizen of the United States of America (a “corporation”) such as Facebook, one that exists solely to mine data of consumers such as you and me for profit, would freely destroy that data that they are serving to their clients on their far away servers and protected from your prying eyes by byzantine EULAs (ex. 1, 2, 3), swarms of attorneys and spanking-new patents, hot off the printing press. Wait, I guess I wasn’t being dramatic.

Here’s what I recommend: don’t put any information, be it picture, video, thought, phrase, anything you care about, on Facebook, starting today. It isn’t a safe place and anything you put in there, you are likely forfeiting your rights to it. Worse, you may be accepting the onerous task of a prolonged legal battle should you ever want to claim rights to whatever content you are sharing again.

I am not an attorney and this should not be construed as legal advice.

There are plenty of good alternatives out there. Use Twitter and Flickr, or start a blog of your own. It really isn’t difficult, I swear, and with these options you have much more control over your data. You still have to be wary of EULAs, but so far, these organizations haven’t shown the menace that Facebook is brandishing.

I’m now going to try to post this article on Facebook. We shall see what happens. I’ll keep you updated with any developments. Who knows, I may get myself scoble-ized momentarily!

[Update: It posted! Their logic eludes me.]

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Climate Camp just says no…to London cops

Climate Camp's response to the London Metropolitan Police

The London Metropolitan Police asked Climate Camp to reveal the location of their next camp so that a “proportional policing operation” could be planned. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Climate Camp replied with the above video.

Context: Climate Camp is a lawful, peaceful gathering of people (old, young, men and women) to talk about alternatives to environmentally devastating ways of producing and consuming. Earlier Climate Camps have been met by unprovoked and savage police assaults and harassment.Cory Doctorow
BoingBoing

This is a story about the power of social networking to realize change, a story about the shortcomings of a police state, a story about people standing together in the face of oppression. In short, a story about the power of people; a fantastic modern tale. Let’s hope it has a peaceful conclusion. Regardless of your view on climate change, peaceful assembly must be supported in ostensible democracies such as the United Kingdom.

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