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Ear to the Ground

Friendster Rebellion: A Privacy-Concern Dam Break?

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Posted on Sep 7, 2006

Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program failed to arouse much more than a collective shrug across much of America, but when the social networking site Facebook recently began broadcasting every change a user makes to his online “friends,” (“you’re out of my top-50,” for example), the community rebelled—quickly and viciously. Could this be the start of something?


Sam Graham-Felsen at The Nation:

On September 5, Facebook—the social networking site made up of 9 million users, mostly college students, who post and share personal information in online profiles—unveiled a major change.

A new feature called “News Feed” instantaneously broadcasts virtually every move a Facebook user makes to his online “friends.” For example, now, when a user logs on, he will immediately see that “Tim changed his relationship status to ‘It’s Complicated’” or “Sarah removed Kelly Clarkson from her ‘Favorite Music’” or “Randy posted a comment on Jean’s wall: ‘U rock my world.’” Each alteration to one’s profile is even time-stamped, so others can know if “Jenny removed Bill as a friend” while she was supposed to be in her 11 am chemistry class.

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