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Social Networks and how we address them in our lives

The new interface for FB is a step forward for CS UX design. It’s most likely is a step back for how we manage privacy and context. The good news is, we can always opt out, but is that the correct choice? I think the power of a social network is by and

 

People need to communicate and it’s good for society. If business pays for the right to mine your data, then tools need to allow you to control how. What if you had a broken leg and some insurance company mines your data to make a premium adjustment, or an employer checking up on your profile to see you sitting by a pool while on a day off. The information might be incorrect and used against you. No social network is “authoritative” and should not be allowed to be so.

 

We have to regulate what is admissible. More over, as FB and others have decided to make platforms, at some point they will need to make the rules on access to what is public and private more transparent and accessible for users to manage. They are in effect creating a virtual community space and should be treated like any municipality. If they truly want to curate, they have to take responsibility in the process. There are two action points here.

 

1) Social networks need to find methods allowing users transparency to the data, how it’s used and sold about them, so they can validate or remove it. If someone posts something about me that is incorrect, I would like some form of arbitration to settle social disputes. This is a common practice today. Social Networks should not simply punt this to the courts.

 

2) Business should be clearly told what is admissible and useable as a social and legal standard in this community context.

 

The horse is out of the barn, let’s start working to break it for riding and not try to get it back in.

 

Treat this like an expression of democracy. Don’t opt out. Being silenced by fear is as good as being repressed and oppressed.

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