Talk for Article "Facebook may promise privacy but business model is built on its absence"

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  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    I don’t remember Facebook ever promising privacy. They have always been pretty obvious about the diminution of privacy as part of the business model. Consumers lurched toward the platform without considering the implications. Facebook reminds me of Napster . . . The corrupt intent was the only original idea.

  2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    This story is not even remotely neutral.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      What would you change, Mr. Wales? The reality with Facebook seems to actually be this bleak. Maybe there’s too much emotional language?

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      I agree with Jimmy that this story is egregiously non-neutral. Other recent Facebook stories have been as well, worse than other journalistic outlets (which often have strong anti-Facebook bias because of the impact on the publishing industry). WikiTribune has to be better than this. Until it is, I have decided to cancel my subscription donation.

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        Robert, why not just improve the story instead? That’s more in the spirit of WikiTribune, I think.

      2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        I’d like to expand on Josh Lewis’s comments. I didn’t have a problem with this story when it was published. On the contrary, I thought it was thoughtful, well researched and insightful. Then again, I’ve never been an FB cheerleader. Although I have an FB account, I’m not very active in part because I’ve always been skeptical of what FB is up to with my data. I happen to think that’s objective fact. But that’s beside the point here.

        More important to call to the attention of Robert Petersen or community members like him who might see something on the site they object to is that word up in the top left corner of this page: Pilot. And the first line of Jimmy Wales’ article, “Hello, world: this is WikiTribune.” His opening line reads: “Welcome to WikiTribune, a pilot project for a new approach to journalism where the community is at the center.”

        I can say with 100% assurance that no one at WikiTribune is out to write a bad story or anger the community or cross some line that will inspire the type of “cancel my subscription” rant associated with those old SI Swimsuit Issue letters to the editor.

        Although I’ve never met her in person, I’ve had enough interactions with the writer of this piece to know that she’s a highly intelligent, thoughtful and dedicated writer and journalist—which in my estimation also means she’s a top-notch researcher and an open-minded thinker. Certainly I’ve had enough exchanges with her to know that if someone offers a cogent and reasonable criticism of her work, she’s intellectually big enough to give that criticism full consideration. Also wise enough, if she felt it was merited, to take a step back from her work and say, “You know, maybe I could have phrased that section differently.” Or even, again if the point were valid, to say, “I made a mistake, let’s fix that.” (BTW, I can make the same claim without exception for every other person I’ve dealt with at WikiTribune.)

        That’s the “community” part of the WikiTribune mission. There are decent, fair-minded people trying to make this site as good as it can be. Everyone WANTS constructive criticism here, the “community” benefits from it. It’s actually REWARDING to know that smart, balanced people are critiquing and improving your work. Comments that function simply as thinly veiled insults with no effort to make things better do nothing but impede our progress.

        The reason “pilot” is up there in the corner is to indicate this site is evolving, to recognize that it isn’t perfect and that the only way it’ll get closer to that elusive goal of perfection is with a community that’s committed to engaging in thoughtful feedback and respectful disagreement.

        I happen to like this story but I just reread it in light of Robert Patterson’s note. Again, I found it fair and illuminating. Personally, I found the “dumb fucks” line fair game—Zuckerberg said it, others have echoed it. But I’ll admit I did find a couple of lines that I can see another person fairly thinking did veer out of the pocket of neutrality. The paragraph that begins “Facebook is scrambling to save its reputation …” goes rather far down the road of speculation and perhaps without backup sources.

        I’d like to suggest to community members who might find these sorts of criticisms to make in this or any story on WikiTribune, that a more reasonable approach might go something like this: “This story makes a number of valid points about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, but I feel some of the language is hyperbolic and some of the statements unsubstantiated. Specifically, I don’t think it’s neutral to say XXXX.”

        Or maybe note (fairly) that WikiTribune has also published a lengthy Q&A with the hardly neutral FB super-fan Don Graham and maybe suggest something like: “To balance this story out, how about linking it to the Don Graham story or adding a Don Graham quote to this piece?”

        Better still, hit that “edit story” button to the left of “talk” and go into the story and suggest some changes yourself. Rather than giving in to the easy “I’m going home and taking my ball with me” reaction, become part of the community. Help this site get past the “pilot” stage with constructive criticism instead of the kind of knee-jerk negativity WikiTribune is meant to be an anecdote for.

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          And I’ll correct myself by noting “anecdote” should be “antidote.”

  3. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Are you a Facebook virgin?

  4. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Thank you for the long and detailed story. It details well the concerns people should have about using Facebook.

    One thing that I wish articles would focus on (and I’m definitely not singling you out here) is breaking down ‘data’. It’s in danger of becoming a scare word of the year in its vagueness. There’s at least two kinds of data at play here:

    1) Data we* knowingly, willingly give to Facebook, such as what we did today and who our friends are. We hope privacy features mean only those people we want to see it see it, but we give it to them specifically so that some people can see it. We have to expect that Facebook will use this to market to us.

    2) Data we inadvertently give to Facebook, such as all the things we click on there, how long we look at each page, and the cookies from other sites visible to our web browsers. We don’t want anyone to see this, except when we expressly turn it into #1 above by posting it on our feeds. This data is what we should consider the real loss of privacy, and that we don’t want Facebook to use to market to us.

    * I’m not personally on Facebook

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Thanks William. Fair point that “data” has become a blurry all-encompassing word and it should be defined more often.

    2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      “We have to expect that Facebook will use this to market to us”.

      I’m not sure that the typical Facebook user even accepts this. If someone has it set up that “only my friends can read my comments”, they don’t intuitively feel that “Facebook itself” can read them and benefit from them. Just like we don’t expect the postal service to steam open our in-transit letters and profit from what they read there.

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