Archives for posts with tag: facebook

So there has been a hubbub, a brouhaha, a kafuffle in the news lately about facebook privacy.  It seems that until recently, those between 13 and 17 were forced to keep their facebook profiles private, or visible only to friend and friends of friends.  This was to protect the identities of minors.  But now the people at facebook are allowing teenagers to post pictures on the internet that just anyone can see.  Concerned parents groups and PTA moms all over the world are speaking out.

Here’s the thing.  Internet privacy is not a thing.  It never existed.  The very term is an oxymoron.  I personally have had my facebook account hacked twice, that I know about.  Worse yet, facebook, along with almost all the big networks, sells your personal information to third party organizations.  If that weren’t bad enough, the NSA has a file on you with copies of the emails you send and records of the sites you visit.  Internet privacy?  Puh-lease!  You never had it.  The only crime was that anyone told a teenager that there was such a thing in the first place.

And yet parents and the people informing them are teaching their kids to use facebook privacy settings to stay safe because the parents don’t understand it either.  The only sane way to look at the internet is essentially the same way we look at everything else.  Consider dressing.  When you are at home you can wear whatever you want.  When you go out, anyone can see you because you’re in a public space.  You might run into your boss or your ex or a celebrity but you have no control over who will see you.  The internet is a public space.  All of it.  It’s what the internet is: your files stored on other people’s computers.  When you store your files on your computer it’s just called a computer.

And so as usual the your salvation lies not behind the paper thin security systems of facebook, hotmail, or twitter, but with education: with understanding that every single piece of information you post is stored on someone else’s computer.  The only security afforded to you by the world wide web is security in numbers, the anonymity of the crowd.  It’s hard to target individuals when there are billions of them.  That’s why there are more spammers than hackers.  Don’t put your faith in security settings and don’t teach your kids to either.  Assume that every bit is broadcast to the whole world, and hope Obama never comes looking for you.




This morning my city musings received its ten-thousandth view!  Blogging is tough but I’m happy to be slowly building a following.  I published my hundredth post last week.  That means on average about a hundred people view each post, which in internet terms is modest but in human terms is amazing.

A huge thanks to the people who comment.  Often your comments inspire new posts, make me research and rethink my opinions, and force me to write more carefully and honestly.  To put it dramatically: civil, honest dialogue is the foundation of civilization and I have the utmost respect for those with the courage to have that dialogue.

Thanks also to anyone who shared my stuff.  When I post, it goes to around four hundred people, and it becomes visible to specific google searches.  When you share on, it doubles the number of people that the post is directly available to and improves my ranking in google searches.  Sharing is the highest compliment in digital and viral media.

Thanks also for reading and clicking “like” on facebook and at the bottom of posts.  Understand that every view, comment, or like that I get makes me visible to a wider audience.  Blogging is an interactive exercise so on reader who comments is more valuable than a hundred who are silent.

Many people will comment in real life but are hesitant to put their comment into type and post it on this site.  Just remember your teacher from primary school who taught you that there are no stupid questions!  I treasure every comment, however short or silly.

In summation: thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you thank you!  You inspire me to write interesting and provocative posts that are deserving of you fine peoples’ attention.