There’s been a new mini psychodrama recently in France – still going on. You probably heard about it: many users reported that private messages dating back 2007-2008 appeared in their Timeline as “Friends posts” that all their contacts could see. Facebook France replied that they were all halluincating (they put it in other words). I really have no idea what’s been going on and who’s right, but that drama opened again the doors to Facebook-bashing, private life, blabla. This morning, I read in the French press that 53% of the people survyed said they had a bad opinion of Facbook (so why the hell are they on Facebook?) and that 29% think one should not sign up there “because you private life will be violated and trampled”.
I almost spit my coffee all over my desk laughing out loud (LOLing , in other words) when I read that 2 hours ago. Seriously? I mean… ok, let’s be serious now.
What Private Life?
What private life ? All the info Facebook has about you, you put it in there yourself. Nobody forces you to upload pictures of you in a bikini. Nobody forces you to give your home address and personal phone numbers to Facebook. Just because there’s some not mandatory field to fill, you don’t have to fill it. YOU put that data in there.
Whether Facebook may sell our personal data to advertisers is another issue but here’s my take on that particular point: Facebook is a company and like all businesses it needs some kind of income, a product, other than investors injecting money in it. Since Facebook does not offer any paying membership, which could be a consequent revenue source, they have to “sell” something else. It makes sense in a way, a business has got to earn something to keep existing, right?. Google does it. Many others do it. Did you ever book a flight online, let’s say to London, and noticed in the days afterwards that on any website with ads you’d visit (online dictionaries or whatever), you’d see ads about cheap flights to London? There you go. See, Facebook are not the only ones… and I consider those actually freakier, because that means The Internet God knows exactly what I do, what I search, when and where without me even knowing nor asking for it. I just booked a flight to London, damn! While on Facebook, again, YOU chose to enter your personal information on your own, so if you have a doubt whether they’re going to sell the fact that you had your tonsils removed in 1992 in your Timeline, then don’t put it…
That was it for the “defending” Facebook part. I have no problem with that, I am aware of all those risks so I use my common sense when entering stuff in my Facebook. But here’s where the “real” issue is to me: you can erase something you entered 2 years ago in your profile, you can even deactivate your account, your data will not show anymore – but Facebook does keep it in store. Everything you ever posted, wrote and deleted, remains.
And that’s the first real issue : Facebook should inform us plainly and clearly that what we think we erase from our profile remains stored in the Facebook attics for God knows how long.
The second issue, it’s us. We don’t have to share everything we’re doing. We don’t have to post everything we think. We don’t have to. We don’t need to. Nobody forces us to. You don’t want Facebook to have your mobile number? Then don’t giv it it. There’s not much more to say to it. Be a grown-up. We are all responsible for ourselves. If you don’t want you private life to be “violated” by Facebook, then don’t babber all your private stuff on your Facebook.
There. Common sense, right?
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