Saturday, May 01, 2010

With a heavy heart...

Open letter to my friends...

Mark Zuckerburg is the CEO, founder, owner, and developer of Facebook.  When he developed the original FB concept he relied on two fundamental needs of human beings - friendship and belonging.  Mark's endeavor grew exponentially to the Facebook of today.  Today the two fundamental needs of human beings - friendship and belonging - are being used to coerce users into accepting greater and greater infringements on their personal privacy.

Writing for the Electronic Freedom Foundation Kurt Opsahl details Facebook's Eroding Privacy Policy: A Timeline.

Facebook Privacy Policy circa December 2009:

Certain categories of information such as your name, profile photo, list of friends and pages you are a fan of, gender, geographic region, and networks you belong to are considered publicly available to everyone, including Facebook-enhanced applications, and therefore do not have privacy settings. You can, however, limit the ability of others to find this information through search using your search privacy settings.

Current Facebook Privacy Policy, as of April 2010:

When you connect with an application or website it will have access to General Information about you. The term General Information includes your and your friends’ names, profile pictures, gender, user IDs, connections, and any content shared using the Everyone privacy setting. ... The default privacy setting for certain types of information you post on Facebook is set to “everyone.” ... Because it takes two to connect, your privacy settings only control who can see the connection on your profile page. If you are uncomfortable with the connection being publicly available, you should consider removing (or not making) the connection.

Viewed together, the successive policies tell a clear story. Facebook originally earned its core base of users by offering them simple and powerful controls over their personal information. As Facebook grew larger and became more important, it could have chosen to maintain or improve those controls. Instead, it's slowly but surely helped itself — and its advertising and business partners — to more and more of its users' information, while limiting the users' options to control their own information.

... while limiting the users' options to control their own information.  AND, coercing with threats of loss of friendship and not belonging.  If you think I am being extreme try Deactivating your Facebook account.  Read and internalize the last screen of coercion that FB slaps you with.

AND after I did deactivate my FB account the I got the real surprise ... My account is not accessible to me, as I have deactivated it, but it is still accessible to everyone INSIDE the walled garden of Facebook.  So much for "deactivation". 

Sooooo, I have investigated Terminating my Facebook account.  First you have to log into Facebook (which among other things re-activates your account - if you have deactivated it - and displays a "Welcome back" message - more friendship and belonging coercion.)   Once back in you have to go to this link location: http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=delete_account   Once there you must "Submit" ...then provide your password, again (like you weren't logged in in order to get to this place.)  THEN you have to answer the Captcha "What are these two words" requirement.  THEN you have to wait two weeks (without logging into Facebook - which would negate your "termination order".)  Can you say emotional and psychological manipulation?

Some of history's most despicable despots have used more humane methods of torturing their prisoners.

So, I love all of my friends and most of my enemies BUT I will no longer be held hostage by Facebook.

If you feel inclined to respond to any of this please send me an e-mail at wmeloney at gmail dot com as I will not be able to see anything that you post in FB.

Thanks

- Bill

William "Papa" Meloney
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Voice: 270-215-4275

Posted via email from Pa^2 Patois

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