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Posts Tagged ‘controversy’

So there’s a column today in the Globe that talks about how little kids are reacting and responding to the Rihanna/Chris Brown domestic dispute. Some of these kids as young as eight are voicing opinions such as “She started it” and “She gave him an STD so it was her own fault.” (The STD in question, by the way, is diabetes.) Where are kids getting this information? Parents? Siblings? At first I thought it was better to avoid that kind of discussion in school, but after reading what some of these children were thinking, it’s clear that domestic violence is something that should be addressed if it’s brought up in the classroom.

Anyways, if you’re interested, check out the column here.

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Image courtesy of Media Bistro

Image courtesy of Media Bistro

So as I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, Facebook has made some controversial changes in their terms and conditions recently. On February 4, they changed the terms so that they now own everything you post — even if you delete your account. (It used to be so that if you deleted your account, they renounced ownership over anything you posted.) This change went mostly unnoticed until it was posted on Consumerist.com on Sunday.

Today, the terms have (temporarily, it looks like) been restored to what they were before the recent change.

Read Mark Zuckerburg’s clarification on the Facebook blog here.
Read the full AP story here.

So here’s my deep question of the day for you, oh faithful readers: Is Facebook quickly becoming 2009’s voluntary Big Brother? (And is that actually an oxymoron?)

I direct your memories to this past summer, when incriminating photos of John Kerry were leaked to TMZ. (And yes, that is a penis-shaped straw she is using in her classy red solo cup.) There was some confusion as to the origin of the photos, but allegedly one of the party attendees (I’m assuming it wasn’t Kerry) posted the pictures on Facebook, who promptly sold them to TMZ. Not to mention the recent photos of Michael Phelps that were recently leaked — gee, I wonder how those got out? Now I’m not saying this is all that bad – Kerry and Phelps obviously never should have allowed those photos to be taken. But I feel like these incidents, combined with the (probably soon to be reinstated) revised terms and conditions, make me even more distrustful of Facebook in general.

I never trusted Mark Zuckerburg, certainly not when it was alleged that he stole the idea for Facebook from fellow Harvard classmates. They eventually settled the lawsuit for $20 million in cash and another several million in stocks, but Facebook is  now estimated to be worth between $3.7 BILLION — down from $15 billion in 2007 (source).

So… they’re always watching. They have a shady dictator figure (who also sneakily tries to change terms and conditions without users knowing). And I’d say Facebook has created it’s own form of “newspeak”: “Poke” “Newsfeed” — “to Facebook” someone has even become a verb. Yes, it’s all voluntary for now. Yes, internet users should be careful of what they post ANYWHERE, let alone on Facebook. But I still can’t help but feel like they’re out to get us.

Moral of the story? Watermark your photography. Poor man’s copyright your writing.  Or just take it all down and make sure you have proof of the date that you did so.

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