I don’t know about you dear fellow readers and followers but the first thing I do when I arrive to work is opening my Google Reader account and check on the latest updates from my favourite sites.
There is one feed that I sometimes skip due to the length and thoroughness of the articles : it’s the Technology feed of The Guardian, british newspaper. So I came in to the front desk about thirty minutes ago, the first hour is always very much comings and goings in the library so I do have the time to skim over the articles. In little over than fifty articles there were about a dozen about online privacy, online identity and of course the meanie-of-the-day Mark Zuckenberg, founder of the popular social network Facebook.
For those who have been following the debate about Facebook privacy settings, it has been a grueling two weeks for Zuckenberg as he battled intense criticism from non-profit organizations, governments and users who where appalled at finding how Facebook is distilling their private information and content across the website. If you remember in the beginning of this year 2010, Facebook began rolling out supposed new (and better) privacy settings when in fact users where unwillingly sharing more than ever before! and in a much more complicated way! In the last few days and in a frenzy, Facebook recently unveiled a simpler and more user-friendly privacy control panel. Nevertheless, privacy groups are calling it a smoke screen today in the Guardian and insist on focusing the debate on what user ARE sharing (without their consent or knowledge) instead of a few interface tweeks.
I am not going to reinvent the wheel going back over the last few months of millions of pixels exchanged over this but merely to illustrate what is happening right now in the heads of four students from New York University… they are calling it “a privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network”. The goal of the project is to enable users to reclaim their personal data and secure their connections thus facilitating online communication and privacy. The name is Diaspora. Check out their kickstarter page here and the project blog here.
So what do you think? Would you leave Facebook for better, more secure and user-oriented social network?
* Nota bene : For those interested there is also a Guardian rss feed for Libraries*