Are Facebook Trying to Censor What I'm Saying about Them?

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), January 30, 2011 | Go to article overview

Are Facebook Trying to Censor What I'm Saying about Them?


Byline: Suzanne Moore

THIS is between you and me, right? I wouldn't want anyone else knowing my business. Apart from writing newspaper columns, blathering on Facebook to my 'friends' and wittering away on Twitter, i'm a private person. So this is confidential.

Certainly I don't think my phone has been hacked. Indeed, I am afraid I cannot access my own voicemails (that shows just what kind of journalist I am). But I know a man who can ... And a woman, who once showed me how to hack emails, which even someone as technologically inept as me found pretty easy. Most passwords and PiN numbers are fairly guessable: your own or your kid's birthday, or often the name of the organisation itself. You'd be surprised how many big companies' password is, er, 'password'.

We are scared of identity theft but cannot function with 50 different log-ins.

The phone-hacking scandal, throwing up vital questions about the role of the police, of journalistic ethics and media ownership, makes the whole process sound highly skilled. In fact it requires little skill and fewer morals.

Yet most of us should be alarmed by the amount of data that is already out there.

Legislation lags very far behind technology, so most discussions of privacy take place in a vacuum where no governmental or public body holds sway. Those in power also fail to understand that we have a generation whose definition of privacy is entirely different from theirs.

ONCE more this week we have seen the power of social media to organise protest. Also I have been disturbed at what seems to be Facebook's increasing intervention in what I may say.

I don't want my address and phone number on my Facebook Bennun said to me, I don't want my address and phone number on my Facebook profile. Someone sent me a message explaining there would be a new Facebook privacy setting called 'instant Personalization' which would automatically be set to 'enable' and would mean all my information would be shared with other sites.

I broadcast this message as my 'status', to alert my friends, but it mysteriously kept disappearing. …

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Are Facebook Trying to Censor What I'm Saying about Them?
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