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January 10, 2013

What Are Facebook Doing With Their Privacy Policy?

Image Credit: Techcrunch 2011

In the wake of the epic stories surrounding the inimitable Facebook and its latest acquisition, Instagram, one has to wonder how many more questionable actions can manifest from the camp of the social media giant. I, am of course referring to the squawking over the TOS back in December. This could spell long-term PR trouble. What exactly is Facebook doing?

Let’s get the facts straight. Instagram may still be having issues, what with its public traffic data being ripped from public view recently. But the company has apparently stemmed the flow of angry users fleeing the site like a burning building.However sometimes, it’s too little too late, as it’s beenwidelynoted that 25% of the active user base was lost in the aftermath.Instagram backpedaled on the issue, saying, “It would not sell members’ photos”. This was followed closely by a quote from the company,”that statement is not authorized for publication.”O rly, Instagram? There’s no sense of irony in that statement!

Facebook HTTPS Connections

This overarching argument about data and its right to be withheld or published, is a longstanding argument within social media ranks that goes back almost as far as the inception of journalism itself. Facebook, and its user base, is in the midst of a cold war over the fact that deleted accounts do not mean entire removal from the site. Users are able to download their data before doing so, but there is a finite period that accounts are cached in case the user changes their mind. What happens to the data after that time? Is it sold or otherwise leveraged for private gain? Or is it truly erased from the site? Facebook has said that the nature of caching in search engines in addition to “shares” on the site makes 100% data deletion truly impossible.

So the question remains, with only the most recent examples displayed for evidence. To answer the question bluntly, Facebook is shaping privacy policy so that is seemingly transparent but lesscomprehensible by most who engage the site. When was the last time you actually read a TOS when you registered to a site?A common joke among Facebook critics is, “Facebook is like a reverse eBay; you’re the product and the highest bidder gets access to your life”. So who is the highest bidder assisting Facebook shape privacy policy?Digital Sky Technologies, is the largest investor as of this writing and their partners’ history can be found here.

Source pages:TheNextWeb

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May 28, 2010

Facebook Announces Q&A Feature

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Facebook Q&AWhile Google chose to buy question and answer site Aardvark, Facebook decided to build their own system from the ground up, an attempt to take some of the Q&A market dominated by Wiki Answers, Yahoo Answers, AnswerBag and other popular sites.

The application is currently in beta-testing phase and users can participate by submitting and answering three questions through the program. After you’ve mass submitted your three questions Facebook promises to get back to you in 24 hours to let you know if you’re approved.

Given the  size of the Facebook userbase the 3 question protocol is a great way for Facebook to build up a huge database of questions and answers, allowing them to immediately compete in the market which includes millions of questions and answers already established by other sites.

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