So, what do you think? Do I look slightly maniacal? A little tipsy? I do have a drink in my hand. Or am I just laughing hard at something out of frame?
This is a photo I was recently tagged in on Facebook. The boring truth? Champagne had just been handed out to toast a colleague after we watched a very funny video. The party was over by 11.
But that image, which I didn’t particularly like, was posted for all my friends and my friend’s friends and who knows who else to see – the now-classic “drink in hand” photo. At least it wasn’t one of those “head in the toilet” shots that potential employers look for. It was a reminder though, about how much happens on Facebook that I neither fully understand nor control.
This directly contradicts the Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web proposed in September 2007. The authors wrote that social web users should
“maintain Ownership of:
- their own profile data
- the list of people they are connected to
- the activity stream of content they create;
as well as maintaining Control of whether and how such personal information is shared with others.”
Web communications are now so easy that many people don’t think about what’s going on below the surface: loss of privacy; voyeurism; information gathering for marketing or even criminal purposes. That’s why I believe there should be a bill of rights protecting social web users. I would add two points to the 2007 version:
- users have a right to be consulted before privacy changes are announced
- users can expect ABUNDANTLY CLEAR instructions and repeated reminders on how to maintain high levels of privacy.
Sure people are more open these days, but I think there should be a shared responsibility. I promise to give helpful feedback if social media sites promise to ask before making major changes. I promise to read the fine print if sites promise to make it a little bigger!
If you’re among the many who didn’t read the Facebook fine print in December, here’s a helpful guide to make your future party pictures a bit more private.