Family advocates worry as Facebook looks to allow access for children
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the social media giant is testing features that would allow young children to access the site. The children’s accounts may be linked to their parents, so that the parents can control whom their children friend and which applications they use.
Privacy advocates are having a cow. What do you think? Should kids under 13 have legal access to Facebook?
iOS 6 to Bring Systemwide Facebook Integration
Here’s one place I think Apple could stand to be more open. Why do they insist on baking all these sharing features into the OS? Why not use contracts like Windows 8?
It would be better for consumers because they would get to pick what social networks to add to their phones. It would be better for social networks, which wouldn’t have to hope and pray that they got built into the OS or by developers into apps (i.e. how I pine for send-to-Buffer and send-to-Tumblr buttons in Reeder). And it would be better for Apple, which wouldn’t be caught without the latest network (Pinterest, anyone?), or worse: stuck with a sharing platform that’s going south baked into its OS.
In Ad Network Nightmare, Microsoft Making ‘Do Not Track’ Default for IE 10
How does Microsoft friend Facebook feel about this?
On the podcast this week I talk to danah boyd, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, and Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, discusses her recent article in First Monday with Ester Hargitai, Jason Schultz, and John Palfrey. It’s entitled, “Why parents help their children lie to Facebook about age: Unintended consequences of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.” boyd discusses COPPA as it applies to Facebook, namely that children under 13 are not allowed to use the site. She then talks about her research, which looks at whether this restriction is helping parents protect their children’s privacy, and whether it is meeting COPPA’s ultimate goals. boyd discusses her findings, which indicate parents are allowing their children to lie about their age to obtain a Facebook account. According to boyd, parents want guidelines when it comes to data protection, but they do not necessarily want strict requirements. boyd feels that COPPA is not achieving its goal of privacy protection and should be evaluated with more transparency so parents and the public in general know how to protect their privacy.
Slate: Hate Facebook's new look? You'll like it soon enough.
The problem with the new Facebook isn’t the graphic design, it’s the change in perspective. In this article, Farhad Manjoo explains the Twitterization of Facebook:
In the past, Facebook used a complex algorithm to round up your friends’ recently added photos, notes, and status updates and compile them into a neat summary on your front page. … Now, instead of a summary of what your friends have been up to in the last few hours, you get what Zuckerberg calls a “stream”—a continuously updated timeline that shows every little thing that someone in your network does. Every time you refresh the front page, there’s new stuff for you to read. Much of it isn’t very interesting, and because the stream moves so quickly, the little that is interesting gets drowned out by items that aren’t. The effect is like being at a party where you can’t choose whom to mingle with—you’re forced to listen to everyone’s conversations, which is almost as useless as listening to no one’s.
The reason this works on Twitter is that you choose who you follow. I, for one, only follow people I care about or find interesting, so every little update from them is more or less interesting to me.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t necessarily follow on Twitter everyone who is my friend on Facebook. So, it’s like you signed up for a Twitter account that already had you following hundreds of people, whether you find them interesting or not. The onus is now on you to cull the drones by clicking the “X” next to their name.
I agree with Manjoo that people will get over this, but Facebook is certainly making a big paradigm shift mid-stream to keep up with the Twitters. Things would have been easier if they had been successful in buying Twitter.