Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Zuckerberg faux flap

Here's a newsflash...if you post something (a photo) online, you no longer have exclusive control of it.  It's out there for anyone to do anything they want with it.  Privacy settings are great, but Randi Zuckerberg discovered that allowing public subscribers and "friend of a friend" settings means things really aren't private.

It wasn't any sort of incriminating photo.  But Ms. Zuckerberg's reaction to it is rather naive.  Once someone (outside of who she intended to see it) saw it, it was de facto public domain.  Legally...she may have a case.  Realistically...once Ms. Schweitzer shared it with her 40,000 followers on Twitter, it became a matter of public record.

Zuckerberg's rant following was just silly...what did she expect?  Again, you post something on the Internet, it's **public**.  Share only with "friends"?  Guess what...those friends may well re-share it with others...then it's **public**.  Someone who used to be an exec at a major social networking company (Facebook) should know this.  She can whine about etiquette/netiquette all she wants...the reality is, you share it, it's out there.  Even email...the minute you click "send", you lose control of the message.  The recipient can forward (without removing your message...gee, that's NEVER happened, right?), and there you go...viral spread.

Ms. Zuckerberg's best reaction would have been to just keep quiet and either a) not share any more photos she really wanted to keep private or b) double-check her privacy settings (and not share any more photos she really wanted to keep private).  Her making a big deal about it virtually guarantees the trolls at 4chan will take her photo and make embarrassing Photoshopped memes from it...her silence would have kept it below the radar.

Seriously, if you don't want a given photo (or message/post/"like") going "public", don't make it.  Once you click "submit/share/send/post", it's public domain in practical terms.  Legally it may be different, but try tracking down a few million copies across the global Internet...then tell me what reality is.

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