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Privacy and social networks – video generated by the office of the privacy commission of canada
October 26, 2009, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Identity Theft | Tags: , , , , , , ,


What does a friend of a friend of a friend know about you???

[disclaimer: we do not claim copyright over this material]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7gWEgHeXcA

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Photo tagging on facebook
October 26, 2009, 6:52 am
Filed under: images | Tags: , , , ,

How many times have you been tagged in a photo that isn’t you? I was tagged in this picture a few weeks ago along with 49 other people. (Apparently 50 is the most people you can tag in one photo.) It’s a appropriation of the “Jesus: all about life” posters. A friened of mine made it (I think he was trying to start a meme). It’s an interesting aspect of how images are used on social networks, that they can actually link to references rather than just imply them. People can communicate with you through tagging. When someone wants to show you something on facebook, they don’t send it to you, they tag you. Maybe this is because tagging is so simple and effortless. But perhaps it is also to do with the public nature of tagging. With the above image, friends of mine can see that I have been tagged, meaning that the image reaches beyond the initial network of its creator. Although I can untag myself I can’t stop anyone form tagging me in the first place. This means that, although I ultimately control what remains in the archive of my social network, I can’t control how I will be represented at all times.  In a way this is not so different from how photography has always worked. You can’t always control who has your image or how they will use it. However, there are slight differences, given that the tagging function allows people to affiliate you with images that are not of you. In this and many other ways your friends play a large role in shaping your online identity.

This practice links in with the idea of folksonomy. It is a really interesting way of categorising images, which varies quite a lot from the way someone might arrange a physical photo album. Facebook photo tagging demonstrates the key features of a folksonomy as discussed in class. It is a more personal and subjective way of labeling the material. This tagging process differs greatly to how things are tagged on delicious or in blogs because it is slightly more consistent and at the same time, a little more interactive. On facebook multiple people can tag things in the same photo at the same time. People can be tagged as a form of communication rather than a form of classification. With its communicative and subjective nature, will this information be valuable in the long run? To who?

Here is an interesting group: tag who looks familiar takes pictures from external sources like awkwardfamilyphotos.com, posts them and encourages members to tag their friends.



Facebook’s lifestream
October 25, 2009, 3:35 am
Filed under: images | Tags: , , , , , ,

In april of last year facebook announced that users would be able to import material from delicious, flickr, picasa and yelp. This extends beyond my theme of images and into something else, but I think it is an interesting because it demonstrates something significant about social networks at this point in time. Although our topic is as broad as social networks and personal histories, we have primarily discussed this in relation to facebook. Facebook’s primary feature is the news feed, which streams the activities of all your friends to be viewed in one place. Now you can add content from your other social networks to this feed. At the moment the list of participants includes not only flickr, picasa, delicious and yelp, but also digg, google reader, youtube, last.fm, pandora, photobucket, hulu and kiva. You can also import content directly from your own blog or rss.

image from javier.reyesgomez on flickr

I was thinking of importing my delicious account just to see what it would be like, but I’m not sure I really want everyone I know to see what I bookmark. It has nothing to do with what I bookmark on delicious and a lot more to do with the concious and very apparent decision to import this content. What kind of impression would it give that I want everyone to my bookmarks? The other thing which kind of disturbed me was the amount of information this would give my facebook friends. It’s not really anything private, it’s actually pretty mundane stuff and I think this is what bothers me. There are just certain really ordinary things that I like to be able to do without feeling as though everyone I know is watching. I’ve always been a little bit like this in everyday life. As a kid I hated that my brother and sister would follow me around watching me cook or paint or whatever. This feeling is also related to the fact that facebook tends to break down the boundaries of the different social spheres we inhabit. Usually you give different appropriate information to different people in your life. It’s almost as though the different social networks we participate in online are a replacement for the different kinds of relationships we have in real life.

But how do behaviours change when we feel we’re being watched? Do you think facebook will become a kind of hub of social networks? Is facebook creating a panoptic society?

ps: the facebook news feed changed ever so slightly this morning. Already people are signing up for groups like “please give us our old news feed back”. This happens every time the function or the layout of the site is changed. I can’t remember thiss ever having an effect. But maybe I haven’t been paying all that much attention.



Cyber-bullying
October 22, 2009, 1:21 am
Filed under: images | Tags: , , , , , ,

You’ve probably all heard about films of bullying making it onto facebook. I’ve been reading up on the incident at Rivington and Blackrod High School in which schoolgirl Amy Knowles was filmed attacking Chantelle Smith. The film was put on facebook by another student, allegedly without either of the girls being aware the incident had been filmed. The act of bullying in itself does not seem more news-worthy than any other incident of bullying. What made this into an international news event was the use of social networking site facebook to distribute the film of the girls fighting. The distribution of the film can be seen as cyber-bullying. Facebook has objectionable content controls in place, through which facebook users can report content. It is interesting to note that commercial media sources have now made the footage viewable on their websites.

You can read an article about the Amy’s apology and access footage of the incident here.

I guess this incident highlights both positive and nagative consequences of media sharing within social networks. Access to this kind of publishing is not highly restricted, anyone can post any kind of content and it will be available for viewing within minutes. Facebook does have ways of regulating content after it is published, but this relies on the cooperation of users. Facebook admits that illegal and offensive material will inevitably appear on the site. This access to audience and media can act as a tool for potential bullies, however it can also be seen to raise awareness of neglected issues. Although bullying is not a rare occurance, it is rarely reported on in mainstream media. Perhaps it is a good thing that there is proof of what happened and that the media have paid attention. Then again, Amy might disagree. Taken out of context the footage does not convey the full extent or nature of the bullying.



your safety’s at stake!!! The Federal Trade Commission’s tips for socializing safely online
October 14, 2009, 4:01 am
Filed under: Identity Theft | Tags: , , , , ,

image from Don Hankins on flickr

 Federal commissions tips to being safe on the internet :

1) “Think about how different sites work before deciding to join a site. Some sites will allow only a defined community of users to access posted content; others allow anyone and everyone to view postings.

2)Think about keeping some control over the information you post. Consider restricting access to your page to a select group of people, for example, your friends from school, your club, your team, your community groups, or your family.

3) Keep your information to yourself. Don’t post your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number, or bank and credit card account numbers — and don’t post other people’s information, either. Be cautious about posting information that could be used to identify you or locate you offline. This could include the name of your school, sports team, clubs, and where you work or hang out.

4) Make sure your screen name doesn’t say too much about you. Don’t use your name, your age, or your hometown. Even if you think your screen name makes you anonymous, it doesn’t take a genius to combine clues to figure out who you are and where you can be found.

5)Post only information that you are comfortable with others seeing — and knowing — about you. Many people can see your page, including your parents, your teachers, the police, the college you might want to apply to next year, or the job you might want to apply for in five years.

6)Remember that once you post information online, you can’t take it back. Even if you delete the information from a site, older versions exist on other people’s computers.

7)Consider not posting your photo. It can be altered and broadcast in ways you may not be happy about. If you do post one, ask yourself whether it’s one your mom would display in the living room.Flirting with strangers online could have serious consequences. Because some people lie about who they really are, you never really know who you’re dealing with.

8)Be wary if a new online friend wants to meet you in person. Before you decide to meet someone, do your research: Ask whether any of your friends know the person, and see what background you can dig up through online search engines. If you decide to meet them, be smart about it: Meet in a public place, during the day, with friends you trust. Tell an adult or a responsible sibling where you’re going, and when you expect to be back.

9) Trust your gut if you have suspicions. If you feel threatened by someone or uncomfortable because of something online, tell an adult you trust and report it to the police and the social networking site. You could end up preventing someone else from becoming a victim”.

After reading these key saftey points i realised that i dont follow nearlly half of them, until studying this topic I havent before realised the extreme danger when it comes to the online world. I dont think many users who have a facebook site would actually know the hidden dangers either. Do you or have you ever thought about this??



Social Networking Risks: How safe are you??
October 14, 2009, 3:50 am
Filed under: Identity Theft | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Image from Don Hankins on flickr

“Last month, officials from the government gave out a general warning that criminals might be taking a keen interest in what you leave behind in social networking sites. They were pointedly referring to the unbridled popularity of social networking and to the dangers social networking might expose users to”.

“Criminals, they warn, might be looking to test the territory of social websites to enact crimes like pedophilia and phishing scams. The danger of identity theft in social networks was particularly highlighted as swindlers can use bits and pieces of information posted online by users to steal their identity. The warning should bring the spotlight on the loopholes in social networking security and how users can avert dangers arising out of them”.

Fraud and scam news – http://www.419legal.org/blog/2008/04/09/social-networking-risks-how-safe-are-you-with-revealing-personal-information-in-social-networking-sites/

After much research into this topic I myself am feeling unsure about my safety in regards to identity theft. This particular issue has grown much more over the past year and many believe it is going to get much worse. Face book seems to most users a way to keep in touch with friends, share images and up date your every day activities but what many users don’t think about is their personal safety when using social networking sites like face book.



Perceptions of privacy and ownership
October 7, 2009, 4:26 am
Filed under: images | Tags: , , , ,

Andrew Besmer’s article, Privacy Perceptions of Photo Sharing in Facebook, discusses concerns facebook users have with photosharing. Primarily these concerns related to privacy and ownership. Participants in the study were less concerned with strangers acessing unflattering pictures of them, than they were with certain members of their established network. For instance, people were more scared of family members finding picture of them drunk. Besmer suggests that people are more concerned with identity shaping than in personal security. The issue of ownership was widely acknowledged by participants. However, the perception was that either the person who posted the photograph was either the owner or the co-owner. In reality facebook currently claims ownership over IP material insofar as facebook is able to use uploaded material for any purpose they deem fit. “You grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook.” Web2.0 allows more equal access to publishing, but it also causes great conflict over ownership and use of content. What this study shows is that many people are not entirely aware what they have agreed to when they sign up for a facebook account.