Sunday, April 15, 2012

Webroot presents survey of social networking site use and "privacy" concerns about Facebook Timeline

Webroot has a story with illustrations on the way people have been using Facebook’s Timeline.  The report also does comparative surveys by gender and age group of Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+.  Webroot tweeted the report link Saturday. 

The report shows considerable concern in some quarters about Facebook’s Timeline, as likely to reveal compromising material that would not otherwise be noticed.  At least 39% restricted access to Facebook by some people after Timeline was launched (about 2% deactivated Facebook).  37% were concerned that employers would see inappropriate material.

Some people do all their micro-blogging and Twitter and let it all copy into Facebook, which then will still sort it by Timeline.

Timeline may indeed present news to people that is critical, based on its artificial intelligence. For example, someone who lives in a tornado watch area may see posts from other friends (or other “like’s”) about the watch sorted near the top. 

People who use Facebook and Twitter to “socialize” and who discuss very specific personal or employment situations are much more likely to feel affected by Timelime. 

I still feel that the idea that one should publish differently to different circular audiences somewhat controversial, as materials are often forwarded.  I still publish only what can reasonably be seen in public mode, and generally avoid specifically personal materials about others. 

The link for the Webroot report is here

Notice also that Maryland has passed a law forbidding employers from asking for social networking passwords from applicants or employees (or contractors).  

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