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Nicholas Thompson writes: "The more our online lives take place on Facebook, the more we depend on the choices of the people who run the company - what they think about privacy, how they think we should be able to organize our friends, what they tell advertisers (and governments) about what we do and what we buy. We'll rely on whom they choose as partners to give us news and music. Real issues are at stake, in other words - not just the size of photos and whether you can poke."

Video image montage Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, 06/15/09. (image: Media Orchard)
Video image montage Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, 06/15/09. (image: Media Orchard)

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For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

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+10 # NanFan 2011-09-23 11:20
Totally agree. Not a good idea if you want privacy at all.

+10 # artful 2011-09-23 11:21
Facebook--where people go to whine . . .
+9 # cadan 2011-09-23 11:59
What sticks in my mind most whenever i read about Facebook is how Time Magazine used Facebook's founder Zuckerberg as person-of-the-y ear in order to displace Julian Assange (of wikileaks). I think this is even more important than Hillary Clinton's hiring of a facebook guru (for some disinformation campaign or other).

Anyhow the article is good, and sure sums up the way we live: a big argument over the color of the boat while we sail to parts unknown (and probably a lot worse than Australia).
+1 # kelly 2011-09-23 13:06
I agree with the article except for the line in the fourth paragraph depicting Zuckerburg as an oversharer in a gereration of oversharing. He's not. He encouages oversharing in an age of oversharing, but he himself is quite reticent when it comes to private issues. Aside from the famous lawsuit, he's managed to defer most personal questions. If people hate the changes tell 'em to get a diary and pass it around to the friends they want to share it with, if they want a bigger audience(i.e. Facebook) they should deal with it.
+5 # bubbiesue 2011-09-23 13:09
Facebook--which I look at only when I get something about it in the email. Looked up my Home Page today for the first time since I signed up. Lots of stuff and some junk there. I'd rather see about people I care about. Oh, well. If I really get annoyed I'll just cancel it--if it'll let me.
+12 # Larry 2011-09-23 13:41
What Facebook wants, has always wanted, and will always want, is a large, polymorphous population freely disclosing all sorts of personal information on Facebook that the site can sell to companies for marketing purposes.

"Facebook is free and always will be." Of course it is; that's the carrot, just like the "free" programming on network TV. But we know that nothing is really free, and the price you pay for a life lived on Facebook is a total loss of privacy, and becoming a target for advertisers world without end.

Ever wonder how Zuckerberg became a quasi-billionai re operating a "free" site?
+1 # noitall 2011-09-23 13:50
I dumped that dog ages ago. FB, Google, etc. are all about control and manipulation. I want a search engine that gives me ideas and sources other than what I imagined, otherwise why? It cuts options down to what 'it' supposes I want based upon what I wanted before AND all the while sharing it with everyone. Face it, Facebook is LAME!
+2 # Kiwikid 2011-09-23 15:15
All why I've never signed up
+2 # Abigail 2011-09-23 15:57
It has been pointed out that if Facebook had been around when George Bush was President, he would not have needed to do illegal wiretaps. anyone who uses facebook (unless it is to get victims) has exposed his or her slef unwittingly.
+2 # Ralph Averill 2011-09-23 17:28
I don't understand the Facebook phenomena. I don't get why people would trust some web-site to post their personal lives on. I don't know why one would do it even if the site was trustworthy.
In some cultures it is believed, usually by the older members, that the taking of a photograph of a person robs that person of a little bit of their soul. I believe that's how I feel about the whole Facebook thing.
I'm glad I lived in the time that I did. I'm grateful that I'm not young now.
+5 # Anise 2011-09-23 18:17
The privacy implications actually go way beyond the problems created by Facebook itself, and so few are thinking about this vital issue. What I've been telling people for a long time now is that no matter what kind of privacy settings they think they've set, they have ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL over the content that OTHER people post about them.

Case in point? Imagine that your well-meaning friends post a pic of you at the Big Godless Atheist Fair, complete with a caption identifying you and your full name. Guess what happens when you apply for a job at Lifeway Books and that potential employer does the standard online search for any information on you?
So much for that job! And in this economy, you could not afford to be picky about who you might have worked for. What if your well-meaning mom refers to your chronic migraines in her posts, using your full name? Potential employers may rule you out as an employee because of the negative effect you would have on company insurance. And so on, and on, and on. Focusing only on what the Facebook execs themselves might do-- as bad as that is-- really misses too many important points.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2011-09-23 19:56
Need to be somewhere. I went on to say hi ho to friends, never submitted info. When they notify me I do not go on, if I do go I notice junk mail so I try to never pop in. I knew it was crap and just a way for some creep who didn't have a life to abuse his privileges with others.

Too many places on search engine can track us, FB just makes it to easy to annoy us
+1 # angelfish 2011-09-23 20:28
I joined Facebook but found it trite, too time consuming and interested in too much personal information, a kind of friendly "big brother", that seemed to want to suck me dry, so I left and will NOT return. I like the freedom to go to WHATEVER site I want and not have to worry whether I'm o.k., politically correct or WHATEVER! It's really just a place for kids to schmooze inanely about life, which is FINE, if that's what you want to do with your time.
+1 # farnk 2011-09-24 17:38
In contrast to youtube, which invites everything it legally can, facebook exhorts us to celebrate our trivial reasons for being connected, and (apparently) to commemorate the over-abundant everyday.Facebo ok seems awash with the cute and cuddly.
+1 # stonecutter 2011-09-25 12:31
Today they've changed the page design....let me know when they change the
Big Brother. Then I change my name to Joe Doe and move to Patagonia.

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