Monday, May 17, 2010

Facebook and Privacy

Mashable writer Ben Parr writes a very good argument defending Facebook:
 Is Facebook betraying its users? 
"I defend Facebook because it is the wrong target for our anger. It has done more to bring people together than any technology of the last five years, and the good it has brought far outweighs the bad. We made the decision to turn our personal information over to a private company, and for the most part Facebook made good use of it."

 Has Facebook compromised user privacy?
"Quitting Facebook won’t solve the privacy conundrum: common sense and better education about how privacy has changed will. This debate has once again exposed the gap between how the world has changed and our assumptions about how the world works or should work. Attacking Facebook won’t help us come to terms with our society’s struggle over the changing nature of privacy."
Pete Cashmore [Mashable CEO] believes: There is no such thing as privacy.

This points to the fact that we need to be teaching our students how the world works, and how even if we don't turn our information over to a private company, anyone can post information about us on the web. It's the world we live in and let's not stick our heads in the sand.  

Once again, I remember distinctly that about six months ago, Will Richardson asked: "When do we stop trying to fight the inevitable and start thinking about how to embrace it?"  Or, as Doug Johnson so eloquently suggests, when are we gonna saddle this horse and ride it?"  Today Will Richardson's blog article was simply entitled:  Teach. Facebook. Now.  Read his plea to get real with the students.  He sums it up by stating "I know Facebook isn’t on the test, but c’mon. It’s time it becomes a part of how we help kids live in this world." Are any administrators out there paying attention?

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