Thursday, February 10, 2011

Is Facebook inherently dangerous? ~ By Phil Elmore

So. Should you join Facebook or not? Should you leave if you have? Is the site inherently dangerous to you and yours?

Social technology necessarily moves apace with society. As citizens, criminals, political activists and bored teenagers alike take to the same virtual space for varying reasons, they will, alone together, experience the benefits, the risks, the fun and the consequences of social networking. If we join these networks, we must do so fully cognizant of what we wager. If we opt out, we must acknowledge the losses we incur in social connectivity and convenience. Every one of us must make this decision – not from fear, not from worry and not with casual disregard for the dangers ... but with honesty and awareness.
In this edition of his weekly TECHNOCRACY column, Phil brings up a lot of great information about the possible dangers of being on Facebook or any other social-networking site. To me, perhaps the most intriguing point is the possibility that various sites like Facebook or twitter can be shut off by a government that is afraid of civil unrest. And, yes, that did happen in Egypt, at least for a few days. Any government that is afraid of their own people will always have that option, and what can we do about it?

Video provided by TheREALjohnny2k

Facebook as the new public square ~ By Phil Elmore
Obama's Internet tyranny ~ By Phil Elmore

Is Facebook inherently dangerous?

By Phil Elmore

February 10, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

Yesterday I saw an ad for a car whose primary selling point seems to be that it offers real-time Facebook updates. In the spot (voiced by Tim Allen), a young man uses the feature to see if his new lady love has posted to Facebook about their date.

What is extraordinary about the popularity of Facebook, the social networking site that has arguably expanded the public square while redefining the nature of "friendship," is that the site has become so deeply enmeshed in popular culture after only a few short years. Facebook recently turned just seven years old.

The benefits of social networking are obvious. Setting aside their entertainment value (Facebook offers videos, addicting games, time-wasting quiz applications, real-time chat and so on), such sites allow friends, family and old acquaintances to stay in touch and share their daily lives. Brief updates and uploaded photos make such a large volume of information manageable and digestible. Facebook is also a cost-effective way to promote businesses and social causes, used by everyone from politicians and talk-show hosts to retailers and hobby clubs.

The powerful influence of social networking as a catalyst, communications tool and rallying point for agitation has come to the fore as the world watches Egypt's social upheaval. The very Internet kill switch about which I have previously warned you in Technocracy has been used by Egypt's government in an attempt to silence Twitter and Facebook updates concerning the protests there. It was no surprise when the totalitarian nation of thieves that is China blocked its population's searches for information on Egypt. It is also not a surprise that Obama's regime continues to press for the same oversight.

Facebook is so powerful, in fact, that college newspapers have dubbed it and sites like it a "worldwide weapon" that has been "instrumental in sparking protests that may oust powerful government forces." This is occurring despite Facebook's inflexible policy insisting that users sign up with their real, full names. Joe Fay of the U.K.'s Register writes that this "is great when it comes to stopping cyberbullying or harassment, but not so good when it comes to expounding political views that your government doesn't like."

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1 comment:

  1. What Phil wrote about in this column and in previous editions of Technocracy has finally sunk in, but probably too late for me. I've done a lot of writing in my life, and much of it is on the internet. It's a permanent record. And scrub all evidence of your past all you want, but people will still remember (or have recorded) what you say. Back peddle all you want (Mr. Clapper), but once it's been said..... There is no taking it back.... Ever.

    THAT, my good friends, truly IS the inherent danger of Facebook or any other electronic transmission to cyberspace.