Not one but two announcements that remind me how long I’ve been playing round with this internet thing and how times have changed:
I left Demon Internet years ago once it became clear that their new owners were much more interested in selling comprehensive telecoms packages that running an ISP, and last time Suck was being updated I was reading the site using Windows 95. but never mind: both the ‘zine and the ISP helped to show me what the internet was good for. It’s sad to to see them both disappear from the internet.
Having caught up with Kashmir Hill‘s Gizmodo piece ‘People You May Know:’ A Controversial Facebook Feature’s 10-Year History, I’m both supremely glad that I’m not on Facebook and creeped out by how little difference that makes to Facebook’s determination to shadow profile me whether I like it or not.
In other words, People You May Know is an invaluable product because it helps connect Facebook users, whether they want to be connected or not. It seems clear that for some users, People You May Know is a problem. It’s not a feature they want and not a feature they want to be part of. When the feature debuted in 2008, Facebook said that if you didn’t like it, you could “x” out the people who appeared there repeatedly and eventually it would disappear. (If you don’t see the feature on your own Facebook page, that may be the reason why.) But that wouldn’t stop you from continuing to be recommended to other users.
Facebook needs to give people a hard out for the feature, because scourging phone address books and email inboxes to connect you with other Facebook users, while welcome to some people, is offensive and harmful to others. Through its aggressive data-mining this huge corporation is gaining unwanted insight into our medical privacy, past heartaches, family dramas, sensitive work associations, and random one-time encounters.
[Via Pixel Envy]