I don’t know how much thought is behind it, but it seems to me highly effective the way that Facebook will let somebody tag a photo with a friend’s name, then others who are a friend of that friend can perhaps immediately see the photo, and the friend, in the meantime, has a chance to wander back and un-tag it.
A free Net may depend on some wisely developed and implemented locks and a community ethos that secures the keys to those locks among groups with shared norms and a sense of public purpose rather than in the hands of one gatekeeper.
We need better options for securing the Internet. Instead of looking primarily for top-down government intervention, we can enlist the operators and users themselves.
When I think about privacy on social media sites, there’s kind of the usual suspect problems, which doesn’t make them any less important or severe; it’s just we kind of know their shape, and we kind of know how we’re going to solve them.
Instead of using new technologies to preserve for ready discovery material that might in the past never have been stored, or deleting everything as soon as possible, we can develop systems that place sensitive information beyond reach until a specified amount of time has passed or other conditions are met.
One repressive state after another has had to face the dilemma of wanting abundant Internet for economic advancement, while ruing the ways in which its citizens can become empowered to express themselves fearlessly.
The ability to make new work from old work – especially if that new work is different enough that it doesn’t dent the market for the old work – is something that benefits all creators, since so few can claim not to have a giant or 10 supporting them underneath.
Facebook draws from the public and public-interest sphere, a simultaneously bold and modest step towards acknowledging that our new networked technologies deeply affect our lives in ways not always captured or best shaped by the typical template of consumer and seller.
If you entrust your data to others, they can let you down or outright betray you.
The crucial legacy of the personal computer is that anyone can write code for it and give or sell that code to you – and the vendors of the PC and its operating system have no more to say about it than your phone company does about which answering machine you decide to buy.