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Re: [Social-discuss] Comments: GNU social relationship manager

From: Luis A.
Subject: Re: [Social-discuss] Comments: GNU social relationship manager
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 00:46:51 -0500

On Wed, 2010-06-23 at 00:39 -0400, Matt Lee wrote:
> ## Scenario 2: Robin.
> Robin is a typical social networking user -- she has her friends and
> family on her network, including people she'd rather ignore. She does
> her best to keep up to date with Facebook's ever changing privacy
> policy and privacy setting changes, but often fails in this task,
> exposing her innermost thoughts to people she's too polite to delete
> from her network.

This is a very good start. It should behoove the project to make the
default settings to max-yet-usable privacy levels. From personal
experience, the "common" nontechnical user (think little sibling, mom
and dad, etc.) has no idea or interest to learn about privacy settings;
if he or she has even the vaguest notion of privacy to begin with. From
a design perspective, for "common" users, the privacy issue should be
out of their way and out of their radar. After all, nontechnical users
are the most vulnerable to the current social networks that exploit
their data. Most users just click "OK" on everything just to get to
wherever they're going on the site.

When privacy advocates cry foul, the current nonfree social networks can
say, "Oh, but it was clearly stated on section 500, subsection 80-D of
the TOS/Privacy Policy—conveniently located on our site's Legalese
Alchemy Dungeon—that by clicking 'OK' the user agrees to whatever we
say, even if we change our mind every 10 minutes; the user just didn't
read it!"

I don't mean this in a derogatory sense, but we have to seriously think
about default settings for the "lowest common denominator" of the user
spectrum, i.e., crank up the privacy. Conversely, for us technical
users, going into the settings and loosening up the default super
private defaults would be no big deal.

Keep up the good work!

Luis A. Morán Morales

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