Posts Tagged ‘Search graph’

The Internet is Public

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

That shouldn’t be a shocking statement by now. 2012, specifically, was a year where the lines between what was private and public online were especially blurred. It raised questions about the privacy of minors and adults who are active in social media.  Writers for Jezebel made it nationally known how easy it was to use hashtags to find out who made racist comments about the president on  Twitter. Programmers and data scientists were able to come together and create a website called NoHomophobes.com that tracks homophobic comments through Twitter as well. Taking a step back from the fact that all the things listed were offensive, this raises important questions about how much responsibility individuals should have for what they share on personal but public accounts.

In both the circumstances  listed above, Twitter hashtags were combined with nonexistent privacy settings  to create both the article and the website. The two projects listed above were only possible when the users left their profiles public. People have a right to be public online. They also have a right to say protected speech. Unfortunately, too many people have forgotten that the Internet is a sound box that records what you say and allows everyone on the Internet to replay it. Over and over again.  And unfortunately they chose to say very negative things.

But the investigative data mining that solely belonged to Twitter will now get its turn on Facebook. Facebook has started to roll out its new search engine, linking its users in a social graph. Through the new service you’ll be able to search for friends and connections through likes, comments, locations, photos and more.  On the outside, that actually seems pretty cool. I can look up all my friends who  live in my area that are fans of the beloved but short lived show named Pushing Daisies, just in case I want to have a heated discussion about it one day. The social graph can be seriously beneficial.

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