– Dominic Holden catches another Seattle Times reporter failing to do her job properly when covering a drug bust.
– Ezra Klein on the gap between young liberal Jews and older Zionists.
– As a fairly frequent Facebook user, I’ve been trying to follow the backlash against the company over its privacy concerns. One thing I certainly agree with the anti-Facebook camp about is that the application is buggy – as hell. It’s probably the buggiest web interface I’ve ever used, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the security is just as bad. But what I’m not sure I fully grasp yet is the actual threat posed by having the information we put on Facebook shared with third parties.
I deal with issues like this in my day job (I’m an IT manager at a financial services company), so I tend to see a distinction between the importance of keeping something like financial information private and not letting a marketing person determine which demographics are most likely to say they like The Jonas Brothers and Lost. If Facebook is not properly securing user passwords, or collecting enough information from people that identity theft becomes easy for a hacker, that’s one thing (and that may be true, but I haven’t seen that alleged yet). But I tend not to put anything on Facebook that I wouldn’t say out loud on a Metro bus. Someone who had access to my profile could learn a bit about me, but I don’t see how they’d have anything of any real value besides a few data points for doing large scale analytics.
Maybe I’m just different from most people in that respect. It doesn’t bother me much if people I don’t know see my pictures, but others probably do. Facebook very blatantly defaults to having things public rather than the other way around. But I think we should recognize that this approach is why Facebook succeeded. When people began setting up their networks, it was remarkably easy to find your friends and get hooked up with people you haven’t seen in years. A community web site that tried harder to protect people’s privacy just wouldn’t have taken off the way Facebook did.