Monthly Archives: February 2009

Facebook receded to the previous terms of use

Following public reaction facebook reverts back to previous terms of use (revision 23rd September 2008). Check the following links if you like:

Cunsumerist blog

blog post by Mark Zuckerberg (facebook official creator) receding to previous terms of use

I will make a post discussing this terms soon, as there are still major concerns and issues.

Knowledge is power. We have to resist and decide a human-centric internet space. We don’t want terms of use imposed by the big brother. Nobody has the right to manipulate the human need for social networking for harming people or profiting. We demand respect and dignity. It is our right. New social media do not mean modern slavery.


The awful hypocrisy of facebook

I consider myself as not techno-phobic and open to new ideas and monster_maskevolutions in our social interactions. However, from time to time I hear concerns about human rights in facebook social network. So I looked at the terms of use of facebook. This is something I should have done before joining this social network, but I remember I press the button “I agree with terms of use” mechanically, anyway I was eagerly wanting to learn about this new social media and in any case I could leave later If I wouldn’t like it (so naive to think so!). So now I read the terms of use (last revised on February 4, 2009) and I feel very angry. Although I have no law expertise I think there is no respect to human and individual’s rights. Below are the sections that drive me mad (from February 4th, 2009 revision).

“We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change or delete portions of these Terms at any time without further notice. Your continued use of the Facebook Service after any such changes constitutes your acceptance of the new Terms.” What this means? Do I have to check the terms of use everyday to see if there is a revision? Is this possible? Why guys you impose such a term? Wouldn’t have been more fair to send a notification mail when there is a revision? Why facebook wants to be able to change terms without noticing users? This term makes me suspicious, at least.

“If you are between the ages of 13 and 17, we strongly suggest that you seek parental consent to use the Facebook Service.” This is a term to laugh with. I thin it is not applicable. There is no teenager who is going to ask for parental consent. I think facebook wants to show that is responsible but I think this term is a pure hypocrisy. The ages between 13 and 17 are were the future and best clients are recruited and of course facebook doesn’t want to miss them. But what a hypocrisy!

“You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you … (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising …” Again I want to state that I am not a lawyer but I think this is very bad and dangerous. No respect to my personality. Why not to have a social media service that respects my rights and treats me like a human being? I want to own the intellectual rights of my personal photos, of my own thoughts and of my own artifacts.

Of course in terms of use it is clear stated that use of the service is at my own risk. And I could have chosen not to join. I voluntarily joined this social network and agreed with terms of use. To some extent this is right. But users join facebook or continue to flock to facebook, because it’s there where their friends are. So everybody can deny facebook but there is a social pressure. Remember the term about ages 13 to 17. These are the ages where people are more vulnerable to social pressure. Teens are doing what their classmates are doing. They are imitating and try to appear cool and renowned. May be there is a choice for me not to join facebook. But for a teenager there is not such a choice. That’s why it is a great hypocrisy.

Another concern I have is the possibility of leaving facebook. Well actually you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave… Users of facebook are unable to completely their profiles, even after “deactivating” their accounts. The users’ personal information (including photos) remains on facebook’s servers even after a user deactivates his/her account, though no longer “accessible”. However, the account can be activated again at any time. Users who wish to completely remove their private information must log in and delete manually all profile’s content, then deactivate the empty account. However, email information persists. May be in no other social network is so difficult to delete your account. Steven Mansour provides further info of how to get rid of facebook in his “2504 steps to closing your facebook account” (www.stevenmansour.com).

I don’t like the idea of letting a private cooperation (even a public orginization) owns my private data and handle it in a malicious way. And I don’t like facebook to disrespect my human rights. And I don’t like a company to capitalize and utilize my human need for social networking in the information society. I want a hybrid society human-centric not company-centric. New social media does not necessarily means less human rights and knowledge is power. We have to demand our rights granted or move to other social networks.


New social media: person, group, society & science under transformation

the-art-of-scientific-research1


Global Audience vs. Local Sharing vs. Self Reflection

Modern blogs and web 2.0 sites are media that offer us the opportunity to distribute our blog11thoughts, suggestions, opinions, novels, poems and artifacts to a potential global audience. A blog post can easily be read (or actually accessed and seen) by many many guys.

Sharing a thought, a poem or anything personal in a closed circle of friends or acquaintances is a quite different process leading to a totally different lived experience. Even publishing in a local community through a local paper magazine is quite different to internet blogging.

Modern cyber culture offers new ways of expression which are not mutual exclusive with the traditional ones. However human time is limited so blogging actually results to the reduction of other ways of communication, such as local publishing or live face to face sharing. This is bad or good?

The available media to express our thoughts are determined by the specific cultural-historical context and cannot easily be compared. Sometimes we have to go with the flow, otherwise we gonna be swept off. We are determined by the flow and we co-determine the flow, but we cannot ignore it.

Once upon a time, in 80’s, I was going to my neighborhood’s shop to buy a magazine and get the information I was looking for. I still enjoy reading a magazine or a book when I have time (rarely unfortunately). But I cannot ignore internet resources, blogs and sites, where I get up to date knowledge, hear different individual’s opinions and have access to collaborative work.

I feel nice when I read a beuatiful poem in a blog’s post. But I don’t feel unique, although sometimes I wanted. Nevertheless, I feel happy being able to share my thoughts in this blog and have the opportunity to listen to different points of you. It is something controversial…


Semantic Pain, Human Society…

tragedy-in-lebanon-15GGG stands for Giant Global Graph. It is a term first used by Tim Berners-Lee the guy who is considered as inventor of WWW. The word Graph may be is more suitable to describe the multimodal connections between persons in online social networks like myspace and facebook, instead of the term Web. But this is a matter of convention. The term Web is, nevertheless, used metaphorically to express the amazing amount of connections between documents and objects, representing, nowadays, persons, feelings and ideas in a semantic web.

According to many guys, Internet and the resulting web is the most succesful artifact ever created… Artifacts are central points in our lives because their ways of mediating the outside world and the internal psychological processes, according to Vygotsky. So Internet is altering us and we are forming Internet in a perpetual circle  of mutual determination. What we can observe and research on today is just an instant of this mutual negotiation.

However, despite the changes in our psychological processes, in our cognitive development and in our body, due to sitting all day in front of a computer screen, the feelings, the sense of happiness or misery, are sensed by our very corporal body, the body of the pre-historical, verbal inhabitant of this planet, the body of the industrial worker, the body innocent victims of today war crimes, the body of the digital-born teenager in the virtual community of facebook.

I feel the need to understand humans’ feeling and pain and I am looking for a better place to live, with dignity and respect to human feelings and lives, a place hybrid or not, does not matter, just a human society…