i’m making some noise!

A number of weeks ago, Melanie McBride suggested that I make some noise about Web 2.0 technologies and user rights. I am an avid user of these technologies who appreciates the level of engagement of social media, and a scholar who would like to continue to implement these computer-mediated communication tools as regular instruments to my foreign language teaching and learning repertoire.

Last fall, after exploring Facebook for a number of months, I was put off by it for a number of reasons, in particular the excessive spam continuously received after adding modules…and that was extremely frustrating given that the modules are fantastic and that is one of the greatest features of FB. OK, I am sure there is an academic use of FB that I could have contrived, but I tired of it before I could investigate it further and develop something. In addition to this, a NY Times article from December 2007, I posed the question “Is Facebook Public?” and found this concern to be quite valid as a researcher/scholar. Then, with other FB issues “Leaving is hard to do” as a former user I do feel that I have no rights. 

So then, what options to I have? Not to participate? That would be wholly unacceptable to me, as I am a technophile / Web 2.0 aficionado. There is a call to create a personal policy that gives users rights and real options (I strongly urge you all to complete the survey Social media: Essential user controls) because we have every right to control and own what we choose to share. We tend to show greater ownership when it comes to e-commerce but not social media. I wonder why?

P.S. Did you ever notice that after you delete a tweet on Twitter, it actually doesn’t “disappear”… compare my archived tweets of less than 48 hours ago….


to those from tweetscan…


@biz what’s going on?

2 pensieri riguardo “i’m making some noise!

  1. Wow, thanks for the plug! I wish I’d gotten to this sooner.

    I appreciate you “making some noise” – we ALL must make noise about user controls, privacy and terms of service that are top down, corporate and not designed with our interests or needs in mind but the needs of third party advertisers and etc.

    I sent many messages to Twitter to ask if they might create a Twitter “expiry” feature for posts. User’s could manually select different expiry options (one hour, one day, one week, one month or never). That way, we could all feel more trust in this system which should be largely ephemeral.

    It’s being marketed as a fun tool. But in reality, the things we tweet about aren’t necessarily things we’d post in our blogs. It all seems seductively harmless. But is it?

    Also beware of the following coercive statements:

    1. If you don’t like it leave
    2. It’s corporate, it’s evil. You knew that when you signed up!
    3. There’s nothing you can do. They’ll never listen.
    4. You shouldn’t be worried unless you’ve got something to hide!
    5. Don’t be a buzzkill. Get with the program and shut up.
    6. You’re just a complainer.
    7. You just want attention.
    8. Nobody else seems to have a problem with it.
    9. Get a life!
    10. You’re just a luddite. You hate technology.

    All of these responses have been yielded at some point either by the developers or those who adore authority (in some form or another. Also, think about the particular political ideologies that oppose resistance, activism or challenges to abuse of power. Anybody who would oppose another’s right to challenge inequity is taking part in inequity.

    I wrote quite a lengthy post about all of this, which my name above links to.

  2. Melanie, as always, I appreciate your comments and your posts. I whole-heartedly agree that our tweets are not our blog posts. For the most part what we tweet is viewed by our community of followers and is perceived by the reader to be harmless or not. Just like advertising, news and all other forms of media. Remember when in December 2007 it was banned in the UAE?

    And, of course, the statements you present are so representative of people on power trips. Looking at the big picture might cut into their power, profits and potency.


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