Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Advice I should not follow: my brother's

There's lots of hub-bub about social media these days. I read most of it on Twitter. I read some of it on Facebook. I re-read a Facebook warning from Little_Brother.

It is worth noting I listened to my brother.

It is worth noting I followed his directions.

This may be a momentous day.

Okay, it wasn't.

First, Little_Brother advised everyone to update their Facebook privacy settings to keep their personal pictures out of the hands of ruthless third party advertisers. Second, I followed his advice and updated privacy settings (Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the log out link. Select PRIVACY. Then select NEWS FEEDS AND WALL. Next select the tab that reads FACE BOOK ADS. There is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Then SAVE your changes). Third, I checked it out.

Facebook's reply to me, "Worried about privacy? Your photos are safe. There have been misleading rumors recently about Facebook using your photos in ads. Don't believe them. These rumors were related to third-party applications, and not ads shown by Facebook. Get the whole story at the Facebook Blog, or check out the Help Center."

I clicked through to the blog. Basically, they said a rumor had begun spreading, the rumor was false, someone did misuse Facebook profile photos in ads—which violated their policies, those ads were removed. They also wanted it noted that the removal occurred, then the rumor started. I say, someone smelled cover-up, disgruntled employee, jealous competitor. Take your pick.

Let's just be clear. Before re-posting anything, vet it, investigate it, research it.

And please, hesitate before forwarding any email blast. Scope it, snope it (Snopes), and after you confirm it is TRUE, consider if it's really necessary. Don't be a lemming, don't follow the crowd, don't jump off the cliff.

Be original.

Start your own rumor.

And never, NEVER forward me what I call the-wisdom-of-the-internet-email with a gazillion people's emails included. Just don't do it. I will value you and your correspondence far greater if you email or post a comment: just-thinking-about-you-wanted-to-say-hi.


So, now what to do with all those rumors... I know you're itching to post them somewhere. Okay, permission granted. Send them to Big_Brother. He likes 'em.



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