Saturday, December 01, 2007

Facebook Forced to Change

Do you ever wonder if your voice is heard when you have complaints? Well, a story today on the BBC website shows that when we band together we can make a difference. The complaints of regular people caused Facebook to stop using their private information.
Facebook is a very powerful brand and we the people stopped them dead in their tracks.

One of the reasons I have a blog is to be a force for positive change in the world. This is especially important when bid media are so busy attacking my values and beliefs. For example, a new book outlines the ways Nickelodeon has intentionally tried to teach kids to undermine parental authority. (See Kids Rule, by Sarah Banet-Weiser)

This is also why it is important to teach Christians how to wisely use their influence by blogging, writing letters to the editors and commenting on blogs. Take a look at this news story.

Facebook members have forced the social networking site to change the way a controversial ad system worked. More than 50,000 Facebook users signed a petition calling on the company to alter or abandon its Beacon advertising technology.

When Facebook users shopped online, Beacon told friends and businesses what they looked at or bought. Many considered the data sharing to be an intrusion that exposed them to more scrutiny than was comfortable.

Privacy please

In response to the demands, Facebook's 55 million members will have more control over whether data about what they do online is used for Beacon.

Before the changes, Beacon was an "opt out" system and many complained that they missed the chance to avoid using it when it was introduced in early November. Now Beacon will be an "opt in" system that only tracks data if explicit permission is granted to Facebook to do so.

So, the people won this battle. But it is not the last so get involved wisely.

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