What people forget about Google+ and Facebook

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I’m writing today about an article I read on ZDNet, linked here.
Well, I have to admit, I saw this article and it made me happier than I’ve been in recent memory regarding articles about Google+.

In particular Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO states, quite simply on Google’s site “…people who are concerned about their safety, G+ is completely optional. No one is forcing you to use it. It’s obvious for people at risk if they use their real names, they shouldn’t use G+.”
This statement is in response to Googles recent policy regarding Google+ that requires people to use their real leagal names, not anonymous aliases.

Seriously, I’ve been telling people this for years that you dont own the content you put onto facebook!

It would be like this: I buy a house and tell you that you can come around and relax anytime you want. You can use my pens and paper to make art, and you can even draw identical copies of your personal art with my stuff. Now, remember that you don’t own any of those materials or the place where it is stored. It was never implied that you do own it, and you never used any of your own stuff to make it, yet you have willingly provided it and you’re free to come around and view or add to it anytime you like. Here’s the thing: It’s not yours… which means you have no say about what is done with it.

If I choose to sell your artwork to my neighbour, or your lovingly crafted copies of whatever you chose to produce, its not yours to decide what I do with it. I don’t even need to ask you. You could say this is a bit of a ‘dick move’, and I would agree, it is somewhat… But that isn’t the issue here.
The issue is that you dont own this content, the same that you dont own the system or the tools used to upload that content.

Here is some detail from the original ZDNet article:

The problem with social networks is that while it is definitely wrong for them to sell your data/content without telling you first or providing a way for you to opt-out of said data sale, the internet to me often feels like the “land of not taking responsibility for one’s own actions.” In all honesty, I’m more often than not appalled at the hypocrisy (and irony) of most users of social networks. The freedom of being online and getting access to something for free also appears to perpetuate an irrational sense of entitlement out of users that I find amusing for the most part, but it’s generally annoying.



1. Social networks owe you nothing. If a company creates a free website for you to sign up and be a part of, they reserve the right to create and implement whatever policies they want. If it’s all documented and made available to the public, the users have no real rights other than being informed about what is being done with their data.



2. Life is about choices folks. If you choose to create an account on a social network on your own accord, and then also decide to publish what you’d consider personal photos, videos, content, etc. – That was your choice to do so. No one held you at gunpoint (er…hopefully not), forcing you to create a Facebook account followed by populating it with your own content. You chose to. There’s a reason why some people never get on social networks or if they do, they hardly post anything. They’re making the choice of what to share because they know it’s their own responsibility.


3. You are being logged. Make no mistake: the moment you create an account anywhere, not just on social networks, you are signing up to be part of a human data collection experiment. Data collected will be used to figure out how to make money. End of story. If you can embrace that fact and be cool with it, then welcome to the current state of the internet party.


4. It is called a SOCIAL network for a reason. I always find it funny when people create an account on a social network and then feverishly lock everything down as tight as possible and hardly share anything. It’s like going to a business mixer or a family function or a get together with your friends where, immediately after you arrive, you go find a dark corner to hang out in by yourself until everyone leaves. In short, why bother?

Final Note:
I don’t claim to have written any quoted article, and I also don’t claim to own the articles content.
Any quotations used are just that, quotes of the original writer.

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