You are absolutely right, Frank.
We all understand that there are security risks on a lot of sites. We even understand someone could impersonate us on Facebook.
What separates an excellent company from others is how the company deals with it. Let's hope that the pending IPO would help Facebook act more responsibly and maturely.
I think we all know that any entity that stores a lot of personal information about individuals -- like Facebook does -- is totally capable of play a "Big Brother" role.
The question is how much trust and faith we put in them, assuming that they would "do the right thing."
Clearly, in this case, Facebook failed to live up to our expectations.
My brother had an impersonator once too. I think nothing major happened. But I think he now uses another name just to avoid this kind of things. He's a TV artist so that's why he gets some attention, lucky for us who are not so famous and have not much to fear. Nevertheless quite interesting to read that Facebook is capable of playing "Big Brother" and tweak one's profile willingly. Yikes!
What Facebook has demonstrated to me is that there are some services that people want to be supplied by a single source. There is only one Facebook, the competition is miniscule in comparison. Clearly people want only one social networking hub.
This single 'black hole' effect is common in human behaviour, and has another feature: the 'herd' can spontaneously abandon one fashion for another. which will happen when FB gets just enough people disappointed that they switch to the next big thing. at that point Facebook will be history, and rebranding will not help.
FB's best move is to create a 'NEW FB' and get everyone to switch, offering better, more secure etc etc. Hell they could switch everyone automatically, its only software!
Come to think of it, the competition could switch us all over from FB without asking anyway, by the sound of it!
Junko, thanks a lot for this article. Really an eye opener. I think FB should comeup with something similar to twitter which has "verified" accounts. FB can charge a nominal amount to confirm the identity of the user.
As others have pointed out, anything you do online has risks. What makes this story newsworthy was how FB dealt with it, which strikes me as very odd. It's too bad they refused to comment on this matter.
I have stopped using Facebook for any personal reasons at all. I do need to use it for work, but that is an account that shares none of my personal information.
Facebook is always changing security policies without any notice and it is up to the user to go in and reset things if you want to keep them private.
In this day and age I have absolutely no expectation of privacy. Anything you send in an email or even do can be online in an instant is someone has a cell phone at the ready.
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