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  • Gerrit Eicker 08:07 on 29. July 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , TOS, ,   

    #PlusGate 

    Google Plus likes to escape its homemade identity crisis, but #PlusGate keeps trending; http://eicker.at/PlusGate

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:07 on 29. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Horowitz: “Last night, Robert Scoble shared some information based on his conversation with Vic Gundotra. That post went a long way toward clearing the air, and we want to thank many of you for your feedback and support. … We’ve noticed that many violations of the Google+ common name policy were in fact well-intentioned and inadvertent and for these users our process can be frustrating and disappointing. So we’re currently making a number of improvements to this process – specifically regarding how we notify these users that they’re not in compliance with Google+ policies and how we communicate the remedies available to them. … Second, we’re looking at ways to improve the signup process to reduce the likelihood that users get themselves into a state that will later result in review. … We’ll keep working to get better, and we appreciate the feedback – and the passion – that Google+ has generated.”

      Winer: “There’s a very simple business reason why Google cares if they have your real name. It means it’s possible to cross-relate your account with your buying behavior with their partners, who might be banks, retailers, supermarkets, hospitals, airlines. To connect with your use of cell phones that might be running their mobile operating system. To provide identity in a commerce-ready way. And to give them information about what you do on the Internet, without obfuscation of pseudonyms.

      Wired: “After a steady stream of angry blog posts and heated debate among its own users over the value of pseudonymity on the web, Google announced Monday that it was revising its ‘real name’ policy, at least for display, on Google+. … Google’s response aims to try to make social identification nearly as nuanced and granular as its approach to sharing content has been. Users can already add nicknames to their profile, as well as ‘other names’… Let’s be clear, though: All of these changes affect only the public display of identity to other users and the open web. Google itself still wants your full identity, or at least as much identity information as possible. Other users may only get partial glimpses at your multiple and overlapping identities, as well as the information you share. Google gets everything. … Under the banner of increased privacy and user control, it solicits information from you that, were it viewable by everyone in your networks, you would most likely keep to yourself. – Well, now we’ve given you almost everything, Google. Please don’t be evil.

      EFF: “A new debate around pseudonymity on online platforms has arisen as a result of the identification policy of Google+, which requires users to identify by ‘the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you’. This policy is similar to that of Facebook’s which requires users to ‘provide their real names and information.’ Google’s policy has in a few short weeks attracted significant attention both within the community and outside of it, sparking debate as to whether a social platform should place limits on identity. … It is well within the rights of any company – Google, Facebook, or otherwise – to create policies as they see fit for their services. But it is shortsighted for these companies to suggest that ‘real name’ policies create greater potential for civility, when they only do so at the expense of diversity and free expression. Indeed, a shift toward crafting policies requiring ‘real’ names will have a chilling effect on online free expression.

      Hinckley: “This whole persona/pseudonym argument may seem like a tempest in a teapot, but the fact is, the forum for public discourse is no longer the town hall, or newspaper, or fliers on the street. It is here on the Internet, and it is happening in communities like this, hosted by private sector companies. Freedom of speech is not guaranteed in these places. As Lawrence Lessig once said, ‘the code is the law.’ The code that Google applies, the rules they set up now in the software, are going to influence our right to speak out now and in the future. It is imperative that we impress upon Google the importance of providing users with the same rights (and responsibilities) as exist in the society that nurtured Google and brought about its success. … Behind every pseudonym is a real person. Deny the pseudonym and you deny the person.

      WSJ: “Actually, compared with Google’s other recent forays into the world of social media, Google+ has done pretty well. It took Buzz and Wave just a few hours before they began to be overwhelmed with bad publicity. It has taken a month for the knives to come out for Google+.

      TC: “Google Minus – Each of the past three weeks, we’ve been seeing less and less traffic referred. And that’s with the overall network supposedly growing. – Part of that may be Google’s own fault. They really screwed up the brand situation. They even gutted one of our employees who just wanted to share content. – It would be hard to overstate just how important this second phase of Google+ is for Google. While they’re not a small startup limited by resources and money, they still only get one chance to make a first impression. In the first two weeks, that impression was very good. In the last two, not as good.

    • Gerrit Eicker 08:28 on 2. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NWW: “Google continues to suspend pseudonymous Profile accounts that are not real names, judging from today’s suspension of ‘Botgirl Questi‘, the avatar name of a well-known SL blogger. In real life, Botgirl is David Elfanbaum, co-founder of a high tech consultancy called Asynchrony Solutions. … ‘Out of 50,000 people who may be familiar with me, 95% know me as Botgirl Questi. So theoretically under their existing policy, it should be my real life account that got suspended.’ (Google’s rules state the profile name should be one ‘that you commonly go by in daily life.’) Also, Elfanbaum adds, ‘I’m in solidarity with the majority of those with avatar identities who have not linked with real life.‘”

      Botgirl Questi: “My new site aggregating #plusgate #nymwars posts and articles. Please /cc me on new links that I should add.

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:58 on 4. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Guardian: “Google+ pseudonym wars escalate – is it the new being ‘banned from the ranch’? – The list of blocked users is what is now being referred to as the NymWars extends to some fairly influential users. Most embarrassingly for Google, the latest is Blake Ross, co-founder of Firefox, who was inexplicably blocked from the service on Wednesday night. He trumps even William Shatner. … It’s risky for Google to take what feels like a hardline approach, for two reasons. Firstly, many of the users it is now penalising for using online monikers are valuable, influential early adopters – and Google really needs them to be on side. Secondly, given the battle for this space, and how Google+ needs to prove itself by getting to a critical mass of people as quickly as possible, it can’t afford to lose momentum.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 11:17 on 6. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The Atlantic: “The kind of naming policy that Facebook and Google Plus have is actually a radical departure from the way identity and speech interact in the real world. They attach identity more strongly to every act of online speech than almost any real world situation does. … [I]n real life, we expect very few statements to be public, persistent, and attached to your real identity. Basically, only people talking on television or to the media can expect such treatment. And even then, the vast majority of their statements don’t become part of the searchable Internet. … [P]seudonyms allow statements to be public and persistent, but not attached to one’s real identity. – I can understand why Google and Facebook don’t want this to happen. It’s bad for their marketing teams. … They are creating tighter links between people’s behavior and their identities than has previously existed in the modern world.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 07:06 on 13. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      BB: “+Soulja Boy, +T-Pain, and other pop celebrities won’t have a problem using Google+ with their stage names, but internet-eccentrics who’ve been known in the world by non-normal names for years can’t get a break – in some cases, even when those ‘weird’ names are in fact their legal names. Tim Carmody of Wired has the latest on Google+ nymwars. Yes, it’s still in beta, but boy oh boy do they seem determined to screw this pooch.

      Gizmodo: “Google’s Real Names Policy is Evil – Google’s horrible new policy on using real names in Google+ effectively means that the service is now a danger to real people. You have to ask yourself why a company that pledged to not be evil would do this. … Forget social networking, the big goldmine of the future is online identity verification. This could be Google prioritizing getting ahead in that race over its users’ preferences and safety. – In other words, it’s Google putting money and greed over humanity. It’s Google being evil. … The easy answer, of course, is simply to not use Google+. And I’m quite sure some people will posit that as a solution. But there are two reasons that’s not the answer. – First, Google is too big and too important. … Second, and this is related to the first, is that Google+ is a community. And we as a society we have a duty to work to make our communities free and open.”

      RWW: “Google’s Joseph Smarr refers us to this video interview (at 9:30) he did with Alex Howard, where among other things he offers the following explanation. (Thanks to Carolyn Martin for the transcription.) – ‘It’s not just enough to offer the ability to post under a pseudonymous identifier. If you’re going to make the commitment that we’re not going to out your real identity, that actually takes a lot of work, right? Especially if you’re using your real account to log in, and then posting under a pseudonym. And so we feel a real responsibility that if we’re gonna make the claim to people, ‘it’s safe, you’re not gonna get outed’, that we really think through the architecture end to end and make sure that there aren’t any loopholes or gotchas where all of a sudden you get outed. And that’s actually a hard thing to do in software. And so, I think that’s [ ] an angle people often miss … we don’t want to do it wrong so we’d rather wait until we get it right.’ – Does that sound like Google might change this policy in the future? I’ve followed up with Smarr to ask for more details.

  • Gerrit Eicker 21:48 on 16. March 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , TOS, , , , ,   

    Twitter’s Ecosystem 

    Loukide: Restricting developers undermines the ecology that made Twitter valuable; http://eicker.at/TwittersEcosystem

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 17:41 on 22. October 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , 37signals, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , LDAP, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , TOS, , , ,   

    Facebook Groups for Enterprises? 

    Zuckerberg: Not today, [Facebook Groups] is not designed to be an enterprise product. So, what about tomorrow? http://eicker.at/x

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 13:26 on 26. October 2010 Permalink | Reply

      RWW: “Mark Zuckerberg, interviewed on the subject of Facebook Groups, told GigOm’s Liz Gannes ‘Yeah, well maybe this will replace Socialcast! [laughs] Not today, this isn’t designed to be an enterprise product.’‘Facebook Groups actually strengthens the case for Yammer,’ says Yammer CEO David Sacks. He points out that if organizations don’t adopt their own enterprise social networking systems ‘Your employees may start using a public platform that you have no control over.‘ He encourages to organizations to formulate an internal social networking policy and set aside funds to purchase enterprise social networking software. … All enterprise SaaS solutions involve putting intellectual property on someone else’s servers, but Facebook will need an enterprise friendly TOS before this behavior is actively condoned by corporate users. … Then there’s that qualifier ‘yet’ in Zuckerberg’s statement. Someday, with tighter, more integrated access controls and an enterprise friendly TOS, Facebook might give enterprise collaboration companies something to lose sleep over.”

      Rodriguez, Clearvale: “On the low-end, Facebook Groups is likely to put pressure on vendors that provide simple collaboration tools – for example, 37Signals, Ning, and Google. We’ll have to see how much pressure – some of these tools are quite popular and quite good. But on the higher end of the market – the part of the market that sells to the enterprise – the disruption is likely to be more subtle. The enterprise will require a whole lot more functionality, and more in the way of privacy and security. But Facebook Groups could help evangelize the new architectural requirements for business collaboration. It wouldn’t be the first time that Facebook taught the business community something about collaboration – think of all the Enterprise 2.0 vendors who cannot resist telling customers that they are a ‘Facebook for the enterprise’? But the new lesson from Facebook – obvious to some, but not yet clear to many – is that collaboration with people outside your company needs to be in the cloud – how else would you be able to freely connect and collaborate with them?

      Cannell, Gartner: “For me, the biggest reason Facebook is exciting (from an enterprise perspective) is because it is establishing a new widely recognizable online interaction pattern (consisting of streams of status messages and activity notifications). Enterprise collaboration products that have been providing group-focused workspaces for many years are being refitted to tap into the broad familiarity of Facebook. If they can provide something that behaves like Facebook then people will be more comfortable using it and will more easily recognize its benefits. The rebranding of enterprise wikis as enterprise social software is just one example of where this is happening. If Facebook Groups succeeds then expect enterprise products to soon follow by providing similar experiences. – Personally, I would love to see Facebook Groups succeed. Not for the sake of Facebook, but for the sake of enterprises trying to use their intranets for something like Facebook.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:02 on 28. December 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , PII, , Privacy Theater, , , , , TOS,   

    Privacy Theater 

    Khare: Our social networks have traded away our privacy for mere privacy theater; http://j.mp/PrivacyTheater

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:07 on 28. December 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Khare: “As long as the same information that social networks piously prohibit their own customers from using is being bought and sold on the open market by giant marketing companies, social networks are only pretending protect your privacy. … Last week’s headlines brought news that RockYou had accumulated 32,603,388 identities over the past few years – and negligently stored them in plaintext in an incompetently protected database. … After all, the advent of social networks’ partner APIs was supposed to make impersonation and scraping obsolete.In an ideal world, a third party developer shouldn’t have to store any personally-identifiable information (PII). In many jurisdictions, PII is akin to toxic waste, because of the regulatory burdens and civil, even criminal, liability for acquiring and disposing of it. … If PII is so hard to protect, then the only way for social networks to protect their users’ privacy must be to prohibit partners from accessing contact information in the first place. … Naturally, I prefer to think of myself as one of the ‘good guys.’ I prefer to believe that privacy protection is a competitive advantage that users (citizens!) really value. Until this outrageous RockYou breach, I didn’t fully realize how irrelevant that is. … If the industry expects self-regulation to forestall government regulation, well, here’s what I think it would take: An immediate ban on all of RockYou’s applications by all of their partners, pending a public audit of all of their apps. That’s taking a page from the audit provisions of LinkedIn’s ToS and adding sunlight by publishing the results.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:45 on 21. September 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , TOS, ,   

    The Price of Using Twitter 

    The latest changes to its TOS make clear the true price of using the micro-blogging platform Twitter; http://j.mp/2vDjiw

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 07:42 on 27. February 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , TOS,   

    The Facebook TOS: Open Developement? 

    The Facebook TOS: now opened up for user input. Zuckerberg: “We do not own user data“; http://tr.im/gPEp  

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:43 on 27. February 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Zuckerberg: “We do not own user data, they own their data. We never intended to give that impression and we feel bad that we did.”

      Mashable: “Between the publishing of new rights and responsibilities and a commitment to keep users informed of changes to its Terms of Service, it’s clear Facebook has listened to users, and is going above and beyond to try and convince them that a similar situation won’t happen again. Now the ball is in their court to deliver on these promises.””

      RWW: “Facebook said today that policy changes in the future will be voted on if they stir up enough comments to warrant it. There is no clear public standard for what will be voted on, no details about how the voting will work, etc. Perhaps more important, voting about changes to Facebook may not always be a good idea. … One of the questions asked during the press phone call today concerned privacy laws. How would Facebook deal with different privacy laws in different locations? The company said they would follow whatever laws were in place where a user lived. On the face of it that might not sound so bad, but in practice a promise to always follow the law is in direct contradiction with the company’s goals of changing the world. … Mark Zuckerberg is a young man at the helm of a huge company, touching hundreds of millions of lives all over the world, at a time of dramatic social upheaval caused in large part by the kind of technology he is helping create. That’s no small job. We hope he can pull it off.”

      ST: “After a huge revolt from its users over a naked user content grab, Facebook is now instituting a supposed ‘open, transparent, and democratic’ set of Terms of Service. – Nothing could be more fake, more closed, more manipulative – and ultimately more authoritarian – than what they are calling ‘democracy’. It’s a loopy geek’s idea of democracy incorporating various utopian ideals they have absorbed here and there from the extremist left (and right!) ideologues they seem most exposed to on the Internet – and hopefully it will sink of its own weight and/or be overthrown.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:23 on 18. February 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , TOS,   

    Facebook Reverts 

    Facebook cancels its new, reverts to its previous TOS; http://tr.im/gsqshttp://tr.im/gsqu  

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 15:34 on 18. February 2009 Permalink | Reply

      NYT: “After a wave of protests from its users, the Facebook social networking site said on Wednesday that it would withdraw changes to its so-called terms of service concerning the data supplied by the tens of millions of people who use it.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:01 on 18. February 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , TOS,   

    Facebook TOS 

    Does Facebook polls its users on the new TOS? If so, the result seems to be clear: http://tr.im/gsg5  

     
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