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February 20, 2009

The Facebook Privacy Freakout, and MyKrauseFace.com


Facebook has its 175 million users in a tizzy because it actually went to the trouble of reminding people what it means when they put information on Facebook.


This returns us happily to the issue of privacy, an expectation people consider to be rock-solid and without possibility of adulteration even as they inform a user group bigger than almost every country in the world, “Esmeralda ended her relationship with Mark Skweebish,” or “David is clipping his toenails.”


CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently updated Facebook’s terms of use to remind people that when they post information on Facebook, it’s there forever. People freaked out.


My privacy! My priiiiiiiivacy!!!!!!!! I don’t want everyone to know I broke up with Steve!


And exactly how would they know that?


Oh, I just posted a change in my relationship status! Check it out!


Use Facebook as you wish. One guy in England changed his relationship status to single before getting around to telling his wife he was leaving her. Priorities!


But if you’re going to use social networking sites, it seems a little silly to have any expectation of privacy whatsoever. Zuckerman points out, for example, that when you send someone a private message on Facebook, you may delete your copy of it, but the other person still has theirs and there’s not a thing you can do about that.


The timing of this is fortuitous, because I have been preparing to launch my own social networking site, and I need to be up to speed on the leading issues regarding such sites. So with that in mind, I have put together the privacy policy for MyKrauseFace.com. When you sign up, as I know you all will, you will want to keep this policy in mind:


Privacy Policy



At MyKrauseFace.com, we deeply respect the expectation of privacy. There are few things that provide us with more hours of hilarity. Oh yes, we are laughing at you. But we’re not only laughing at the way you think. We’re using the information you post to play awesome practical jokes on you.


For instance, when you update your status to say, “Angus is going to smoke weed tonight,” well –you’re going to love this – we call the cops!


It’s good to be the keepers of information.


So just to make sure everyone’s on the same page, let’s leave no doubt: The information you post on MyKrauseFace.com belongs to us forever. When you list your employment information, we write that down and then contact your boss to tell him how many hours you’re spending on MyKrauseFace.com. When you list your relationship status as married, but you chat endlessly with that flirty little hussy two time zones over? Yeah, we tell your wife about that.


We also sell your e-mail address and send messages to your cell phone trying to sell you ring tones. Oh, and when you search for old girlfriends to see if they’re on here? You guessed it. We tell the old girlfriends and your wife!


Hey, we figure we might as well cut out the middleman. Everyone can tell what a doofus you are from the way you act on here anyway. We’re just trying to save you a little time and energy pretending.


Our privacy policy is that there is no such thing as privacy, but if you disagree, that’s OK too. Feel free to post a message on MyKrauseFace.com decrying our lack of respect for your need to be left alone. Millions will see it, as will we, and the next time we’re allocating resources for the enforcement of our privacy policy, be assured our memories are long. In fact, they last forever.


© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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