Facebook Applications: The Devil’s in the Details (Part 1)

September 9th, 2009 |


Jeff Louis is a strategic media planner, brand project manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. He's intrigued by innovation overcoming adversity, survival of the fittest brand, history, reading, and similar fun stuff. He writes for sites and is the Public Relations and Advertising writer for the Chicago Examiner.

Photobucket“Facebook Privacy ” is a bit like saying “Deafening Silence” or “Suicide Victim:”  The words contradict one another, yet they’re often used in the same sentence together.  As we race our way toward Social Media becoming a major part of our lives, we need to address the issues of information and privacy. First of all, let it be said that the best policy to use with Social Media is “Safety First.” Some sites are safer than others,of course, but to truly understand how privacy is administered, it is critical to read those ridiculously long “Terms of Use” statements. Why? Because once you hit the “Enter” button, you’ve accepted them, whether they’ve been read or not. Knowing that we tend not to deal with “trivial” matters, such as privacy, until it’s too late,  sometimes it’s a bonus to have watchdog groups interfering in our lives; in this case, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Though personally not a huge fan of the organization, supporters list the ACLU’s contributions to our society as:

“…the country’s leading watchdog in protecting civil liberties and preserving the Constitution; …protecting the freedoms and rights of all people; …one of the United States’ greatest defender of liberty against government abuse and extremist policies.”

Detractors state that the ACLU actively sabotages the Constitution by using “manipulation tactics” to undermine US courts. Whether a famous, or infamous, statistic, the ACLU has appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court more than any person, group, or entity (except for the Department of Justice.) In any event, there is one item on which the ACLU and I agree: Facebook  Privacy policy. The ACLU’s position comes on the heels of a Canadian court case regarding privacy:

Canadian legal professionals have filed a complaint against Facebook, accusing the social networking site of 22 separate privacy violations.

The privacy issue is not between users, but lies with the Application privileges that are allowed by Zuckerberg’s booming social site.

Facebook Application —The definition of facebook application is a platform for developers which provides a framework to interact with the core facebook features. These applications are on the most active social network website under the following categories: Alerts, Business, Chat, Classified, Dating, Education, Events, Fashion, File Sharing, Food and Drink, Gaming, Just for Fun, Messaging, Mobile, Money, Music, Photo, Politics, Sports, Travel, Utility, Video. Facebook applications have detailed descriptions, users ratings and reviews, wiki pages, detailed features, screen shots and a battle for its best used applications.

The application, below, is for “Causes:” Facebook Application

The problem, which should be glaringly obvious from the screen shot, is this:


Well, that is all for today. We will go into the problems encountered by the above statement in the next post.

Thank you for reading!

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Jeff Louis