[Air-l] Facebook protests

Sarah Brooke Robbins intellagirl at gmail.com
Thu Sep 7 13:40:14 PDT 2006

The whole Facebook discussion is absolutely fascinating. I love how this
list thinks!

I was interviewed by our campus paper about it yesterday and among many of
the ideas already presented here I also expressed the importance of
"personal brand" management that today's die-hard internet user needs to
become acclimated to. I think what we're seeing with the Facebook backlash
is more about a maturation of personal data management than a problem with
"stalkerish" behavior. Digital social networks are rather new in the big
picture and it takes time for communities to acclimate to any such tool.
Sometimes it takes a shift like this one to make users more reflective and
critical of their use and that's never a bad thing in my book.

I also think it's truly fascinating that the protesters are using Facebook
itself as a tool to organize. There must be a sense of commitment to the
technology there that I haven't quite wrapped my brain around yet.

It's also important to see this reactionary behavior in a bigger sense.
Unlike an offline protest that would actually require folks to get out into
the street and organize, participating in an online revolt is often a
click,type,click level of participation. I could sign about a dozen online
petitions in ten minutes. How dedicated can I really be to the cause if this
is all the effort I have to put in to take part?

Sarah "Intellagirl" Robbins
Ball State University, Muncie IN

On 9/7/06, 'Gail Taylor <gdtaylor at uiuc.edu> wrote:
> I have a Facebook account. The feeds are being sent to others who are
> designated as being a 'friend', as opposed to everyone who might be a member
> of a larger user group (i.e., University of Illinois). Individual users
> control this designation by choosing to accept or decline an invitation to
> be someone's friend. What's interesting is that the people who seem to be
> joining the protest groups are those who have a large number of friends
> (200-plus), and also those who might have accepted invitations to be friends
> when the other person was an acquaintance of sorts.
> The number of friends one has is a status symbol for some students with
> Facebook accounts. This information has come out in conversations with
> undergrad students here on campus who have accounts. I get invitations to be
> friends with others here at the university who do not know me, but have
> heard about me from one of their friends, teachers, or other connections
> here on campus. It also appears this practice is one that is feeding
> feelings related to Facebook invading a person's privacy, as opposed to
> reconizing this software has been enabling this process all along through
> search and hyperlink functions.
> /Gail
> *****************************
> Gail D. Taylor, M.Ed.
> University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
> Human Resource Education Ph.D. Student
> Educational Psychology Teaching Assistant
> "We can't just have mainstream behavior
> on television in a free society. We have
> to make sure we see the whole panorama
> of human behavior." -- Jerry Springer
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Sarah "Intellagirl" Robbins
Yahoo: Intellagirl
Skype: Intellagirl
SecondLife: Intellagirl Tully

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