Report: Facebook calls all-hands privacy meeting

Facebookers will reportedly all gather together Thursday to discuss the company's difficult circumstances concerning privacy. Will changes be announced?

This should be fun. Public fun, one hopes.

According to AllFacebook.com, all those with hearts, hands, and minds at Facebook are being called together for a mutual poking session on the increasingly troubling subject of privacy. This is said to be taking place Thursday at 4 p.m. Pacific Time.

While Eilliot Schrage, the company's vice president of public policy, tried to answer some questions about privacy posed by readers of The New York Times this week, it appears that some at Facebook, as well as those in the real world, might be feeling a tad queasy.

Giving the people the power? CC David Berkowitz/Flickr

Schrage's rationalization that "joining Facebook is a conscious choice by vast numbers of people who have stepped forward deliberately and intentionally to connect and share" has caused many to share the thought that perhaps Facebook's slightly strange, bamboozling attitude to privacy requires a little more simplicity and clarity.

Many are also sharing the thought that they would still prefer to choose with whom they share things, rather than have Facebook do the choosing for them.

A particularly pungent and personal criticism of Mark Zuckerberg was offered by blogger Jason Calacanis, while others have suggested that there must be an open alternative to Facebook's rogue behavior.

What might emerge from this meeting is an answer to the question: is Facebook bad at presentation or obfuscation? One of the greater difficulties of the introduction of the Open Graph and instant personalization is Facebook's rather entertaining idea that these somehow increase your privacy, rather than, for example, letting Yelp know a few more of your personal details when you happen to happen upon its site.

AllFacebook.com speculates that changes to the latest changes (something of a Facebook pattern) may be announced at this meeting.

There are those, I am sure, who would dearly love for this meeting to enjoy the conscious choice of a live transmission, shared with everyone on Facebook. That way, people might better understand the company's deliberations and intentions.

 

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