Thursday, September 07, 2006

Xanga fined for letting kids under 13 get accounts

FTC fines Xanga for violating kids' privacy
$1 million penalty against social networking site is largest under 1998 law

MSNBC, Posted Sept 7, 2006, :
By Bob Sullivan, Technology correspondent

Excerpt: "In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Xanga, a rival to the popular, allegedly permitted creation of 1.7 million accounts by users who submitted birthdays indicating they were under 13. Collecting personal information from anyone under 13 without parental consent is a violation of the children's protection act, or COPPA, which was passed by Congress in 1998."

Facebook faces complaints about profile tracking feature

From The Chronicle Of Higher Education
Wired Campus Blog, September 6, 2006
New Facebook Feature Prompts Complaints
Excerpt: "Whether Megan changes her relationship status from “single” to “it’s complicated,” or Ike removes Must Love Dogs from his list of favorite movies, Facebook users can now find out on the “News Feed,” which compiles a list of profile updates on the Facebook home page. Complementing the News Feed is the “Mini-Feed,” which tracks a personal profile and documents the Facebook activity of that person.
Complaining that the features represent an invasion of privacy, upset users have created dozens of Facebook groups protesting the new features, which were introduced Tuesday morning. One of the largest groups has more than 225,000 members, a number that seems to grow by the second, who pledge not to update their profile until the new features are removed or significantly modified."

Follow up:
Facebook's Creator Admits That New Features Flopped, but College Officials Sense a Teachable Moment
By SAMANTHA HENIG, Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept 11 2006
Excerpt:The creator of Facebook, the popular social-networking Web site, responded on Friday to criticism of two new features that many users have attacked as a violation of their privacy.
Since a September 5 redesign that introduced the new features, users have been greeted by a "News Feed" when they log on to the site. Functioning like an RSS feed, the News Feed compiles a list of everything that everyone tagged as a friend has done on Facebook. Whether a friend changes his relationship status, updates his favorite books, comments on a photograph, or posts a message, that action is relayed through the News Feed.

Follow up:
Facebook and Other Social-Networking Sites Raise Questions for Administrators
Roundtable in: The Chronicle of Higher Education Sept 11 2006, By BROCK READ AND JEFFREY R. YOUNG
Excerpt: The attention that Facebook has generated has given college administrators plenty of incentive to consider whether their institutions should issue warnings about the site. The Chronicle recently discussed Facebook with a panel of officials who have wrestled with the issue.
Section: Information Technology
Volume 52, Issue 48, Page A29

Pop culture - Abbrev's in our speech?

OMG! LOL That was so awk!
Internet abbreviations find their way into common speech

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
(From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel), Posted: Sept. 4, 2006

Excerpt: "Not only is the Internet changing how we work and play, it's changing how we talk.
Most def, agrees Archna Eniasivam, 20, of Coral Springs, Fla.
That's "most definitely" for everyone still speaking in whole words.
Now that the Internet has fueled an explosion of written shorthand, verbal shorthand couldn't be far behind."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Academic - Using social sites to preview roommates

Judging Roommates by Their Facebook Cover
Freshmen go online to check out the students they will live with — and reach some early conclusions
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, dated September 1, 2006

Excerpt: "Some college officials say they are receiving more complaints than ever before, as students go online to collect personal information about their peers. This year many incoming freshmen used Facebook and MySpace, two social-networking Web sites, to do research on their future roommates.

Facebook was available only to college students until last September, when it was expanded to include high-school students. The site now has 7.5 million registered users, at 2,200 colleges and 22,000 high schools.

In the profiles that they create on Facebook and MySpace, students post photos, quotes, inside jokes, and lists of their favorite bands and TV shows.

While such informal online profiles can help strangers to break the ice before move-in day, they can also cause alarm. Now a student's fondness for cartoons or penchant for punk rock can annoy a roommate before the two ever meet. As a result, administrators are spending more time dealing with Facebook fretting before students even matriculate."