Some smart feedback from the network on my Facebook + CBC post. First, an anonymous old friend writes:
It would be nice to see something easy and open-source like Facebook that people like my mom and that girl I went to high-school with could use. Perhaps you know of something? I’m glad to have access to the minutiae of your life out in the open. I wish more people outside of Facebook felt they had the skill or platform to do so.
Activists who would never consider eating meat or crossing a picket line think nothing of putting their entire communications infrastructure into the hands of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Rupert Murdoch. There are enormous practical problems with respect to communications security, data ownership, privacy, censorship of content, and data mining by both corporations and law enforcement agencies. From what I can see everyone from the left-liberal NGOs and environmentalists, to the unions, and over into the extraparliamentary anarchist and communist groups all have the same attitude: there is no problem. Move along. Shut up about it, you’re being a geek.
We need to be explaining these issues to people in a consistent and effective way. Perhaps explaining that it’s like holding all your political meetings at McDonalds, and ensuring that the police come and film you while you do so, would be one approach to take.