Facebook’s vision and it privacy
From a nice essay by Paul Ford in MIT’s Technology Review on Facebook, Facebook Home and its moral ‘vision’
Facebook’s self-reflexive utility explains why the company finds privacy so tricky. The freedom to read and experience things privately is essential to self-development, the core proposition of the Emersonian ideal to which the Palo Alto tradition is heir. But Facebook’s core proposition is that when we collectively build the social graph, everyone benefits. The exact nature of those gains is perplexing; the company’s commercials show a lot of young people touching and smiling. Something good.
It’s not simply the case that Zuckerberg is sneaky in his promotion of sharing and creepy in his ambivalence about privacy. Rather, he is a true believer. Privacy lowers the value of the social graph. If one sincerely believes in the merits of the graph, then one should be suspicious of privacy, because privacy is selfish.