In Context: 5 Web Perspectives On A Story In The News

Zuckerberg photos hacked, Facebook security under fire again

(BBC) Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook account has been hacked despite recent claims from his company that security glitches had been fixed. Fourteen pictures from Zuckerberg's account were posted on the image-sharing site Imgur under the headline "It's time to fix those security flaws Facebook." One showed him meeting US President Barack Obama. Another showed him holding what appears to be a freshly killed chicken in his back yard (this year, he's chosen to only eat meat from animals he has personally slaughtered). The hackers capitalized on a bug in one of the social network's tools that allows users to report inappropriate images. Members of a bodybuilding forum initially discovered the bug and posted detailed instructions on how to view private photos. "The bug allowed anyone to view a limited number of another user's most recently uploaded photos irrespective of the privacy settings for these photos," read a statement from the company. " Upon discovering the bug, we immediately disabled the system and will only return functionality once we can confirm the bug has been fixed." The incident comes just a week after the Federal Trade Commission accused Facebook of deceptive practices and demanded regular audits of the company for the next 20 years.


What is social networking?
As is probably evident, the aim of this site is to define and raise awareness about social networking. It breaks down the pros and cons of this emerging method of communication. It also outlines the potential dangers of it, which include threats to personal security. It includes a sidebar with links to subpages such as Crime & Social Networking Sites, Cyber-Bullying, and Social Media & Privacy. It would serve as a good resource for those new to social networking - especially younger students. Despite the outdated look of this site, it has been consistently maintained, having been last updated on Dec. 2. Karen Brown, the website's curator, is based in Webster, Texas. Her contact information is provided on the site.


Privacy & Internet Life

Media Awareness Network
According to their About Us page, the Ottawa-based Media Awareness Network "is a Canadian non-profit organization that has been pioneering the development of media literacy and digital literacy programs since its incorporation in 1996." Team members have backgrounds in cultural policy, mass communication, education and journalism. The site itself is described as "one of the world's most comprehensive collections of media literacy and digital literacy resources." The lesson plan on the subpage in question raises awareness of online privacy issues, specifically those relating to giving out personal information on social networking sites. The overall aim of the lesson is to teach students how to protect their privacy online. Although the site was designed for students in grades 7 and 8, the information provided and the questions asked are relevant across the board. It was written by Matthew Johnson, a media education specialist, and funded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The lesson and all documents associated with it are available in PDF format.


Are you aware that advertisers are constantly tracking your online behaviour?

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
This is an official government website for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC). The Privacy Commissioner, currently Jennifer Stoddart, is an Officer of Parliament who reports to the House of Commons and the Senate, and is "an advocate for the privacy rights of Canadians." Her responsibilities include investigating complaints, conducting audits, and promoting public awareness and understanding of privacy issues. This subpage in particular addresses online privacy in relation to advertising. "Advertisers use various tracking technologies, such as HTTP cookies, Flash cookies, web beacons and deep packet inspection technology, to collect your online user data," reads the brief. "Each of these data-collection methods typically remains invisible to you." There are links to reports and publications, guidelines, research, tools and videos, privacy illustrations, consultations, privacy impact assessments and behavioural advertising. This is an excellent resource in general.


How to set your Facebook privacy settings

Facebook Privacy Settings
Have you set your Facebook privacy settings up? If not, you should. Click on the arrow at the top furthermost right of your homepage and choose Privacy Settings from the short list of options that appear. "You can manage the privacy of your status updates, photos and information using the inline audience selector - when you share or afterwards... remember: the people you share with can always share your information with others, including apps," reads the brief. You're able to control how you connect with people, what happens when friends tag your content and what gets shared with games, apps and websites. You may also manage past post visibility and users you've blocked. Hopefully by the time you make these changes the powers at be will have the abovementioned glitch ironed out of the system.


The Anti-Facebook League of Intelligentsia

The First Organized American Protest Against Facebook
The Anti-Facebook League of Intelligentsia (AFLI) is an in-depth WordPress blog that acts as a forum for protests against Facebook in the United States and beyond. Savanna J. Buckner is the founder and president of this site. "Having rationally mulled over the issue, one places himself in a fair position to ask whether it would be a wise, shrewd, and prudent decision to acquire Facebook," she says in an article quoted in the site's Welcome section. "If one takes the time to think through the concept of Facebook, he will conclude that the cons of Facebook heavily outweigh the pros." Active since October 2009, the site has highlighted Facebook's security discrepancies as they've occurred. Titles of links within the site include Why Be Wary, The Constitution, Tree of Truth and 100 Household Items With More Value Than Facebook.

Comments on this story are now closed