Facebook and Privacy

The other day I read an interesting article on FaceBook and privacy from F-Secure’s blog.  The key point that I wanted to address is the quote from Zuckerberg in The Facebook Effect that having more than one identity represents a “lack of integrity.”  To me, the statement is ridiculous.  As Sean points out, many people have one identity, but show different sides of that identity to different people using aliases.

This doesn’t represent a lack of integrity, it represents a use of common sense.  There are plenty of things I am interested in or which I dislike which may make sense for me to share with friends, but which I would never share with co-workers, potential clients, or my boss.  This could be anything from sports teams you hate, your political leanings, religious beliefs, and other topics which people tend to have intense emotional feelings about.  Personally, when people share things of this nature in a work setting I view it as an error in judgment.

Of course, this clashes with what seems to be the Facebook mantra which is share everything with everyone.  And I’m sure it’s nice to be in Mark Zuckerberg’s position where he’s wealthy enough not to care what people think if he says he hates the Packers or is a member of the Communist Party.  However, the majority of people live in the real world where those types of disclosures could cause problems.  It’s disturbing that the Facebook team does not work harder to provide people with better tools to facilitate the drawing of these lines (although you do have some ability to control this sort of thing). 

Discretion is not a dirty word, and it does not represent a “lack of integrity.”