Interesting story about how internet fuelled media changed the global SwineFlu pandemic response. Specifically, persuading people that they probably didn't need to vaccinate, (market mechanisms) causing many countries to now be overstocked with millions of dollars worth of unwanted serums!
""It emerged that the media timescale was far shorter than the political and administrative timescale, which may have complicated national decision making," a French delegate told the panel."
PJFenwick is doing a PhD on facebook privacy and his explorations have shown that even when you lock up your settings, your friends (and friends of) can leak your information all over the place.
"But by far the most interesting part of all of this have been dark users. Like dark matter, these users are not directly observable, usually because they've completely disabled API access. In fact, some of these users are completely dark unless you're a friend. They don't show up in search results. They don't show up on friends' lists. You can't send them messages. If you try to navigate to their user page (assuming you know it exists), you get redirected back to your homepage. These users have their privacy settings turned up real high, and are supposed to be hard to find.
However like dark matter, dark users are observable due to their effects on the rest of the universe. If a dark user comments on a stream entry, I can see that comment. More importantly, I can see their user-ID, and I can generate a URL to a page that will contain their name. I can then watch for their activities elsewhere. Granted, I can't directly search for their activity, but I can observe their effects on my friends. For want of a better term, I've been calling this "dark stalking".
What makes this all rather chilling is that I'm doing all of this via the application API. If your friend has installed an application, then it can access quite a lot of information about you, unless you turn it off. If your friend has granted the application the read_stream privilege, then it can read your status stream. Even if a friend of a friend has done this, and you comment on your friend's status entries, it's possible to infer your existence and retrieve those discussions through dark stalking."
Everyone's probably bookmarked this article already! Sentencing senior Google execs on the grounds of profiting from illegal acts is probably also technically correct. Google's defense is the neutrality of the internet, which is questionable as Google do adjust content to suit, for their own profit. Which layer is this issue on? Will increasing controls on content change our internet beyond recognition?
Marcuse says that tolerance can not tolerate hateful speech and acts or it is no longer truly tolerant. That's quite a conundrum!