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Observations About the Use Of and Withdrawal From Social Media

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Background: I have been surprised at how strong the negative reaction has been about online privacy issues based on recent disclosures of “nefarious deeds” by social media platforms, e.g., Twitter, Instagram, and especially Facebook, etc. Because we administer a website that is a social media platform (CL) some people have asked me about my opinion on these disclosures, many have expressed their opinions (thank you), and some have asked me how to protect themselves or how to withdraw so as to have their private information less exposed, etc. A few have talked about this with me because they view me as an expert. For the record, I am not an expert, but rather just someone wishing to help our community be a better place through the sharing of (hopefully accurate, timely, and non-confrontational) information.

Neither Marcelyn nor I are users of most of the large social media platforms, with a few exceptions. For instance, I only recently opened a Twitter account, more out of curiosity, but was surprised to find that there is some good information about what is happening in this geographic area. I have posted less than ten Tweets, and most of those were testing the waters as to how things work on that platform.

Facebook is another social medium that has been a big disappointment to us. We tested Facebook about the same time that we brought CL online (late 2015) thinking it might help promote awareness of CL. That was a mistake even though we engaged some high quality (read expensive) professional resources to guide us.. To us, Facebook is basically a dart board where people toss tidbits of “stuff” without any structure that could help organize and facilitate future access/research. I am not saying there is no value in Facebook. A platform with literally a billion plus users is doing something right and that is viewed as valuable. I am only saying that Facebook doesn’t help us in our journey.

The issue that caused this topic: Some people have told me that they tried to disengage from Facebook and they are finding it impossible. A few people have said they now feel like a victim. They tried various things, including shutting down their Facebook account, only to find a few days later that it was reactivated through no action on their part. Marcelyn and I have long maintained that once something is on the Internet that such information is there forever, maybe not easily accessible, but always there to come back and bite you in the rear (hackers and hacking). But not being able to close an account. Wow.

I then set out on a mission to help one person in particular. The result of several days of research was a YouTube video clip by a Canadian gent. The bottom line here is if you really want to shutdown your Facebook account, including removing/deleting as much personal information as is currently possible, then you may wish to view the following video clip. Plan on about two weeks worth of work.

 

Sidebar Comment About YouTube: I find a lot of valuable and well done instructional and informational videos on YouTube. The best part is that it is free. Some of the YouTube instructional and informational content is questionable. Be critical in your review and use of that material. Also, be advised that YouTube is itself another social medium with hooks into your life as well, collecting personal information about you.

Unexpected Results of this Mini-Project: An interesting outcome of my research to help that one person surprised me. I think I always knew this but not to the extent that I previously thought I did. All of the billions of members of the vast majority of social media platforms are not their customers, but rather their chattel that is the source of their huge revenue streams. The real customers are the mega-corporations and organizations that pay big bucks to the social media platforms to harvest your private information that you so freely give away.

I guess that awareness makes us as the owners/administrators of CL a kind of dinosaur because we don’t sell information about you, our CL members, that is collected through your use of CL. We won’t be changing our mindset about how we choose to operate. But if you ever see us being chauffeured around town in a luxury vehicle (hopefully not a hearse :o), then that would be a good time to start inquiring about our selling of private information. Apparently the harvesting of private information from online systems is outrageously lucrative, and powerful and beneficial on the part of the power brokers.

P.S., Please do not impute any recommendation as to dumping or keeping any of your social media accounts from this posting. That is a personal decision on your part.

Comments? Questions?

Marcelyn and Bud

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You guys should also know that News.Boquete never profits from knowing your name and email address.

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People need to be aware of the fact that Facebook reserves the right to do anything with the data you post on Facebook.  Even if you delete your data or even close your account it's out there for eternity to be mined.  Common abuses include someone purchasing the rights to someone's photograph who happens to be an animal lover and then using that photograph on say the cover of a hunting magazine.  Imagine the fun!

Also keep in mind that if Chiriqui Life changed ownership, would the same protections, intended and unintended, stay in place?  That did not happen in the Ashley Madison case.

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The amount of private and even embarrassing things people share on Facebook simply blows my mind. You can be sure that law enforcement, potential employers, and predators all love digging through the information you were dumb enough to share to the entire world for the rest of your life.

Add to that the growing craze of putting Alexa and Google home in your house so that all your conversations are monitored.

Even here, read twice before posting.  The internet is going to last for a very long time.

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On 3/30/2018 at 8:12 AM, Moderator_02 said:

Comments? Questions?

f a user withdraws or is bounced from Chiriqui Life, do his or posts remain or do they too disappear?

 

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42 minutes ago, Bonnie said:

If a user withdraws or is bounced from Chiriqui Life, do his or posts remain or do they too disappear?

 

 I think Franagain's posts display. 

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44 minutes ago, Uncle Doug said:

 I think Franagain's posts display. 

As do jimandnena's, even though he claims to have asked that they be removed.

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According to the Terms & Rules, it states that:    "If you wish to post content on Chiriqui Life, you.... ....Continue to own the content that you post, but grant Chiriqui Life an unlimited, non-exclusive, non-cancelable license to use and distribute your content."

So in other words, you have agreed that you are giving Chiriqui Life a non-cancelable license to use and distribute the content you post.   That would mean that even if you cancel your account, they have the right to display or use your content as posted.   This is very standard in most Internet forums and is typically spelled out in the Terms of Service policy at the time of registration.   Most forums find that erasing posted content changes the readability of a discussion and can be used to unfairly change the meaning of those that replied or commented.  

The Internet does not come with an eraser.   

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20 hours ago, Uncle Doug said:

The amount of private and even embarrassing things people share on Facebook simply blows my mind. You can be sure that law enforcement, potential employers, and predators all love digging through the information you were dumb enough to share to the entire world for the rest of your life.

Add to that the growing craze of putting Alexa and Google home in your house so that all your conversations are monitored.

Even here, read twice before posting.  The internet is going to last for a very long time.

 

More and more companies are requiring access to your social media sites as a requirement of the interview process.  Some boldly ask for your username and password while some simply ask for you to sign in during the interview so they review them in your presence.

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Posted (edited)

Uncle Sam has plans to use social media as a visa screener, if it's not being done already.

 

Edited by Keith Woolford

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

Uncle Sam has plans to use social media as a visa screener, if it's not being done already.

 

 

It's long overdue.  Lot's of lives could've been saved if they would've begun years ago.

 

That couple who successfully immigrated to the US that committed that mass shooting in California had Facebook pages full of anti American and Christian messages including "Death to America."

 

 

 

 

Edited by Siempre Soluciones
addition

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Posted (edited)

We have moved into a world where technology has stripped alway our traditional expectations of privacy. In the industrialized countries,  CCTV cameras are everywhere. Your license plate is routinely photographed and time stamped. Do you use Google location history? Even if you're not using your cellphone  your location can be fairly precisely triangulated from cell towers.

Technology exist to see what room in your house you are located with your doors and windows closed. As someone located outside  the USA, every text  phone call, internet posting of yours is captured by the NSA.

As mentioned before, if you have brought in the Amazon Alexis or Google Home listening devices into your home, youve effectively bugged your house.

On top of this, you gleefully joined Facebook,  Twitter, Instgram, and shared your thoughts, your politics,  your friends, and even your enemies. You announce your trips and actual locations.  Even when you plan to return.

Add the ever-increasing skills of hackers and criminal elements and it's hard to say if you have any privacy left. It's not the government powers of George Orwell 's 1984. It's everyone, including yourself.

Edited by Uncle Doug
Typo
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9 hours ago, Twin Wolf Technology Group said:

The Internet does not come with an eraser.   

This pretty much says it all.

Thanks, Dan.

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20 minutes ago, Uncle Doug said:

We have moved into a world where technology has stripped alway our traditional expectations of privacy. In the industrialized countries,  CCTV cameras are everywhere. Your license plate is routinely photographed and time stamped. Do you use Google location history? Even if you're not using your cellphone  your location can be fairly precisely triangulated from cell towers.

Technology exist to see what room in your house you are located with your doors and windows closed. As someone located outside  the USA, every text  phone call, internet posting of yours is captured by the NSA.

As mentioned before, if you have brought in the Amazon Alexis or Google Home listening devices into your home, youve effectively bugged your house.

On top of this, you gleefully joined Facebook,  Twitter, Instgram, and shared your thoughts, your politics,  your friends, and even your enemies. You announce your trips and actual locations.  Even when you plan to return.

Add the ever-increasing skills of hackers and criminal elements and it's hard to say if you have any privacy left. It's not the government powers of George Orwell 's 1984. It's everyone, including yourself.

 

And the unintended circumstances as when you purchase a used General Motors automobile and decline to continue the Onstar coverage they conveniently leave it on, track you, and sell the data.  They got spanked for that.

 

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Interesting discussion. I created a FB account some time ago,  thinking to promote information about the spay/neuter clinics and the care of animals in general. I hesitate to give personal information on public forums, so I signed up as "Dottie Mae." Sometime later I thought to give my real last name (Atwater) but it was declined with a message something like "false last names are not allowed."

I hardly even know how to use FB and didn't care to learn...it seemed that a lot of postings are about silly things like "what color of socks I wore today" (joke) with numerous responses. 

In creating that account, I didn't give my real birthday (still unwilling to post personal information on a public forum). Imagine my surprise when I received numerous "Happy Birthday" notices related to the fake birthday I gave. (Thanks to everyone, and I'll remember your well wishes for my real birthday!)

I've posted almost nil on FB, and certainly nothing about my politics, friends, "enemies," and nothing about my trips (I never leave home anyway--I like it just where I am). 

So regardless of having very little privacy left in today's world, I do whatever I can to keep my personal life private from the world that spies on everyone.

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8 hours ago, Siempre Soluciones said:

That couple who successfully immigrated to the US that committed that mass shooting in California had Facebook pages full of anti American and Christian messages including "Death to America."

Not true, but whatever. 

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Facebook's COO says privacy will be offered for a price.

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg: If You Want Privacy, You're Going to Have to Pay for It

"We don't have an opt-out at the highest level," she said. "That would be a paid product."

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/06/facebooks-sheryl-sandberg-if-you-want-privacy-youre-going-have-pay-it

 

 

 

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I closed my FB account--but they said it would take 14 days to complete. Huh? And I'm sure that anything that was there will remain with them forever. Never mind...I'm just glad I had about zilch usage of FB and didn't put any personal info on it.

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8 minutes ago, Dottie Atwater said:

I closed my FB account--but they said it would take 14 days to complete. Huh? And I'm sure that anything that was there will remain with them forever. Never mind...I'm just glad I had about zilch usage of FB and didn't put any personal info on it.

Anybody who puts personal information anywhere on the internet and believes it will remain private is an idiot.

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I agree. That's exactly why I don't do it. The personal information that people put on Facebook is downright scary!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Penny said:

Anybody who puts personal information anywhere on the internet and believes it will remain private is an idiot.

Totally agree! That's a bell you can't unring. Some of the prolific posters have put stuff out there that is particularly nasty, and will exist long after they are gone. What a legacy! Dropping the F bomb is particularly uncouth and uncalled for IMHO.

Edited by Pantah
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1 hour ago, Pantah said:

Totally agree! That's a bell you can't unring. Some of the prolific posters have put stuff out there that is particularly nasty, and will exist long after they are gone. What a legacy! Dropping the F bomb is particularly uncouth and uncalled for IMHO.

I have seen young people post their "hidden tattoo" pictures that often also include the F bomb....  Talk about double permanent.  Might as well have had the tattoo on their face.  Why these people feel the urge to disclose their "secrets" rather than use the media to increase understanding of different topics is beyond me.   

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