It’s hard not to compare Open Social Web‘s Bill of Rights to the US Bill of Rights. In Joseph Smarr’s post on the genesis, he acknowledges that implementation details may be a point of debate. I don’t want to go into that thorny debate here and I do agree that sites should respect user autonomy, but the idea of ownership as it relates to the social web, is a point of contention for me.
- Ownership of their own personal information, including:
- their own profile data
- the list of people they are connected to
- the activity stream of content they create
While I think personal information on the social web should be protected, I think you get into a sticky situation when you make the leap to ‘ownership.’ Take Facebook: I don’t have a sense that I ‘own,’ my profile, the list of people it is connected to, or the activity I create. If anything, I feel I am borrowing from Facebook to giving my information away. I understand they are talking about sites using social web applications and those sites have no right to ‘own’ the data but if I am freely giving my data to them in order for the site to link to something or someone else, doesn’t a web site like Facebook have to be effectively a part-owner? And the people I connect to, don’t they become part owner of my material the moment they socially engage in it? To me, social media is more like a lending library where you are expected to make infinite amount of notes in the margins of any book. Just because you wrote the notes doesn’t mean you own the book. -NS
p.s. Garrett and Mike-this was an incredibly interesting topic that I can see myself trying to monopolizing most of class tomorrow discussing. If you put other students’ blogs on the blogroll, I could relegate my response to their comment’s section and we could all come to class with a dialogue in progress. There is simply too much material to cover to give this idea justice.