Oct 6, 2010

Facebook and private conversations

Facebook users will now be able to create closed groups within their social networks that should allow them to share information that is too private, political, racy, or whatever for the group as a whole. The change gets at a problem raised yesterday by Judith Donath on "To The Point" about the inability of people on social networks to create nuanced relationships for different contexts - how does one share information with a close friend without offending or "oversharing" with a professional acquaintance? Is a political or religious discussion appropriate to have in front of everyone on your friends' list? What if you want to share party photos with a small group without letting someone who wasn't invited to the party know you attended? Etc. There is an interesting tension here with the idea of being your honest self with everyone, an idea some social media proponents would prefer we pursue - to blow up things like cliques, exclusivity and class hierarchy.

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