How much should we tell Facebook, LinkedIn?

Dos and Don’ts in the social media age

Recently the Facebook “lab rats” testing for its “news feed” is the news (see this one at Guardian). I gave it some more thought and since I’ve thought about this privacy thing before, I’d like to share some of my thoughts.

We all knew (hopefully heard about) a few years ago, people complained employers in the Facebook (or linkedIn), and got fired. So if one does not plan to move on, my suggestion is not to say negative things about employers publicly. Because although Facebook and other social media appears not necessarily public, they are actually public as soon as it’s went up in the air.

The more worrisome thing for me is, though, is with the big data (data scientists) Facebook and LinkedIn got, they have already affected how we interact with friends, reading news, and how to look for new jobs. And in the process they could manipulate how we think (Facebook appears already did this). So there is the danger of intersection of social media, psychology and data science. Should we worry about all this?

I don’t know. I am not a pessimist, but I think to be careful, or use another proverb: trust but verify. The technology usually will brings positive changes to society, but just like iPad, we should be careful don’t let iPad to our baby sitter :-)

PS, I happened to read some unpleasant reviews on my former employer at made by some former coworkers. I don’t think that’s a good idea either. I think those can be address at exit interview, or survey, but not at a public places like I don’t have personal opinion about this website (for/against), I just felt some of the comments went to extreme: too good to be true, or too bad to be true.

Another reason which I think is more relevant to those kinds of comments, is people felt frustrated (due to various reasons). And they felt relieved when they left for new jobs, and they wanted to say whatever they like. Wrong. Two reasons: 1) We don’t want to comment others purely out of our own frustrations; 2) We don’t want to bad mouth others if all at possible.

Oh, boy, now we are talking about human psychology :-)

PS 2: came across this article “Facebook – the big tobacco in social media”, thought it’s interesting read.

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