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Re: [Social-discuss] Control own privacy, posted by _others_

From: Ian Denhardt
Subject: Re: [Social-discuss] Control own privacy, posted by _others_
Date: Tue, 06 Apr 2010 06:42:47 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100301 Shredder/3.0.3

On 04/06/2010 05:53 AM, Rob Myers wrote:
On Tue, 06 Apr 2010 00:05:32 -0400, Ian Denhardt<address@hidden>
Here's the problem I see with this: I'm running a gnu social instance on
my own server, quite literally a PC sitting under my bed. How do you
justify saying I can't make your name, as it appears on my website,
running on my hardware, a link to anywhere I please? Supposing I don't
have an instance of GNU Social, I just have a website. should I not be
allowed to manually link to various people, who may or may not want me
to do so? It's possible it would be impolite of me, but ultimately
there's a free speech issue there.

I'm not arguing privacy isn't important, but there's a conflict.
Certainly we need access controls so that I can control who can access
what on my profile, But it feels a bit draconian for you to be able to
have access controls that determine what I can post on my website. I
don't think I would run the software at all if it allowed for this, or
since it is free software, I would simply remove the functionality.
Certainly everyone should control their own computing resources and their
own running software. This is a free software project. And people will
simply modify the software to work around any restrictions we might be
tempted to add.

But we do need to recognise this conflict and do what we can in the
software to address it.

Possible solutions:

1. Have "anti-tags" that the software respects by default. Or would that
end up being a source of hilarity like Outlook message recall emails to
mailing lists? They would making searching for embarrassments easier than
simply leaving the original tag unchallenged.

2. Allow people to ignore tags from other instances on their instance, and
to not propagate those tags to other instances.

3. Require that tags are confirmed, and simply leave tags unconfirmed on
the other instance if the tagged user declines to confirm them. This avoids
the embarrassment flagging problem of 1.

- Rob.

I like #2 for sure. I think #3 could be useful, depending on how tags are implemented. certainly the user should have an option of not having their instance index things that link to them which they find embarassing. It might be a good idea to have a simple way of requesting that someone untag you in something, but the point I was trying to make is that I think the principle we should be following as far as access controls is: who's instance is it? If it is mine, I should be able to post or not post anything I choose, and decide who may view it, but if it is yours, you should have that power, and I should not.

This means that I can make embarrassing links/tags to anyone I choose on my own instance, and others can do the same to me on their instances. Similarly, On my instance, I should be able to prevent other people's embarrassing links from being shown, but I should not be able to prevent them from being shown on other people's instances. This doesn't mean it isn't a good idea to build tools to politely ask people to untag/remove things. I think that's actually a great idea. Personally, I would in most cases respect these requests, I just would be a little ticked if people didn't have to ask me in order to get rid of something they didn't like on *my* page.


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