Interwebs drama of the day: Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Mark Zuckerberg, threw a fit when someone tweeted a copy of a Zuckerberg family photo (see above) that Randi herself had posted to Facebook, the confusing-to-use social Web site created by her strange, reclusive brother. Randi was furious because she wanted the photo to be seen only by her friends, but someone who is friends with Randi’s sister saw the photo on Facebook, assumed it was public, and spread it on Twitter.
Randi complained that this was “way uncool.” The friend apologized for her mistake. Lots of people had a laugh about how this just shows again how stupid and confusing Facebook’s privacy settings are, as in, “Hey, even the Zuckerbergs can’t figure this stuff out!”
Out Of Proportion?
But then Randi took everything to a whole new level of mental when she summed the whole thing up with a tweet: “Digital etiquette: always ask permission before posting a friend’s photo publicly. It’s not about privacy settings, it’s about human decency.”
Yes, she said that: human decency. Because this dumb issue about her dumb photograph is that important.
It’s so important, in fact, that now Randi Zuckerberg, a not-universally-acclaimed aspiring chanteuse who rocks Silicon Valley with an awesome band called Feedbomb, as well as producer of a terrible reality series about Silicon Valley (See Bravo’s Silicon Valley: The Painful Truth Behind A Caricature Of Excess), as well as sister of the guy who created that beacon of morality known as Facebook, would like to use this as a teaching moment in which she can instruct the world about basic human decency.
Let’s acknowledge that Randi Zuckerberg is not Mark Zuckerberg. But let’s also acknowledge that she has benefited tremendously from her brother’s creation.
And what is that creation?
- A company that has made billions by gathering people’s personal information and using it to sell ads;
- A company whose original privacy statement was a simple sentence but now is longer than the U.S. Constitution and requires a law degree to understand;
- A company that has continually pushed people to “share” more of their private information in order to use Facebook;
- A company that just four days ago was criticized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for yet another creepy experiment that would let people pay money to send mail to your inbox, which is just the latest in a long line of criticisms brought by the EFF;
- A company that once claimed it wasn’t tracking users when they were logged off, only to turn around and admit that it was, just before someone reported that Facebook in fact had applied for and received a patent on technology that would do exactly that;
- A company that once got caught trying to run a clumsy covert smear campaign against Google;
- A company that once settled claims brought by the FTC that charged Facebook had deceived consumers and violated federal law;
- A company that ran a scuzzy IPO marred by allegations of self-dealing, one in which insiders got info about weak revenues and backed away from the deal even as Facebook was touting the stock to suckers, raising both the price of the shares and the number of shares for sale;
- A company that has since been the subject of an investigation by the state of Massachusetts. which led to fines levied against its bankers and fears that authorities “will throw the book at Facebook” in 2013 and that “the real liability to Facebook and Morgan Stanley is yet to come”;
- A company whose Instagram subsidiary recently caused outrage by changing its terms of service but then walked those changes back.
Yes, Randi Zuckerberg, speak to us about human decency.
Because a photo that you posted on Facebook got shared on the Internet.
How awful this must have been for you! How… invasive. What a violation. How terrible that someone might take something that belongs to you and use it in ways that you had not anticipated, and for which you had not given explicit permission!
What kind of world are we living in when just because you post something on a website someone else can just take your stuff and do things with it?