PsychBook Research

Collecting and analysing psychological research on the most popular social networking site in the world today.

Why Facebook’s privacy policy doesn’t work: We’re not in college anymore

It’s pretty simple what’s going on, now that I’ve had a chance to think.

Facebook’s ethos is ‘radical transparency’

  • Everything should be shared
  • All information should be free
  • We should share all our information
  • This would make us all equal

This is why:

  • we have the News Feed
  • the privacy default is public
  • Facebook is built for sharing

Whether you like it or not,

that’s the theory,

and those are the products of it.

But why does Facebook have this ethos, and why do so many people dislike it?

The reason is quite simple:

Facebook was designed by college students

College students like to share and gossip with classmates

As for everyone else, while we like to share too

We don’t like sharing with everyone

We don’t like all our circles to be open

Because we’ve added other circles since leaving college

We don’t necessarily share the same things

With old friends as work colleagues

Facebook’s privacy policy is ‘open’ because Facebook’s designers never left college

You can’t explain why radical transparency doesn’t work to Mark Zuckerberg, because he’s never had a boss, or work colleagues other than his college buddies. On a certain psychological level, the Facebook team is still at college, still sharing everything with everyone, still jostling for popularity. No wonder they can’t see what the problem is for the rest of us …

It really is that simple: remember, it was designed as an alternative to a college yearbook. But we’re not in college anymore!

Categories: Opinion
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