How web 2.0 can damage your life

Typically I’ve read several articles on the web about technology and its implications.  However I’ve come across two items that disturb me:

1) This article by PCPRO magazine
2) Kathy Sierra’s blog

This post is about why they are bad and their implications.

1) This article states that employers are rejecting applicants based on Myspace/Facebook profiles and online CVs.

It seems that in the current age of Web 2.0 you have to be careful about what you post online: hence the recent changes to my Facebook profile. It concerns me that employers are using Facebook to determine whether you are suitable or otherwise – private life should be just that. It has little relevance to the workplace (unless you are doing something blatently illegal, but I don’t know anyone who has used Facebook in such a way).

Online CV websites are also a problem as employers are using them to compare an onine CV with the copy they have to check for differences. To be honest I can undertand why they use them, as it will be obvious if you have lied on a CV if you are not consistent. And I can’t take issue with this (though I don’t have my CV online nor do I intend on uploading it).

However I disagree with employers using Facebook and Myspace to help their decisions on employing people. Myspace is a bigger problem as anyone can look at a profile and there is no way to block it from anyone. Facebook, on the other hand, is more secure as you can restrict who is able to look at your profile. I therefore recommend that you restrict profile viewing to friends only as then you would have to make your prospective employer a friend for them to be able to view your profile – something that should be easy to avoid doing.

With Myspace the issue is more difficult as you cannot block anyone from viewing your profile and a random person only needs a myspace account to be able to view your photos – the biggest problem if the majority are of you on nights out. So the simple solution is not to upload any pictures that you don’t want seen by any person on the net.

Talking of Myspace I’ve still not closed my account (I’m still getting people adding me who don’t have Facebook profiles) though I will close it soon as I’m tired of people messaging me with spam or pretending to want sex – its obvious what it is they are after (and it isn’t sex) – it’s all about the money.

In fairness though that is what Facebook and Myspace are about – making their creators the maximum profit possible (hence the gifts on Facebook and Myspace suspending a music account because the person linked their own store to their profile and not the Myspace music store). In the case of Myspace it’s owned by News Corporation (who own the Sun and Times newspapers) and for that reason alone I intend on cancelling my account – at least Facebook is independent (for the time being at least).

In case that wasn’t enough I’ve recently become aware that the above also seems to apply to our own university. I’m aware that some people are using Facebook to look for activities that violate policies (I won’t name names or what) set out by certain University services. Again, I disagree with this: especially considering that the majority of my friends are people I’ve met via a certain non-course related activity. It is not on that people are looking for events that I may do with them because they are my friends, regardless of how I met them: I should not have to do extra form-filling because I’m doing things with my friends.

2) This concerns me on several levels. Unlike Kathy and Robert Scoble I won’t stop blogging as a form of protest. In my opinion not blogging is a victory for the people who created the images that Kathy has described.

I cannot condone what was posted on Kathy’s blog: there is no excuse for death threats and the images (which are more disturbing in my opinion). It certainly raises questions about sexual equality on the web – as Kathy correctly points out if she was a man the threats would not have been posted. But it is still wrong that people can anonymously do this to someone…

So the web isn’t as safe as you might think. I’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on what is happening.


~ by Ian on Thursday 29th March 2007.

One Response to “How web 2.0 can damage your life”

  1. Hello,

    Just wanted to let you know I linked to your blog in my column on today. Thanks!

    If you want to take a look, here’s the link:



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