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Technology & Innovation

Shirky Distills Facebook’s Privacy Strategy

Clay Shirky, an adjunct professor in New York University’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program, stopped by the Big Think offices this afternoon to talk to us about his new book “Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age,” which will be published by the Penguin Press next month. He spoke about a lot of other things too, including the scourge of the email “cc” that makes it difficult for office workers to remain productive because they are constantly being interrupted.  These types of workplace disruptions are a popular theme on Big Think lately: our most popular clip of the past four months is Jason Fried’s analysis of “Why You Can’t Work at Work.”

Shirky also described how Facebook attempts to minimize the privacy of its users. It’s a three step process: 1. Facebook oversteps its bounds  2. There is a public reaction 3. Facebook apologizes and scales back—but not back as far as they were before the change.  The company never retrenches fully and some portion of its users’ privacy is made, well, less private.

We’ll post this portion of the interview in the next few days, and the rest in a couple of weeks.


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