Friday, May 14, 2010

Facebook founder comes under fire over conversation transcript

A leaked instant messenger transcript obtained from Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of social networking site Facebook, has been causing a stir among the 400 million users who actively use the site. In the transcript, Zuckerberg mocks users who joined his growing website community.

The leak comes after the user community and social media analysts have questioned the company's stance on privacy, which is becoming an increasingly frustrating issue as they try to gain more users.

Business Insider broke the story, publishing the transcript of the conversation causing the controversy. Here is a snipped of the transcript that Murray Report has obtained.

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don't know why.
Zuck: They "trust me"
Zuck: Dumb f***s.
Facebook has not denied the transcript's authenticity, and replied by saying that "the privacy and security of our users' information is paramount to us here at Facebook".

The Sydney Morning Herald's Stephen Hucheon commented that the leak underscores Mr Zuckerberg's position as the internet's 'favorite whipping boy', and that in January, Zuckerberg had told an audience that privacy was 'no longer a social norm'.

At the heart of complaints, Hucheon claims, is that the default setting for privacy on Facebook has changed, and that users are mostly unaware of how to change them. At present, all profiles are immediately set to a fairly public setting by default.

The New York Times calculated that Facebook's privacy policy is now longer than the constitution, and the company has reportedly called a privacy 'overview meeting' on Friday to discuss these matters.
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