As everyone knows (or should know by now), we've been working on a great deal of behind-the-scenes improvements for ATS in 2010. The "social
component" of ATS has been an increasingly important piece of what our users expect, and our profile
have been a partial step in that direction.
One of the items on the list has been a long-anticipated increase in social networking integration via an official Facebook "fan" page and various
related tools. However, recent news and serious questions about Facebook's severe disregard for member privacy -- and especially their most-recent
efforts focused on data-mining everything they can learn about FB users -- we're now reluctant to push this part of our expansion forward. Even at
the expense of discarding the work accomplished by a trusted developer whom we've already paid.
But rather than make a rash decision, because there are a ton of people on FB, I thought it would make sense to make our concerns known, and see what
our members think.
Lot's of people are already there, and generally speaking, nothing anyone does online is entirely safe from privacy incursions. However, it seems as
are reaching a new level of serious concern.
If you're an ATS member with a Facebook page, are you concerned? And if you are, have you ended or otherwise limited your Facebook involvement?
If you're an ATS member without a Facebook page, have these recent news articles and related information caused you to no longer consider using
Facebook (if you ever did at all)?
(SIDE NOTE: We've successfully tested methods whereby links to FB from ATS, and links from FB to ATS cannot be profiled and included in the data
mining performed by FB.)
One alternative that we're seriously considering is the launch of a high-privacy social network geared specifically toward members with an affinity
for the kinds of topics covered on ATS. One of our internal working names is "TinBook," and would be targeted not just for ATS members, but frequent
users of all "alternative" and "subversive" (as apparently classified by the current occupiers of the White House) web sites.
This "Facebook for Conspiracy Theorists" would contain the same standards of fanatical privacy protection employed here on ATS. No data mining. No
server logs retained. No profile trolling. No clickstream tracking. No topic preference profiling. No sharing of your info to anyone. While the
available tools and social components would be very similar (if not identical) to what is offered by Facebook, the operations and management would be
So the question is, if we were to lunch such a new site/service, would you use it. And if you did, would it cause you to abandon Facebook?
Thanks, in advance, for helping us work out this rather big decision.
edit on 10-5-2010 by SkepticOverlord because: (typo fix)