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Facebook + Overstock: Transparency Is Not Us

Ethan Zucerkman (Berkman Center) explores the relationship between Facebook and Overstock:

If you’ve got a Facebook account, try this experiment: Go to and buy something… As you complete the purchase, a window appears in the bottom right of your browser window, announcing “ is sending this to your Facebook profile”…

Now log into Facebook. You’ve got a new item in your mini-feed, the message “ is sending a story to your profile.”

Whoa, Nellie!

I remember when people gnashed their teeth and wrung their hands over the possibility that DoubleClick could track them from site to site (no transparency but no shouting their findings to the rooftops, either). I’m vey surprised that this disquieting practice — a jarring opt-out that runs counter to net culture — is being met with relative silence by the Facebook community. Privacy advocates have protested, but FBers, not so much.

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By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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