Social networks are the defining cultural movement of our time. Over a half a billion people are on Facebook alone. Read more...
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- More About I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did by Lori B. AndrewsOverviewA leading specialist on social networks writes a shocking expose of the widespread misuse of our personal online data and creates a Constitution for the web to protect us.
Social networks are the defining cultural movement of our time. Over a half a billion people are on Facebook alone. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest nation in the world. But while that nation appears to be a comforting small town in which we can share photos of friends and quaint bits of trivia about our lives, it is actually a lawless battle zone--a frontier with all the hidden and unpredictable dangers of any previously unexplored place.
Social networks offer freedom. An ordinary individual can be a reporter, alerting the world to breaking news of a natural disaster or a political crisis. A layperson can be a scientist, participating in a crowd-sourced research project. Or an investigator, helping cops solve a crime.
But as we work and chat and date (and sometimes even have sex) over the web, traditional rights may be slipping away. Colleges and employers routinely reject applicants because of information found on social networks. Cops use photos from people's profiles to charge them with crimes--or argue for harsher sentences. Robbers use postings about vacations to figure out when to break into homes. At one school, officials used cameras on students' laptops to spy on them in their bedrooms.
The same power of information that can topple governments can also topple a person's career, marriage, or future. What Andrews proposes is a Constitution for the web, to extend our rights to this wild new frontier. This vitally important book will generate a storm of attention.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-01-30
- Reviewer: Staff
"With more than 750 million members, Facebook's population would make it the third largest nation in the world." Noted by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, Andrews is concerned with the lawless frontiers of this figurative nation—how can social networks ensure freedom of speech while protecting the individual against anonymous threats, charges, and harassment? In order to defend "the People of the Facebook/Twitter/Google/YouTube/MySpace Nation," Andrews (Future Perfect) investigates the myriad ways in which social networking is unpoliced (or over-policed, in some cases), and proposes a constitution for the digital age. Up-to-date legal recourse for victims of cyberbullying is essentially nonexistent— Lori Drew, the mother of one of teenager Megan Meier's former friends, created a fake MySpace profile to harass Megan, who ended up killing herself. Due to the lack of applicable digital harassment laws, Drew's conviction was overturned and she was set free. On the other hand, students have been expelled for posting negative comments online about their schools, and one teacher was forced to resign due to a Facebook photo showing her drinking a beer. Andrews' "The Social Network Constitution" echoes familiar amendments, such as "The Right to Free Speech and Freedom of Expression," but some are bespoke for the digital age, like "The Right to Control One's Image." This book will make readers rethink their online lives, and Andrews' Constitution is a great start to an important conversation. (Jan.)