Privacy tip: Try the super-logoff
Some young, privacy-minded Facebook users deactivate their accounts every time they leave the site.
by Rune H. Rasmussen
Danah Boyd, Microsoft researcher and social media expert, recently identified a new trend among teenagers; the “super-logoff” – a term invented by Michael Ducker, a program manager at Microsoft.
The “super-logoff” is quite simple to use
Instead of just closing a web browser or clicking the "log off" button, some users are deactivating their Facebook accounts when they leave the site. Later, when they log back in, they reactivate their accounts.
The procedure only takes a few clicks, and all friend connections, wall posts, photos and so on are maintained. The positive aspect is that a "deactivated" user is untraceable on Facebook; no one can see their profile, post on their wall or tag them in photos. It gives the privacy-minded user full control.
Great risk reduction strategy
Danah Boyd believes young people may have good reasons for deactivating and reactivating their accounts:
"In many ways, deactivation is a way of not letting the digital body stick around when the person is not present," she writes in a blog post. "This is a great risk reduction strategy if you're worried about people who might look and misinterpret. Or people who might post something that would get you into trouble."
Another practice, preferred by some young people, is called “whitewalling”. This procedure entails deleting every comment, photo, and “likes” after an appropriate time period. This makes sure everything “stays in the moment”; no one can find old information and hold you accountable for it. It is a very good way to make sure Facebook does not become a data retention agent.
Young people care about their privacy and online reputation
These practices confirms the results of a Pew Internet report, released on May 26, which found that young people are more likely than adults to alter their Facebook settings and to actively manage their online identities.
"Young adults are the most active online reputation managers in several dimensions. When compared with older users, they more often customise what they share and whom they share it with," the report said.
This suggests that many young people manage their digital identities in a responsible and conscious way.
New Facebook privacy tip: 'Super-logoff'
Danah Boyd blog
Risk Reduction Strategies on Facebook
All Facebook blog
Teens Find Innovative ways to Control Their Facebook Presence
Pew Internet & American Life Project
How people monitor their identity and search for others online
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