Re-reading Marshall’s article, there is one clarification I want to make. After quoting me saying that Facebook information is decontextualized (as danah boyd has exhaustively noted), Marshall writes:
Perhaps no longer! The new Facebook publishing feature lets users share things with just a particular list of their friends. (Or with the public at large if they so choose.) The contexts are un-collapsed. Communication is human again. That’s a very big deal and is the kind of change that could make far more people comfortable sharing far more information about their lives on Facebook. It’s also a feature that no major competitor (namely Twitter) offers.
I share his hope, but I am not sure that the Publisher by itself reconstructs contexts. Certainly, it is a powerful tool with which one may take steps to rebuild the walls that separate social situations.
However, the tool itself doesn’t help much if it is to be exercised in an unhelpful environment. As I wrote on page 52 of my paper:
Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb (syndicated to the New York Times) had a great article about Facebook privacy today that incorporated some stuff from my thesis/working paper. Marshall was nice enough to contact me before he ran the article to ask what I thought about the new Facebook Publisher.
Basically, Facebook is introducing a new Publisher that gives people easier access to (and more granularity over) what they publish to whom. While I don’t have access to the new Publisher yet, here’s what I told Marshall yesterday: