[ExI] Social Graph visibility akin to pain reflex

B.K. DeLong bkdelong at pobox.com
Sun Feb 3 17:52:25 UTC 2008

This is something I've been arguing for at least the last four years
is an improvements in the trust-relationships on social networks. In
order for that to happen, grouping needs to be more direct -
Livejournal does this very well with "Custom Friend Groups". So I'd
have everyone from my Futurist/Transhumanist activities under one or
two groups.

Each person would then be assigned a trust metric based on my comfort
level in sharing information with them. Then each group would be
assigned a trust metric as well. The, ideally, I'd be able to use the
trust metric to inform my privacy preferences only letting certain
people with a trust level above X to see Y information.

My trust could/would then be further informed by friends. If I trust
one friend Alice n + 4 and trust another friend Bob only n + 2 but
they were friends with each other then I'd use Alice's trust metric to
at least help inform my own. I should, in theory, be able to set the
degree to which a friend's trust metric of another friend will change
my trust in that other friend. ;)

Unfortunately I am absolutely abysmal at math so this is going to have
to be made easy by whatever system managing said social network

On top of that, I believe to truly protect the privacy of each other
we should add a level of encryption to everything. So on each social
network, I'd be assigned a key and that key would be used to encrypt
each point of data that has a privacy preference with the keys of
those I've chosen to allow access to. Ideally, a project like OpenID
could eventually be used to have a single key that transverses
multiple OpenID-compatible networks.

Here's the rub - in order for this to happen, the userbase of these
social networks are going to have to push for it. This userbase is
already mostly comfortable sharing their information publicly. It's
the rest of the huge population NOT on certain social networks and NOT
sharing their information because of their lack of trust of these
networks. It is these people who would then become social network
participants if a robust trust relationship system were in place and
seamless enough for them to assign metrics to both people, groups and
privacy preferences. Alas.

On Feb 3, 2008 12:10 PM, Jef Allbright <jef at jefallbright.net> wrote:
> >From O'Reilly Radar, pertinent to extropian interests.
> - Jef
> <http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2008/02/social_graph_pain_reflex.html>
> > In a session at our "Social Graph Foo Camp" discussing yesterday's announcement of Google's Social Graph API, one of the debates is about the danger that the API (and the boost it gives to XFN) will definitively end "security by obscurity" regarding people and their relationships, as well as opening up the social graph to "rel=me" spammers. The counter-argument is that all this data is available anyway, and that by making it more visible, we raise people's awareness and ultimately their behavior. I'm in the latter camp. It's a lot like the evolutionary value of pain. Search creates feedback loops that allow us to learn from and modify our behavior. A false sense of security helps bad actors more than tools that make information more visible.
> ...
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B.K. DeLong (K3GRN)
bkdelong at pobox.com

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