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Ask Slashdot: Facebook, Twitter For Business, Is It Worth the Privacy Trade-Off? 158

cayenne8 writes "I've been a staunch advocate of NOT joining Facebook or Twitter or the other social networks to protect my privacy and to not voluntarily give all my personal information away to corporate America, or even the Government. However, I'm beginning to look into making money through various means on the side, one of them being photography/videography. With these mediums, being seen is critically important. Having a business facing site on Facebook/Google+ and even using Twitter can be great for self promotion, and can open up your business to a huge audience. If you were to open your FB and other social network accounts with business ONLY information, and keep your personal information (name, image, etc) off the Facebook account...will this keep your personal privacy still from them, or are their algorithms good enough to piece together who you are from the business only sites? Is the payoff worth the potential trade-off for generating potential customers for your business and guiding them to your primary website?"
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Ask Slashdot: Facebook, Twitter For Business, Is It Worth the Privacy Trade-Off?

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  • by jfruh ( 300774 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @09:33PM (#42283101)

    Having a social media presence is pretty crucial to doing the sort of freelance work you're describing, since so much of how you get business happens via word of mouth (and so much of "word of mouth" happens on social media).

    One of the simplest things you can do to protect your privacy is to create an email addres that you *only* use for social media accounts (like, a special gmail address that just forwards mail to your regular adress, or maybe if you own your own domain). This rather horrifying article [] from the WSJ about the way that social media tracking work makes clear that your email address is a big part of how your identity is tracked online. If they can't match the email address you use for your Facebook login with any other aspects of your online identity, you have some protections.

    If you're using them strictly as a business tool, I wouldn't worry too much about photos -- I do think it's helpful to have a photo of yourself, especially in a one-to-one business like freelance photography. You can set your Facebook account so other people can't tag you in their photos.

  • They are that good (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @09:37PM (#42283123)

    Their little data bots are good enough that they already have information on you whether you have an account or not. You and your browser are traceable if you visit any websites with their widgets, whether you are signed in or not. Just bite the bullet and set up a business account already and stop worrying. You aren't that special.

    Having a Facebook has certainly helped my business' promotion, it gets a lot more eyes visit our websites.

  • Ghostery (Score:5, Informative)

    by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:10PM (#42283355)

    See all those sites you visit with a facebook like button. Those images are usually served from facebook, not the site you're visiting.

    Ghostery blocks them

  • by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:19PM (#42283423) Homepage

    Are you basically saying IF I did set up the business account, to make sure I was not logged into that business FB account when browsing around from one of my computers?

    I was replying on the presumption that you have no way to avoid a FB account in the line of work you want to pursue and that you'd like to protect your privacy as much as possible.

    Assuming that's the case, I'd make sure I was logged out of the account. Others have suggested there might be plugins that can help by blocking these links from third party websites, and I think that too would be worth your exploring.

    Social networks can only build a picture of you based upon what you give them. The trouble is that it's very very easy to not even realize you're giving them vast quantities of personal information as you browse third party websites.

  • Re:of course not (Score:4, Informative)

    by msauve ( 701917 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:26PM (#42283449)
    Colonel Harland David Sanders (September 9, 1890 â" December 16, 1980) was an American businessman and restaurateur who founded the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant chain.

  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:55PM (#42283585)

    Facebook doesn't sell user info.

    I thought they did, but only indirectly.

    You can't buy the names and addresses of people from them, but you can request an ad be shown to gay males between 20 and 25 living in the Houston area, then it's up to you to track the IP addresses from your Facebook campaign, and gather the IPs from those people. You can now track them all you like by IP, place cookies (even malicious ones, if you don't mind getting banned from advertising again).

  • Re:of course not (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @12:14AM (#42284049)

    So they would have you believe. Wake up, sheeple!

  • by Roderic9 ( 2454194 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:42AM (#42284761)

    My own experiments show that the facebook cookie is transferred by the site to Facebook even if you have logged out. The only way to ensure that facebook doesn't follow you around is to delete its cookies before going anywhere else.

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde