Menu
Zuckerberg said what about privacy? Researchers create archive to find out

Zuckerberg said what about privacy? Researchers create archive to find out

The new 'Zuckerberg Files' archive contains over 100 full-text transcripts

If users find Instagram's more robust features as easy to use as Vine's, it could take a machete to Vine's future growth.

If users find Instagram's more robust features as easy to use as Vine's, it could take a machete to Vine's future growth.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sometimes speaks quickly and his statements on Internet privacy are not always clear, so researchers have created an archive to collect everything the executive has said publicly, aimed at gaining a better understanding of where the company stands on privacy.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is hosting the Zuckerberg Files, a digital treasure trove containing over 100 full-text transcripts and about 50 video files documenting Zuckerberg's public statements for scholars to download and analyze. The statements include Zuckerberg-authored blog posts, company presentations, and print and video interviews going as far back as 2004. One of the archive's earliest entries is an article from the Harvard Crimson newspaper, when the then-Harvard student spoke about a file sharing service he was developing, called Wirehog.

The archive is in its early stages, but its developers have ambitious goals. One of the biggest is to investigate how Facebook's CEO approaches issues surrounding user privacy, how his public statements have changed over the years and to decipher more of the company's thinking behind new products for sharing content like photos and status updates.

Take when Facebook first introduced its News Feed in 2006 and the ensuing user backlash. In the aftermath, Zuckerberg essentially told people to calm down, said Michael Zimmer, the lead administrator behind the archive.

Even though the archive is collecting information that is already public, when looked at as a whole it can help detect changes in how Zuckerberg talks about sharing and privacy, Zimmer said. It can give "a better sense of his perspective" and the company's too, he said. And even if the statements come off as PR or corporate branding, new information could still be gained about how Zuckerberg has shifted the company's message over the years, Zimmer said.

Australian Privacy Law Reforms: Are you prepared?
Who knew? Privacy is a concern for teenagers, report finds
Some Australian businesses unaware of privacy act changes

What isn't said could be interesting too -- Facebook doesn't use the word "privacy" very often. Instead the concept is usually framed in terms of "user controls," or "openness." Software like NVivo could be used to analyze this type of rhetoric in the archive's text transcripts, Zimmer said. Then, the insights could give better information to the public about how Facebook really works, he said.

The archive's bibliographic data and metadata are openly available to anyone, but access to the full-text transcripts and video files is limited to scholars doing research in a relevant area. Zimmer didn't want to get caught in a legal gray area by re-posting, say, copyright Wall Street Journal articles about Facebook.

But for researchers, everything's acceptable under fair use principles of copyright law, he said.

One interesting finding so far in the archive's data is the amount of time that Zuckerberg has spent making presentations in places like Brazil and in Europe to promote Facebook's platform to developers, Zimmer said. Bringing the Internet, and Facebook, to more people across the globe is high on the agenda for the company right now, partly through its Internet.org campaign.

For Zuckerberg, "there are more presentations now on broader social issues," Zimmer said. "That's a change."

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessecuritysocial networkingmark zuckerbergsocial mediainternetsearch enginesprivacyFacebook

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments