Together we have co-written a blog about mothering and writing since 2011 and we continue enjoying the twists and turns of thinking through sharing, disclosure and self-censoring in digital writing situations. As feminists, we are grappling with ways to invoke privacy values and boundary setting in a liberatory tradition that celebrates the female voice and the possibilities of self-expression.

As teachers / writers / scholars, we have a longstanding interest in the reflective, educative, and revelatory nature of personal writing. Does writing a parenting blog necessitate presenting news about close relations and relationships? What is frank and fair and what constitutes stepping over the line in talking about others? What are dangers of unsanctioned digital talk? Are there measures or flexible standards to guide how much to reveal about self and others, and how do these questions play out for bloggers with an online presence?
Beth on the Virani article....
Thursday, 23 March 2017

Beth on the Virani article that cautions about Facebook and privacy loss:

Concerns with Facebook’s privacy regulations have been ongoing but I remember distinctly when the big scare that Salim Virani addresses swept social media. I was always suspicious of Facebook's privacy settings and how effective they might be, but assumed that because I don't use my real name, my profile is linked to an old Hotmail account rather than my current email, and I don't have the Facebook app on my phone, that my information was safe. This clearly isn’t the case, and it  now seems naïve and blindly optimistic to assume that our personal information won’t be mined for corporate gain, which happens constantly online from the use of cookies to participation on various social media platforms.  
When Facebook first got called out for sneakily altering their privacy settings a series of copy and paste disclaimers proclaiming the users autonomy and right to privacy went viral. The irony of people making a statement against a social media platform using that very platform didn’t go unnoticed, but more importantly proved how little control we have when operating within systems such as Facebook. The brilliance of the social media companies is that they instil the sense that their “tools” exist to benefit the user, and that they are simply a benevolent provider. This type of branding can be seen across the internet and it is probably time we accepted the fact that anything offered for “free” online is making bank by taking our information, which is worth far more than a few measly dollars.
A friend of mine recently noticed a photo of hers being used for a Vice article. Vice didn’t ask permission, or even notify her, which they should have done to maintain any sense of integrity as a publication. But as we all (should) know any images uploaded to Facebook are public domain and can be used as such. In the end she harangued the journalist who used her photo and they credited her, but she didn’t receive a usage fee, and felt pretty strange about not being asked permission. 

I have been on the fence about getting rid of Facebook for quite some time, and like Clare after reading this article am closer than ever. 

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Fiona Green
... is a feminist mother, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg, and loves to cycle.
Jaqueline McLeod Rogers
... is a mom of two young adult daughters. I received a Ph. D. for studying fiction by women, and have always worked full time as a professor with an interest in writing and women’s experiences.
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