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The Facebook Effect: Personal lives out in the open

8th June 2010

The rise of social networking mirrors a trend for people to be more open in their personal lives, a technology reporter has claimed.

David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect, told DailyFinance that people are becoming increasingly comfortable when sharing private information about themselves and less concerned about protecting their own privacy when using the internet.

'As more data proliferates about everything in the world, the incremental difference between a little bit more about me being known or not being known, it just matters less to me,' he explained.

Kirkpatrick also told the publication that the differing treatment of US presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama over their past drug use illustrates how unconcerned people are about personal disclosure.

He noted that when Clinton famously admitted smoking, but not inhaling, marijuana there was a great deal of controversy. However, Obama's more recent admission of cocaine use in his teen years attracted relatively little attention.

In The Facebook Effect, Kirkpatrick examines how the social networking website rose from being a project conceived in a Harvard dorm to become one of the most influential communication tools of the modern era.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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