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Wednesday, 30th June 2010

How Facebook Has Changed Our Idea of 'Too Much Information'

From a San Jose Mercury News Article by Scott Harris:

The defining acronym of our time may be TMI, the text-message shorthand for "too much information." In the six years that Facebook has turned its "sharing" service into a global phenomenon approaching a half-billion users, a Nexis search of major newspapers found a 2,000 percent increase in the use of the term "oversharing."

The hazards of TMI can range from embarrassment and job dismissals to fraud. PleaseRobMe.com, a website that uses Twitter's search capability, was set up to highlight how people's willingness to disclose their whereabouts makes their homes vulnerable to burglars.

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TMI can result from ignorance or accidents. Many Facebook users may be familiar with seeing "status updates" from friends that were clearly intended for one person, not the entire group. And in researching this report, a Mercury News reporter who searched the term "abortion" uncovered a terse message on a woman's profile indicating she was at a clinic and feeling "so sad."

Efforts to reach the woman who had apparently posted the message were not successful. It was not clear that she meant this message for the more than 1,000 people in her Facebook network as well as any Facebook user conducting such a search.

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