At a breaking point? Social media auto-overshare to meet its demise in 2013, says privacy law expert

November 13, 2012 by Jessica Martin

Everyone knows someone who overshares on social media, from constant updates about daily minutiae to an automatically generated stream of songs listened to, articles read, games played and other matters blast-broadcast through various applications.

Intentional over-sharers may be a necessary nuisance in our wired world, but the days of the auto-generated stream may be numbered, says Neil Richards, JD, expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis.

"Increasingly savvy users are uninstalling or limiting social reader applications," Richards says. "People are demanding privacy, and resisting having everything shared with everyone.

"A free and open society depends on our ability to close our virtual curtains and read embarrassing or subversive words in private."

"We might be stuck with the friend or sibling who over-shares, but we can expect increasingly expect greater control over what gets automatically shared about ourselves."

Richards discusses the end of frictionless sharing in his short essay "Keep Your Update to Yourself" published in WIRED Magazine's World in 2013 Issue (UK Edition). You can read his essay for free here:

Explore further: Yahoo! email gingerly growing more social

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