Monday, September 10, 2007

This Weekend's Release

Sometime around this weekend On Monday Sept 17 we're releasing these changes in Friends and the Community. We're not "promoting" it yet, but do want to see how you like it, how it works for you, and so on. We'll announce it widely once y'all have banged on it for a bit. The key elements have been described in detail in prior posts, but a brief reminder would be:

1) "Favorites" (aka "Save to Faves"). Find reviewers or raters you like, and save them. Their recent activity (ratings and reviews only - nothing else) will show up prominently on the Community Home page. Even if you don't use Friends, this is a simple, less invasive way to personalize your Netflix site experience.

2) Rank. Someone at Netflix is the #1 most influential reviewer. We'll see who that is soon enough. But all of us have some ranking. Easy to ignore. Interesting to ponder. Based on a complicated set of factors, including number of highly helpful reviews (movies with few reviews provide most value), number of fans (people who have added you as a "Favorite"), and movies added to queues from your personal pages.

3) Subnav changes. Alas, the blog and other important items have been moved to the bottom of the page; Friends-related items are on the Friends & Faves page. Preferences is gone (yes, gone). Although you can still type in the URL and get to the page. We're phasing it out entirely, starting now.

4) Review Flags. The thresholds have been tuned, and very quickly you should see bad reviews going away and objectionable content managed. It's a community effect, so your vote alone doesn't change things -- but if disparate folks feel the same way, the automation should handle it properly.

5) Friends' Friends. Seeing who is connected to the people you are looking at is a core function of online communities, and will be fun and helpful for movie discovery. Only your real Friends are visible with a real name, and movie info like queue and rental history - this is unchanged. But now you can see their friends, or the friends of reviewers. This is new. They will only be identified by their anonymous nickname and avatar, but you'll see 'em.

RELATED TO THIS: we will be sending out an email to ALL Friends users tonight which will notify everyone of this change and give y'all time to tweak your nickname/avatar if you'd like. Because of your feedback on this blog, we're also making sure that you can select PRIVATE on your Profile page, and this will make you completely invisible outside of the Friends connections. This gives you an added level of comfort, I suppose (although being anonymous is pretty good comfort). Please read the terms of use if you have question. This is going to be a very safe network, but you convinced me that opting out is really important.




We're not done with Community just yet. Lots of improvement and new features still in the works. But i think with this release the shape of things is starting to take form.

219 comments:

  1. It all sounds very cool, especially having the privacy option pertain to friends of friends.

    With the preferences button gone, will there be another way to rename our friends, or will that option be lost completely? I find it pretty handy, but I supposed I could get used to my friend's real names.

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  2. I know it's sort of silly, but you should have a public top 5-10 rank of most helpful reviewers(total reviews matched with the helpful yes/no results), most active reviewers(total reviews), and top quantity raters (ie how many movies they have rated, but not necessarily reviewd, mine would be 2660 something.)

    cheers, go netflix ftw

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  3. re: 2) Rank. Based on a complicated set of factors
    -Why does it need to be complicated? Simple is total reviews related to yes/no helpful ratings.

    (movies with few reviews provide most value)
    -This will make it pretty easy to game the results...

    number of fans (people who have added you as a "Favorite")
    -sigh.

    and movies added to queues from your personal pages.
    -another moot statistic.

    still, go netflix ftw

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  4. I can't wait to try everything out -- both the stuff I'm excited for and the stuff I'm not thrilled about.

    @chrys: You can be influential without writing reviews. I, for one, have only written 2 reviews, but I have a ton of lists and I leave Notes for my friend on tons of movies. Also, if I choose a reviewer as my Fav because of similar taste, I'll start queueing movies off his page just because he rated them highly.

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  5. Sounds good.

    A question on # 4 - You said: " and very quickly you should see bad reviews going away"

    You mean non reviews and those with spoilers rather than reviews from Flixers who have given a low rating and unfavorable review. Right?

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  6. Netflix-
    Lately, popular recently released movies are frequently listed as "Long Wait" and after waiting a while, I just can't wait any longer so I am forced to rent them from a local video store. I joined Netflix for its selection and price, I shouldn't be going to the video store every Tuesday for a popular title. Please get more copies of obvious hits like the new season of The Office, The Lives of Other, The Lookout. I already know that We Are Marshall, Knocked Up, and others that are definitely going to be popular rentals are going to force me to the video store which is unacceptable. Please be even better then you already are and fix this problem which I am sure affects most netflix subscribers

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  7. What if I don't want my friends to see my other friends? Maybe Judy doesn't mind being public, but I don't want Butch to know that Judy is my friend.

    Am I missing something here or did my privacy just disappear? It seems like I have to abandon the Friends feature now. At least I got a warning, but... this sucks.

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  8. I received the email about the new "Friends" layout. I think its going to be a great new way to bring the community together.

    @Anonymous #1 - I have had long wait movies ship immediately. If you don't keep it at the top of your list then you will obviously have to wait a long time to get a movie. I wonder how they calculate that a movie is a "short wait" or "long wait" but still have the movie ship out immediately. I do have one way to almost get the movie the day it comes out especially when its a popular movie... Return one of the movies the day before the movie you want comes out. Granted, the way Netflix should work is that it goes by how long you have had it in your queue, so if someone has it #1 for 3 weeks and you added it and put it #1 a week later, the person who has it in their list for 3 weeks has first dibs.

    @Anonymous #2 - By the email that was sent, it looks like that if they put their profile as "private" only you will be able to see their information and no one else will know that Sue is a friend of yours.

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  9. @chawk - My understand with non-reviews and spoilers, will be that the reviews will still be there (spoilers are still reviews, but have more information than is needed), but will have a "header" stating that the review is a spoiler so people will know if they do not want to know a lot about the movie, then skip the review.

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  10. Amit -- why should my friend have to mark herself Private or change her nickname to protect MY privacy?

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  11. anon #2 - no one else will see Butch as Butch or Judy as Judy. The world will only see them by their anonymous nickname and avatar. No privacy lost

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  13. Anonymous #2, my mistake, i thought it was your friend that does not want people to know she is your friend. Basically, the person who does not want others to know that your part of someones friends list, would mark themselves as private.

    Looking at your post again, I do see what your trying to say though. Because she made herself public, you can not say that this person should not be seen by this person. It is difficult to rule out specific people from showing your other friends. The only way I can think of is to have a hook specifying people from seeing your friends or at the very least have something that says "I do not wany my friends to see my other friends".

    Anonymous #3 is also right.

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  14. @Anonymous #3 - I just realized how that may not be true too though. Even though you have a nickname and an anonymous avatar, butch may know judy's information therefore if butch sees judy's nickname and avatar, he will know that anon #2 is friends of judy's. one problem i can see is that if butch and judy were very close but had a bad falling out, anon #2 does not want to be in the middle of their grudge.

    Just another one of my 2 cents.

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  15. Because this is a movie based network, I'm not very interested in who's number 1 reviewer.

    But this,,,
    1) "Favorites" (aka "Save to Faves"). Find reviewers or raters you like, and save them. Their recent activity (ratings and reviews only - nothing else) will show up prominently on the Community Home page. Even if you don't use Friends, this is a simple, less invasive way to personalize your Netflix site experience.

    Is a feature I think I could use.

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  16. michael, from netflixSeptember 10, 2007 at 8:51 PM

    Anon is correct. You can protect your own privacy-- how you are seen (and whether you are seen)-- but your friends cannot "protect" you.

    But remember: Judy can change her nickname as often as she'd like -- in case too many people recognized her and she didn't want to be. But more importantly - it's impossible for Butch to tell the difference between a Friend, a Fave and a Fan -- meaning (and this is a bit of a fallback position) that he may recognize Judy, but one could always claim she's just saved him as a Fave, and not a Friend. Plausible deniability? Anyway, sorry if this poses a serious problem. I've found it very fun to play with and i've discovered lots of interesting movies (and people) along the way.

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  17. Why can't I have friends who aren't paid up members of Netflix?

    I have a bunch of friends who like movies, enjoy reviewing films and sharing reviews with friends, but can't seem to get over the hump to paying $4.99 per month to subscribe to DVDs. They say their DVD watching habits are too erratic for a subscription.

    Why not offer those willing to write at least five reviews helpful to others to get a free log-in and they could get access to the reviews and the ability to invite friends and share information about favorite films? This would build the review archive and introduce potential members to the benefits of the service without having to pay right off the bat.

    Some of these Netflix fence-sitters have said they would pay less than $4.99 ($1.99 or $2.99 a month) to have access to Watch Now streaming hours (with additional hours payable a la carte), the friends functionality, and ability to access and write Netflix reviews/ratings. Maybe you could throw in one DVD a month for good measure for this kind of starter package. I suggest you at least test a $1.99-$2.99 limited package and see what the reaction is. If Netflix doesn't lower the entry price point, I think iTunes rentals will soon force the issue.

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  18. I'm with Anonymous.
    Do Not Want.
    Way to kill a cool feature, Netflix.

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  19. @anonymous:
    "Maybe you could throw in one DVD a month for good measure for this kind of starter package. I suggest you at least test a $1.99-$2.99 limited package and see what the reaction is. If Netflix doesn't lower the entry price point, I think iTunes rentals will soon force the issue. "

    First, I don't want to see NON_members reviewing/posting. By having only paying members, I find I can lend more merit to reviews.

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  20. I like the features, for sure. But I've noticed that the more features added, the SLOWER Netflix's site gets. For a power user like me, seconds seems like hours. :-)

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  21. @Pamela - I agree that the community features should only be allowed by paying customers. If Netflix allows non-paying people to "critique" reviews and other things on Netflix it will open up a whole new can of worms,by having more flaming and sometimes worse. By only allowing paying customers, Netflix knows everyone and can determine who is the culprit and kick them off. If your not paying, someone can make up alot of false information, if they get removed, then they can just add another account.

    Even if you keep the price plan as is, you may want to allow "Pay per movie" or even have a pay per movie for instant movies only.

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  22. I think the price plan is very competitive if you think about it. The 4.99 plan allows 2 movies a month + 5 hours of instant viewing. Assuming that a movie is roughly 1.5 hours you can watch 3 movies instantly a month. At what I tunes is charging $0.99 per movie, you are paying the same price if you get 5 per month.

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  23. So, by setting your profile to private does this prevent friends from seeing this your other friends (or that you have other friends)? There should be a way to tweak it to prevent friends from seeing your other friends, how many friends you have, etc. It really isn't anyone's business, is it?

    You've been (deliberately?) vague on this aspect, Michael.

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  24. And we should be able to customize our privacy setting.

    For instance - I want my ratings and reviews to be PUBLIC

    But I want my friends to be PRIVATE.

    That's not unreasonable, is it?

    When I invited my friends to be friends on Netflix, I never bargained for this. This ridiculous business was never part of the deal.

    I think this whole bad idea needs more time and work, Michael.

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  25. "Judy can change her nickname as often as she'd like -- in case too many people recognized her and she didn't want to be."

    So, if you change your nickname, it removes you from everyone's Faves list?

    I appreciate the privacy note in the email. Thats a step in the right direction anyway. Not sure why you only sent the email to Friends users though, won't this change effect all users?

    I do agree with others that you should be adding more preference settings, not removing them.

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  26. Is it just me, or do the people that make the most noise and are the most visible on this site kick and scream about "privacy"? If you are that concerned about the casual user being able to see that you (under an anon nick) gave Dr. Strangelove (for example) 5 stars and a glowing review that almost exceeds the 2,000 character limit, then why bother contributing at all? Is the review just for your personal enjoyment? Are you putting that much thought into a complete review of a film so that your old college roomate in Tulsa, OK (and only him/her) knows how you feel about this film? It seems to be a common complaint that shouts its hypocritical origins to the rafters. By taking advantage of Community features on Netflix, you are knowingly entering into a community. If "privacy" is that important (let's say... witness protection program) then why not just email your reviews or thoughts on film to your friends directly and avoid this conflict completely?

    I certainly respect everyone's right to complete privacy and anonimity, however, by joining a website's community section (one which exists solely to connect avid movie fans with others of similar tastes to enrich their personal cinematic experience) you are actively engaging in said community. It seems fairly straightforward to me and I guess I just don't see what all the fuss is about.

    At any rate, I am personally very excited about the launch of these additions to the Community section this weekend. Michael and crew @ Netflix have done an amazing job of keeping us aware of all website changes and accepted a tremendous amount of feedback from users to ensure these changes are put into place with the best interests of the Community at large being the top priority. Kudos for all the continued hard work and I am more than certain that the sky is not falling.

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  27. It seems there is clearly one unanswered question, Michael:

    If you choose to have a private profile, can your Friends see your list of Friends, Favs, and Fans? Or will they just have the current Friends experience?

    I believe that if setting your profile to private meant that no one (even your Friends) could see the list of users connected to you, it would greatly ease the minds of those with privacy concerns.

    @privacy lover: Reviews are public by nature. I believe that if you write reviews but have a private profile, your reviews will appear on the movie pages along with your anonymous username, avatar, and similarity percentage... but people won't be able to click on your name to go to your profile page.

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  28. privacy lover -- exactly right.

    "But they're only nicknames" is not sufficient. "They're indistinguishable from fans and favorites" is not sufficient. Obfuscation that depends upon the actions of others IS NOT PRIVACY.

    Forcing a system-wide all-or-nothing privacy choice REDUCES FUNCTIONALITY and ERASES EXISTING CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE COMMUNITY.

    Michael -- sorry I'm not agog over your latest stuff, but these new features expose information (by default) that was not visible before, and the only "opt out" method smacks of a shunning, relegating anyone who doesn't like the additional information disclosure to a lesser site and refusing their participation.

    And I have to wonder, if Netflix doesn't think this reduced privacy is a big deal, what other information that's now private will be made public in the future under threat of reduced functionality?

    The thing about sharing, Michael, is that it's supposed to be VOLUNTARY. Hiding my reviews because I don't want to expose my friends list may be an oversight, but a flippant "sorry if this is a serious problem, but I think it's great" response doesn't say anything positive about your concern for paying customers.

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  29. I'm going to step away from my normal tone and ask a question to those concerned about the opening up of ratings and reviews to the community while protected by anonymity. I ask this because I'm honestly curious... no seriously:

    What are you afraid of? Is there something specific you want to hide? I'm trying to be empathetic to your concerns, but I'm having a very difficult time understanding your concerns.

    I think that if Michael and the others here knew, exactly, what you are actually worried about (rather than just complaining nonspecifically about the anonymous revelation of information that you feel is private), we might be able to come up with a solution that makes you more comfortable but also allows those of us who want to participate in the orgy of free movie love to do so in a more rich community.

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  30. michael, from netflixSeptember 11, 2007 at 2:48 AM

    If you choose to have a private profile, can your Friends see your list of Friends, Favs, and Fans? Or will they just have the current Friends experience?

    First of all, i'm surprised that y'all think i'm being evasive in some way; i think i'm pretty responsive here. But okay; first question. Yes. If I am private but have Friends, those Friends will see a pile of people who are Friends, Faves and Fans. They won't know who is who. And I probably won't have Fans (if i'm private, it would be hard to imagine). But yes, they see alot. They already see a lot. Your rental history and queue are arguably the most private info you could display. But yes, Friends members is too, and while anonymous, they will be somewhat viewable by other Friends.

    As for other questions: certainly, more privacy settings and nuance is ideal. Everyone should be able to set a range of viewing and exposure elements. But the fact is that the majority of people do NOT set these things, and the most important element is the default state. A system HAS to work for most people in the default state. If it does, then we can begin to implement shades. If this is a step in the right direction, we'll continue improving it. If its hardly used and not that interesting, we won't. So try it and let me know. And as AngelMonkey said, be specific with what is the problem so i can address it; i really would like to understand what kind of scenarios cause you concern with your Friends, strangers, and your movie ratings and so on. I appreciate your debate here. You've got until the weekend to decide if you'd like to try this or not. (Of course, you can also change your mind).

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  31. michael, from netflixSeptember 11, 2007 at 2:51 AM

    Post Script:
    Hiding my reviews because I don't want to expose my friends list may be an oversight...

    And this is wrong. If you are private, your reviews are all still visible in numerous locations on the site, and no stranger will be able to see your profile or Friends lists. You won't be able to made a Favorite by anyone. You're right - you SHOULD be able to write reviews and not expose your friends. That's in the design. I have every expectation this will work nicely.

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  32. @Baff - If your friend changes nicknames like they change their clothes, it shouldn't remove them from your friends list. You added them by email address not by their nickname. So it should just show their new nickname.

    I agree Michael that you should start with a yes or no function, and then people would like to customize their privacy more then you should begin to impliment the customizations more. As a programmer its easier to start with yes and no functions, and then begin to get more deep into branches like if this happends then go here, or here or here. Its too much of work and effort to implement shady areas if no one is going to use it. YOu would want to concentrate on areas for the community not 1 or 2 people. That is why using these blogs are good, it allows the Netflix community let you know how they feel and allows people engaging more. People may agree with some ideas and not with others. They may thing, "THats a good idea anonymous, i never thought of it that way. Netflix, is it possable to do what Anonymous said?".

    Also there there is no way to be completely removed from the community unless the only thing you do is rent movies, and do not add friends or write reviews.

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  33. Is there something specific you want to hide?

    I can't speak for the others, but for me: Not a thing. I would actually like to have most of the features discussed recently (though there are features that I want far more).

    I argue about this for 2 reasons.

    1) Principle. I want Netflix to do the right thing. And as someone else said, if Netflix is willing to hand out this info, what personal info will they be giving out next month? There are already a plethora of malevolent people/companies on net who have no respect for our privacy. I do not want to see Netflix join their ranks.

    2) Legality. Netflix is toeing the line with these features. I am a fan of Netflix and and have invested a lot of time rating movies (18,663), and I really don't want to see Netflix getting taken to court on privacy issues. Such a case would have the potential to cost Netflix billions of dollars, which they don't have. I don't think any of us want to see Netflix go out of business.

    It is against the law for Michael to say "Baff rented Bambi from Netflix." Its a very fine line between "Baff rented Bambi from Netflix" and "Baff rated Bambi."

    The law for anyone wanting to read it: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002710----000-.html

    Its our privacy, we have a right to keep it or expose it. It is not Netflix's to do with as they please. The fact that everyone's personal information will be exposed by default is the problem.

    There are many people who have unknowingly opted into the community and will have their personal info displayed for anyone to see (actually it already is displayed, this will just be displaying more of it).

    There are many people who are far from anonymous in Netflix for a wide variety of reasons. Accident, ex-spouse, ex-lover, ex-friend, ex trusted coworker or schoolmate, someone that looked at your computer or at a Friend's computer, a Friend told someone. And so many other possible reasons, use your imagination, its not hard to come up with 100+ scenarios of someone's anonymity being blown.

    Making our Friends public is just 1 more way for our anonymity to be compromised.

    Michael didn't answer my question, so I will assume that if you change your nickname, everyone that has marked you as a Fave will still be able to see you just fine. That seemed like the only option for regaining anonymity if it was lost. Michael, please correct me on this if I am wrong.

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  34. I'm sorry to hear that the weekend update is getting mixed reviews (3 stars, if you will) but I think this is a really great discussion and I would encourage those of you who are concerned about your privacy to facilitate future enhancements to the system.

    I may post on the privacy issue later, but right now I have a question that's been bugging me for a while, and it relates to rankings:

    *Is ranking or influence affected in any way by the number of reviews I have found to be helpful or not helpful? it seems to me that if the ranking system is trying to identify the most helpful/most read reviewers, that encouraging people to vote reviews up or down would help the system along. It seemed like a stupid question to me, but I've been looking and I haven't found the answer. Alas, now its your stupid question.

    :)

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  35. Michael said"
    "You've got until the weekend to decide if you'd like to try this or not. (Of course, you can also change your mind)."


    I'd like not to try this. So, if I don't want my friends to see each other starting this weekend, my only option is to drop all of my friends? Is this the only way to "decide not to try this"?

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  36. michael, from netflixSeptember 11, 2007 at 8:32 AM

    Sort of. If you decide not to try it, go to the site today and make yourself PRIVATE. Your reviews will still be on the site. You will still have Friends. No strangers will be able to see you, or your Friends. You will have no Fans. And browsers on the site will see nothing of you. But yes, your Friends will be able to see that you have other (anonymous) friends - unless they too have made themselves private. If everyone who doesn't want to be seen makes themselves private, they won't be seen - even by Friends of their Friends. If this isn't sufficient, then yes, you need to drop out of Friends. Or at least disconnect from those Friends who you aren't close enough with to allow them to see that you have other Friends.

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  37. I don't understand everyone's problems, and it really seems to me that some people are making a big deal out of a nondeal. Netflix created a thing called Friends and now they are changing it. If you don't like it, don't use it. What's the big deal? Complain about privacy all you want, you can still opt to use this or not. I don't understand why someone would care if I had any friends, it's not like they can really tell who they are or send them notes or anything, right?

    I think people are just picking a fight for no good reason. This sounds totally interesting and is a good improvement to what had been, in my opinion, a pretty dull part of Netflix.

    It sounds like some people liked Friends the old way and this is just sour grapes about it changing in a way they don't like. Then don't use it!

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  38. Wow, Michael. I can't believe that you guys are doing this. I had a lot of respect for Netflix, I thought that this was one of the few commercial sites that had integrity.

    It's a shame that we don't really have any choice in this matter. Either expose our friends to each other (nicknames are usually not anonymous, buddy), or delete all of our friends. And we aren't allowed to have a public profile, unless we show everyone who our friends are.

    Sounds like a raw deal to me.
    I'm going to notify websites that are concerned with privacy and electronic freedom, and let them know what's going on over here.

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  39. I must be missing something.. I can't find my friend's friends, faves or fans. Where is this feature?! I've been waiting for this feature for ages! Has this been temporarily nixed while you work out the privacy concerns?

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  40. @anonymous with the idea to give non paying members access to write reviews & such-I can see major probs with this idea-something we have discussed in the past is a concern about people flagging other people just to get them lower on the lists and pretty much bogus reporting/flaming. My thoughts were-we all pay for the use of Netflix-why would we do that if we could lose our accounts because of it. YIKES if we have people who aren't paying members hangin around!

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  41. @baff: OK, I totally respect arguing something on principle, and like you, I'd hate if it Netflix got itself into legal issues. However, our opinions differ on both counts.

    1) On principle, I don't think Netflix is doing anything shady or wrong. I don't think they're violating privacy. I feel that they're being very careful to make sure everyone stays completely anonymous to everyone but their chosen Friends, and that they're allowing people to remain private if that isn't enough. Yes, Netflix cannot stop someone from making their username their real name or uploading a picture of themselves as their avatar. But I don't think Netflix should be responsible for policing anonymity for people who don't desire it. And if you're friends with someone who you don't feel is "anonymous" for you, remove that specific friend... or have a chat with them and ask them to please make their username and avatar more ambiguous.

    2) I took a look at the law and I don't think the line between "Jane rentend Bambi" and "Jane rated Bambi" is fine at all. They are clearly completely different sets of information and though I'm not a lawyer, I don't see how Netflix would be at any legal risk.

    To those who are sad that they can't continue to have Friends without those Friends being able to see your other (anonymous) Friends... the Friends system has always been based on full disclosure. That's why they get to see your Queue, Rental History, and your REAL name. Heck, they even know how much you pay for your service because they can see which rental plan you have. You really shouldn't be Friends with someone that you don't want to share everything with... because that's not what the feature is or ever was intended for. This has not changed.

    Also... seriously... we're talking about movie opinions here, not your name, address, and social security number. The concern that this is some kind of "slippery slope" for Netflix to expose actual private information at a later date is pretty absurd, in my opinion.

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  42. Pricing-You will never hear me complain about pricing. At the rate I watch movies-i'm sure Netflix cringes! I even drop by my local store to pick up extra movies when I can or have the cash for it. When you gotta pay over 4 bucks for a new release at most places-NETFLIX is so much more affordable! Add in the watch it now feature-even better! They've got cheap plans for people who don't watch as many movies also. So don't blame netflix for the people out there who are too cheap to pay for a great service!

    As for long wait movies-hardly ever happens to me. If i have a movie that's coming out soon on dvd & i really really want to see it right away-i add to my list really early-at the top or very close to it. It generally gets to me right away-i've never had to wait a long time for a movie. (a long time to me would be more than a week.)

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  43. @Angelmonkey-5 stars dude! That pretty much sums up everything right there-way to go!

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  44. Angelmonkey, in regards to your full disclosure argument, this is a site about movies, not relationships. The point of the friends feature was to share information that is relevant to renting movies with each other, not to reveal to our friends who our other friends are, or whether or not we have friends at all. And for once and for all, please stop referring to our friends as "anonymous", many people use nicknames that could make them easily identifiable to others on one's friend list.

    It's not wrong to expect Netflix to not violate our privacy. Privacy should always be a top priorty on a website such as this.

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  45. Wrong again. The 'friends' pact that we all signed-off on originally isn't changing - namely that when BOTH parties sign-on to be each others friends then they can both see each other's 'real name' (ie the one on our account), queue, recent activity, etc. Everyone else who "sees our friends" (a very confusing phrase) will only 'see them' as 'Punkrockerbabe', or whatever, just as they do now if they write reviews; and that hardly seems to be a heinous betrayal of our privacy. If they chose to use a 'real world' nickname, then they've voluntarily and unnecessarily compromised their own privacy, which Netflix can do nothing about except go "HUH?", as we all do.

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  46. @last anonymous: You're correct, it isn't wrong to expect Netflix not to violate our privacy. I would be up in arms if they were. I just don't believe that they are.

    And I already addressed your issue with the fact that "many people use nicknames that could make them easily identifiable to others on one's friend list." in my previous post under #1. Please re-read it.

    I refer to the profile names as anonymous because they are anonymous. If you hear the report of an "anonymous tipster" on a newscast with disguised voice... they're anonymous. However, that doesn't mean there aren't people out there who might know who the person is. Similarly, just because some people that you know in real life can identify you by your username and avatar doesn't mean that your profile isn't anonymous.

    And finally, you're right, this is a site about movies... which is why adding features to make it easier to find movies you might love is a good thing. The only reason the relationship is at all relevant is because it implies that you might have similar movie tastes... so if I tend to agree with your ratings... maybe I'll agree with this other person's ratings too.

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  47. Angelmonkey, another anonymous poster above has already perfectly summed up the problem with argument your argument in #1:

    "Obfuscation that depends upon the actions of others IS NOT PRIVACY"

    Amen to that.

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  48. The only situation in which "Obfuscation that depends upon the actions of others" would need to occur is with your Friends -- in order to stop your Friends from knowing who your other Friends are. As I mentioned above, Netflix has never maintained privacy where Friends are concerned and I wouldn't expect them to start now.

    As a matter of fact, Netflix has been very good to add privace features between Friends where it was not required:
    - Allowing users to hide specific movies from their Friends.
    - Not distinguishing between Friends, Favs, and Fans on your profile page.

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  49. Angel, privacy should be a given and it should be something that the user should have the freedom to customize.

    Obviously you don't have a problem with your friends seeing your other friends, but you can imagine that others might, right? What floats your boat might create problems for somebody else.
    Are these concerns not legitimate just because you don't share them?

    Netflix shouldn't inflict these pretty radical changes on all of us until all of the privavy isses are ironed out. It might take a few weeks, but wouldn't it be worth it?

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  50. Life is full of compromises, and occasionally a few people suffer for the greater good of the whole. If you don't like the proposed changes, that's certainly unfortunate and unfair to you, but you surely can't expect Netflix not to roll out a feature that they think will, overall, make their site (note 'THEIR' site) more interesting and productive for the vast majority of 'Friends' users just because a few people are squawking? If it's a flop they'll abandon it, and move on. As we suggest you do now.

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  51. This isn't about my preference at all. You're right. Privacy should be a given... and it is. Friends is an opt-in feature. You have to choose your Friends, and when you do you are opting in to sharing private information with them. Privacy has never been a part of Friends, so I'd hardly call it a radical change. If Netflix wants to add more privacy customization features to Friends, more power to them - I think it's a great idea - but it's not their responsibility.

    I feel like I'm repeating myself a lot here.

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  52. An outward-facing friends page is a pretty radical change, IMO.

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  53. An outward-facing friends page is a pretty radical change, IMO.

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  54. I wonder if some concern about friends, friends of friends, etc seeing each others movies could be the type of movies someone rents. What comes to my mind is perhaps if some friends happen to have some alternative life style and others are not tolerant of that. If that's the case there is always the private feature for movies you rent. So you can keep any soft porn, gay etc movies totally private that were rented and if you wish to share those with some friends leave them notes on it.

    I think with the movies private feature and the profile private feature Netflix has gone even further than it had to to help keep things private while still encouraging sharing of reviews and ratings.

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  55. "I feel like I'm repeating myself a lot here".

    There are none so deaf as those that will not hear!

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  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  57. First off, thanks Angelmonkey for responding to everyone. For legal reasons, Michael cannot directly respond to most of this. If you can show our concerns to be baseless, awesome! I really don't expect that to happen, but there are compromises that could solve many of the issues.

    Also... seriously... we're talking about movie opinions here

    The movie opinions are mostly irrelevant.

    The law is meant to prevent movie rental companies from giving out info about what movies their customers watch. I don't see much difference between "These are the movies Bob rented" and "These are the movies that Bob told us in confidence that he has seen."

    To clarify, earlier I didn't mean to imply that Netflix has ill will towards its customers, simply "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

    Similarly, just because some people that you know in real life can identify you by your username and avatar doesn't mean that your profile isn't anonymous.

    Actually, it means exactly that. I'm not referring to Friends, I mean that partial list I gave in another post (ex-spouses, people who just happen to look at your Friend's computer, etc, etc.)

    People do not guard their Netflix Nicknames like they guard their SS# or credit cards, etc. Why? Because, until recently all it was tied to was our reviews. A lot of people felt perfectly comfortable with others being able to link their real name to their reviews, and naturally so. But, just because they want their reviews linked to their name, doesn't mean they want every movie they have ever seen linked to their name.

    A nickname system will never be completely anonymous, simply because Netflix does not really have control over who does or does not know our nickname.

    For comparison, the Movies You'll Love system is completely anonymous. Netflix processes all of our data and then provides us with recommendations without even the vaguest hint of who's information it was based on. When I rated 18,000+ movies, it was with the understanding that was the only use it would be put to.

    On the subject of Faves/Fans/Friends: On the first day this is released, everyone shown will be a Friend. In order for there to be some question about who is a Fave, Fan, or Friend, the Faves feature needs to be released a month (or whatever) before the page showing everyone's Faves/Fans/Friends.

    If Netflix wants to add more privacy customization features to Friends, more power to them - I think it's a great idea - but it's not their responsibility.

    Then who's responsibility is it?

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  58. I feel like I'm repeating myself a lot here.

    So, does that mean you are ready to concede defeat? ;P

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  59. Let's say you really love this beach near your home. It's a great place. You've been going for years. Then today you see a sign posted on the beach. It says that starting this weekend, it will be a nude beach. Clothing will not be allowed.

    Many people don't mind. Should be fun. Maybe more people will come here, since it will be the only nude beach for miles. But you're angry. How dare they do this to you! This was where you liked to go and now you have NO CHOICE but to get naked to come here. It should be illegal! You want to come here in your suit. That should be allowed. How about "clothing optional" you cry. But the powers-that-be tell you that clothing optional actually changes things for all the nudists. Sorry. Think about it all week, but on Saturday, if you're here, you're naked.

    Are the beach owners outside their right to change the rules? Do you have some kind of inalienable right to wear a suit here? But you are rightfully angry - the beach you loved is changing. You might like it, but you are unwavering, and choose to be angry. It is changing, that's for sure. And you will miss the old thing you loved, and that's true too. But it is neither illegal nor unjust. You've got fair warning, and no one is making you stay here. No one is making you get naked. It might feel like they are insisting on your nudity, but the fact is that you are free to stay or go. In good faith they are hoping to make their beach better -- safer, friendlier, cleaner -- and they hope you'll stay.

    Doesn't that about sum it up?

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  60. Thanks to you too, Baff. Clearly, there is much to debate and we don't see eye to eye on many of the issues. We do, however, seem to agree that the best course would be compromises that will leave as many people as possible comfortable with the new features.

    And to respond to your final question: "Then whose responsibility is it?": It's no-one's responsibility. Because it's entirely opt-in, Friends doesn't have to have any privacy features if Netflix doesn't want it to. It may not be the best decision to go this route, but it's certainly their prerogative.

    ... and to the previous commenter. Amusing analogy. The only part that's off is that Netflix actually is allowing "clothing-optional" with the ability to keep your profile private.

    Cheers.

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  61. Ha! To further the nude beach analogy, just for fun... problems seem to be for the following scenarios:

    1) I want to be able to go topless, but keep my bikini bottoms on!

    2) I don't mind if my Friends see me naked... but I don't want my Friends to know that I let others see me naked!

    =P

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  62. OK, Angelmonkey, now I'll need to know where this beach is. Just to fully understand your argument, you understand.

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  63. r.i.p. netflix friendsSeptember 11, 2007 at 4:28 PM

    this comment is for michael -

    you claim that you haven't been evasise yet it took you until today to finally admit that one would have to delete their friends in order to truly opt-out of this foolish "outward-facing" friends feature

    you've been beating around the bush about this ever since you first made the
    announcement

    and even now when faced with the direct question you begin with "sort of" and continue to take the roundabout way before finally admitting that yes, in order to not reveal your friends to your other friends, one would have to quit his or her participation in the friends feature entirely

    you're asking a lot of us, you could at least be forthcoming & non-evasive

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  64. Sheesh, you make it sound like Michael is personally evicting you and your family from your home, or something. Would love to know what mutually annihilating worlds are about to collide in your life to prompt this totally disproportionate reaction.

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  65. Michael,

    When these changes take place will the reviews stop disappearing? It is frustrating that Sometimes my reviews are there, sometimes the last couple will be missing, sometimes they are all gone. Sometimes if I log in on Firefox I have no reviews. If I log in on IE there they are. A couple of other posters on the blog have mentioned this and I'm pretty sure it's associated with server down time but it is sooooo often and annoying.

    Will this get better in the future?

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  66. Michael said,

    “But more importantly - it's impossible for Butch to tell the difference between a Friend, a Fave and a Fan -- meaning (and this is a bit of a fallback position) that he may recognize Judy, but one could always claim she's just saved him as a Fave, and not a Friend. Plausible deniability?”

    That assumes doesn’t it that there’s anyone but friends on your page. I have three. It’s going to be pretty hard to convince them that the others are just fans. And now I have to add lying to the list of “work-arounds” I have to use to get features working the way I expect them to?

    Jaymikey,

    Look at the side bar then refer back to previous posts on community/social networks. Even now it isn’t clear what you are getting into by “joining” this community. And it wasn’t a “community,” whatever that still means, when I first started rating movies, added a few friends, posted my first reviews, began building lists. It seems every time I turn around some new erosion of privacy revealed. As I did with ‘friends notes,’ I’m being forced reassess and analyze all the ins and outs and may have to stop using yet more features I enjoyed just because someone doesn’t think it all that important that I maintain control of what I keep private and what I share. I feel like I’m being told to take it or leave it. If things don’t improve I will have no choice.

    “I certainly respect everyone's right to complete privacy and anonimity, however, by joining a website's community section (one which exists solely to connect avid movie fans with others of similar tastes to enrich their personal cinematic experience) you are actively engaging in said community.”

    That’s not a community you’re describing, that’s a social network. The “community” is supposed to connect us to movies, not people. Even if you haven’t missed all the posts on the community/network issue, I don’t blame you for your confusion.

    AngleMonkey,

    “I think that if Michael and the others here knew, exactly, what you are actually worried about (rather than just complaining nonspecifically about the anonymous revelation of information that you feel is private,,,”

    There it is… “information you feel is private…” That is all the explanation you should need. Someone, or some several someone’s by the sound of it, feel that certain information should be private and we have lost or are going to lose control over that. And instead of respecting that as you claim, we get demands for specifics and justification. It’s none of your business. All I know is that I want complete control over my privacy settings and I’ve been a happy member of several cyber-communities that routinely allow me this. I can choose for every single feature how much I want to reveal and rest assured that nothing is going to change that, that there will be no surprises or changes made in the future to undermine that basic trust.

    Chawk,

    “I think with the movies private feature and the profile private feature Netflix has gone even further than it had to to help keep things private while still encouraging sharing of reviews and ratings.

    I think Netflix has gone further than it had to toward forcing me to drop more and more features I loved. Wasn’t there a post earlier about preserving functionality and services for people while making careful changes. This isn’t that.


    AngleMonkey,

    “And to respond to your final question: "Then whose responsibility is it?": It's no-one's responsibility..”

    It’s completely Netflix’s responsibility if for no other reason than because they want our business. I have no idea what percentage of their power users are being forced to opt-out of a service they loved until these new changes start rolling in, but I’m one of them. Features I enjoyed I can no longer use.

    AngelMonkey completes the nude beach analogy…

    “1) I want to be able to go topless, but keep my bikini bottoms on!”

    “2) I don't mind if my Friends see me naked... but I don't want my Friends to know that I let others see me naked!”

    Exactly. That means you got it now right?

    Anon,

    “Sheesh, you make it sound like Michael is personally evicting you and your family from your home, or something.”

    No, he just sounds like someone who’s being ignored, ridiculed, and then finally deprived of a service he pays for, was using and enjoying, but can no longer use. He sounds like someone who can no longer trust a company he does business with to respect that relationship.

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  67. Could my friends see that I had other friends before? Could I see that they had other friends before?

    What about now?

    Am I wrong, or did a formerly one-to-one private feature just become a disclosure of social connections?

    Netflix is a site about movies -- it's not a social network. FRIENDS ARE NOT MOVIES. I choose to share movie reviews when I write them, and I choose to share my movie tastes and my queue with my friends. Just stuff about movies -- not stuff about who I know, who I might have things in common with, or whether I'm a social creature at all. SUDDENLY FRIENDS IS ABOUT MORE THAN MOVIES.

    Now this would be less of a problem if the Friends feature had never existed, but here's the thing -- it does, and some of us use it, to share stuff about MOVIES with INDIVIDUALS. But that feature's being taken away, replaced with something that discloses more than just what movies I do or don't like. So if I'm not okay with Netflix being about more than just movies, Netflix has just become LESS USEFUL.

    This shouldn't be some impenetrable mystery -- it's as simple as this: sharing what movies a person likes is not the same as sharing WHO a person likes.

    And here's the kicker: you don't have to understand WHY people feel the distinction is important, only that people DO feel the distinction is important.

    Privacy is a sensitive issue. I feel that, while Netflix is allowing me to maintain privacy, they're not doing enough to understand or respect it. The message is "we'll share whatever we feel like sharing about you, and if you don't like it, be happy that we let you withdraw."

    Friends was a useful feature. Now it is a feature I cannot use. It's a net loss of functionality.
    Netflix profit depends on Netflix customers being HAPPY with Netflix service.

    I AM NOT HAPPY. And I am not alone.

    Give me the ability to keep Friends as a one-to-one function.

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  68. This is odd. I posted a question last night and saw it at the bottom of the page and now it's gone. Guess I'll try again.

    If I remove a friend from my Preferences page, will that automatically remove me from his/her friends page?

    Also, when the Preferences button is removed, how will I be able to remove friends or rename them?

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  69. @"just friends":

    You said "And here's the kicker: you don't have to understand WHY people feel the distinction is important, only that people DO feel the distinction is important."

    I've been staying out of this (very heated) argument, but I wanted to respond to this statement, if only because nobody else has yet. I, for one, completely disagree with this. Netflix most certainly does need to understand the distinction you're making. How can you expect Netflix (or anyone else creating a product/service) to grant your wishes without understanding the true nature of your concern?

    As a software developer, it is paramount for me to understand my users and the features they request or "need". Often times, what they say they want is not really what they want, and once we understand what they're getting at, we can provide an alternative solution that ultimately satisfies them completely. But you can't do that if you just allow your users to go kicking and screaming without justification.

    Now, I'm not saying that's what's happening in this case. I think the privacy lovers are presenting well thought-out arguments and are providing enough context without specifically stating their personal issues with revealing such info. But I just take issue with saying that Netflix should bend to our demands "just because we're not happy". If they were to implement every feature that every user (or group of users) wanted just because they stomped their feet loud enough, their site would be a mess. Again, I'm not saying this is a petty issue - just one that needs to be thoroughly understood by both sides...

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  70. okay michael, who gets a bullet, I mean, who is responsible for every new release immediately going to very long wait?

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  71. Hi,

    I love the "Friends Tab", but why is the information so inaccurate now? Back when this feature was first released, I could see *exactly* what my friends had at home, the order of entries in their queue, etc... Now, this information seems to be outdated or inaccurate.

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  72. I'd like to reiterate what Shaun said and ask my question again:

    What are you afraid of? Is there something specific you want to hide? I'm trying to be empathetic to your concerns, but I'm having a very difficult time understanding your concerns.

    Many people have responded to this question with, "I shouldn't have to be specific... I just feel that my privacy has been violated and that should be enough." That certainly is reason enough for me and Netflix to have concern about the feature, but not enough to actually come up with any kind of proper solution to the problem. You're dodging the question. How can we all come up with a compromise that works if we don't know what is making you uncomfortable?

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  73. In order to quell the fears of people who want to be able to maintain their Friends without allowing them to see other Friends... I'd like to propose that setting your profile to "private" would make it so that no one, not even your Friends, could see the list of people connected to you.

    Hopefully, this would be a relatively simple modification that would at least allow Netflix users the ability to keep on using Friends as they always have with no change. Granted, it still doesn't solve the issue of "I want to go topless but keep my bottoms on" and the array of privacy options that would be required to achieve that (perhaps that can be added at a later date?)... but it does solve the problem for people who feel they are being forced to withdraw from a feature they enjoy in its current incarnation.

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  74. i'VE EMAILED YOU ABOUT THIS ISSUE BUT IT REMAINS UNCHANGED -- I WROTE A REVIEW, BUT IT WAS REMOVED FROM THE SITE:

    SUGAR (2005)
    ThiS "INSTANT WATCH" LINK is not Sugar (2005) directed by Patrick Jolley and Reynold Reynolds (experimental horror film); it is Sugar (2004), directed by John Palmer, a far less experimental film, it concerns a gay teen who takes up with a young hustler.

    CALLING CUSTOMER CARE HOOKED ME UP WITH AN IDIOT WHO HATES THE JOB HE IS UNDERQUALIFIED FOR!

    ANYONE WHO TRIES TO "INSTANT WATCH" THIS MOVIE WILL BE P.O.'ED...CAN'T ANYBODY GIVE THIS ISSUE PROPER ATTENTION?

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  75. I'm not sure that the detractors necessarily have a specific scenario in mind. They just don't like having the goalposts moved on them, resulting in stuff that they thought was private suddenly becoming public (however innocuous we might think that stuff is), and that's surely understandable? Even if they can't honestly expect Netflix to alter course half-way through a product launch based on that discomfort. Michael has made it very clear that the only thing that he can really afford to pay attention to is site activity, not our plaintiff cries, so only a mass exodus from friends/community can turn this ship around. So for now let's either try to enjoy the ride, or hop into a life raft and sail away. There'll be plenty of time for fine tuning once it's clear what works and what doesn't, and those that want to duck and cover while that's going on can disappear using the privacy option. Unsatisfactory enough for everyone?

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  76. Michael's been quiet - I'm hoping that as I write this Netflix is performing somne last-minute tweaking on the new release to address our privacy concerns.

    In the light of all these serious objections, it's my opinion that rolling out this new release without new measures added to ensure privacy would be in bad faith.

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  77. Mike,

    “I'm not sure that the detractors necessarily have a specific scenario in mind.”

    They do. They have had. Some of the scenarios can be found and happily dismissed as ‘innocuous’ in previous posts. I see no point in repeating them or adding to them so they can be ignored as well. The only thing developers need to understand is that users don’t want their privacy levels to change unless they specifically seek out a new service or function and change their settings in order to access it. That way those who don’t seek out the new feature never have to worry about erosion of privacy, and those who do have clearly accepted the changes to their levels of privacy.

    “They just don't like having the goalposts moved on them, resulting in stuff that they thought was private suddenly becoming public (however innocuous we might think that stuff is), and that's surely understandable?”

    Exactly, I wish you hadn’t used the ‘?’ there because I would hope that above all else that would be understandable, but at least you seem to grasp the crux of the situation. I should be the sole judge of what is innocuous when it comes to a change in my privacy. That is where Netflix is going wrong.

    “Even if they can't honestly expect Netflix to alter course half-way through a product launch based on that discomfort.”

    I joined this conversation late and only just caught up last night. But I’m not sure, even if I had been here when these changes were being considered that I would have been given a chance to warn them and request they not undermine user control of their privacy. All I recall from earlier posts are some hints of a big change but no indication that privacy was certain to be effected.

    It’s too bad that no one saw this coming. It’s too bad that maintaining privacy isn’t apparently one of the first hurtles developers are concerned with when an idea first gets proposed. If that were the case we wouldn’t have needed to go through this. There are a vast array of cool new features that could be introduced without altering the privacy levels of existing functions. I shouldn’t have to carefully track and assess how each new features might affect my privacy on each and every roll-out. I should be able to trust that new features that affect privacy will be “opt-in” and I’ll only have to assess how they might affect me if I choose to participate in them.

    “There'll be plenty of time for fine tuning once it's clear what works and what doesn't, and those that want to duck and cover while that's going on can disappear using the privacy option. Unsatisfactory enough for everyone?”

    Yes it is very unsatisfactory. And thank you for at least not being obtuse in your assessment of the situation here.

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  78. "And thank you for at least not being obtuse in your assessment of the situation here".

    Thanks, I try. No point being part of a blog if one can't at least make an attempt to listen as well as blab! But surely the word 'surely' connotes a question (even if a rhetorical one) that requires a ? - that's what I should have left out! Good luck trying to reach the infinitely more important ears of those that can actually do something about all this. I'd maybe suggest the Reed Hastings blog if you believe that Netflix is in serious danger of turning a fateful and irrevocable corner -- and you clearly do.

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  79. angelmonkey -- dodging the question? No, answering it:
    What are you afraid of? Is there something specific you want to hide? None of your business. That's the nature of privacy.

    Do I have something to hide? That's what I'm hiding.
    What am I afraid of? That someone thinks I should tell them or they should know whether or not I have anything to hide.

    Privacy -- the state of being free from intrusion or disturbance in one's private life or affairs.

    Sharing about other friends has not been, and should not ever be, a pre-condition for sharing movie stuff with a particular friend.

    ...but from your 10:36am post I see that you get it. *Cheers*

    Your proposal of having "private" apply to one's Friends/Faves/Fans list even between Friends is so appropriate and logical that I'm stunned it wasn't done that way in the first place. Such a change doesn't address the difference between sharing our movies and sharing our relationships -- an issue that's quite at odds with the "we are not a social networking site" mantra, and one that concerns me still -- but it allows the present one-to-one private nature of Friends to remain intact. I'd get my Friends back and keep my relationships separate from my love for movies. That's a good thing.

    I hope Netflix gets it. I hope they get that privacy is important, and that sharing is not a binary operator, and that community and privacy are not mutually exclusive or even endpoints on the same scale.

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  80. Mike,

    I’d rather wait for a reply from Michael or someone from the development team before I consider making broader appeals, or appeals higher up the chain. My interest is getting these things addressed and taken seriously without triggering a any kind of over-reaction from the business types who’s first impulse might be to scrap all community features or otherwise quash innovation.

    I don’t like the implications of where Netflix is heading at the moment, true… but I don’t see any of this as irrevocable. I’m just asking that they refocus on maintaining privacy levels, and then keeping that as their compass from then on… Full Steam Ahead.

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  81. So I think that there are 4 chunks of information that can be shared with others:

    1) Profile - a page compiling your movie Reviews and Lists (including 5-star ratings).
    2) Ratings - all of your ratings, 1-5 stars.
    3) Connections - Users you're connected to (Friends, Favs, and Fans) in one big list.
    4) Queue - Movies in your queue and at home.

    There are two different types of users you can share this information with: Friends and the Netflix Community

    Now, default settings of "on" or "off" for each item. I'd set it up like this:

    1) Profile - "on" for both Friends and Community viewing. This is how the profiles currently function -- you can turn this "off" by making your Profile "private".
    2) Ratings - "on" for Friends, "off" for Community.
    3) Connections - "off" for both Friends and Community. This can only be turned on if your Profile is set to "on".
    4) Queue - "on" for Friends. Can never be viewed by Community due to legal restrictions.

    I would then send out an e-mail to all users asking them to update their privacy settings, while encouraging them to share more by explaining the benefits to the Community. Alternately, I would prompt each user to update their privacy settings the first time they log into the Netflix site after the change has been implemented.

    Implementing this would not be easy, as it would require the display of the Friends and Profile pages to change in a very dynamic way depending on how each person has each setting set. I also don't think that Netflix should be required to give us this much customization. But it would be nice.

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  82. What I think Netflix is trying to do is make Netflix a movie community. You could think of what they are trying to do as a variation of "Freindster". Which I think is a good idea. They are trying to create a community of people who love to watch movies and helps people chose other movies they may not have even heard of. In friendster, you can see your friends friends and all their friends information and post information to other friends which is made public. With Netflix you can keep your friends, but keep your information private so that your friends friends can not see you are a friend and your information. The only way this is going to work is to do away with it completely. No matter what they do, even if they tweek it, not everyone will be happy. As what was said before, they have to look at what they do as a whole and if they offend a few people, they have to decide is it worth it or not. The way they want to it, is either be part of the community or not. If they have enough people embrace it, then they can begin to tweak it by adding more privacy preferences. I never knew that you can hide specific movies that you have rented out until a few weeks ago. That was not there years ago or even months ago. They started allowing friends to share movie ideas and then they saw enough people embracing the friend thing, so then people might have said, "I rented some movies, but prefer my friends or others not to know", so that is when they must have add it.

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  83. Hey AngelMonkey, have you checked out the 'jobs at netflix' link? looks like they could sure use that powerfully analytic mind of yours!

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  84. You live in a small town.

    You have a Netflix Friend (OT 6520539 from Smallville, KS)

    On their Friends/Faves/Fans page you see:
    HM 0987345 from Smallville, KS
    LQ 9834755 from Smallville, KS
    ME 6527384 from Smallville, KS
    KW 0897543 from Smallville, KS
    MR 3245908 from Smallville, KS

    You know most of the people that your friend knows. Would it take you more than 1 minute to figure out who they are just based on their initials?

    Sure, you might not be sure if KW is Kathy Williams or her brother Kevin. But, by going from page to page, you could probably figure out the Nicknames of half the Netflix customers in town (of those that use Friends).

    This is just with the default nicknames supplied by Netflix. A lot of people use nicknames that are far easier to figure out. Its certainly possible to use the same method to figure out who people are in larger town, it would just take longer to sort out the connections.

    This change will not only reveal info that some people might wish to remain private, but will also significantly reduce the anonymity of a lot of people.

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  85. 1) Profile - "on" for both Friends and Community viewing. This is how the profiles currently function -- you can turn this "off" by making your Profile "private".
    2) Ratings - "on" for Friends, "off" for Community.
    3) Connections - "off" for both Friends and Community. This can only be turned on if your Profile is set to "on".
    4) Queue - "on" for Friends. Can never be viewed by Community due to legal restrictions.


    Thats 3 privacy settings instead of just 1. I would be fine with that.

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  86. I agree with angelmonkey, with his ideas.

    And you are right, the more customization that you are allowed the more difficult the programming will be.

    No matter if you creating an application or a website, its not easy, and i think some of the people do not understand. You need to start somewhere. Once you have perfeced the overall idea of what you want to do, then you start working on "What ifs". For example, "What if this person did not want this function, but wants this" or "This person does not like this part, but likes this". Thats when they can start tweaking it for more customizations. They have gone a long way from when I started and I am enjoying the site more and more.

    I think the customizations can be slightly different though:

    Profile - I agree it should be on or off.
    Ratings - I disagree with this. Its part of your profile and reviews that it should be shown at all time to friends and community. If you do not want to show a specific movie rating, you can already make a specific movie private.
    Community - Should be 2 check boxes - Check them to turn it on and uncheck for off. You can check friends and not check community or uncheck both. The only thing is that, if you check "Community" your friends box will automatically get checked.
    Queue - Same as above, use check boxes.

    You may also want to throw "Friends" in to the list. Allowing you to share your friends with other friends and community.
    If all goes well with the above then they can be more private by having a page which will make things more private among friends. For example, let say one of your friends is not getting a long with your other friends, you can check "I dont want to share my other friends with this friend". Again that can be very very difficult to develope, but its an idea if all works out with this.

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  87. "I agree with angelmonkey, with his ideas."

    pfft... I'm a girl. ;P

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  88. Netflix also has to consider the Netflix users as a whole. I am pretty sure, that majority of the Netflix community are not tech savy, my guess which is probably way off, that 10% is semi or tech savvy. If they allow too many customizations all at once, it will confuse the non tech savvy people and in the end may not work the way they intended. So they need to implement things in several tweaks over a time frame.

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  89. Sorry angelmonkey.

    I agree with angelmonkey, with her ideas

    Is that better? ;)

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  90. Oh also... I actually agree with Amit about the Ratings. I think they should be bundled with the Profile and that there shouldn't be a distinction between all ratings or just 5-star ratings.

    I only broke it out because people had complained about having ALL their ratings visible in an earlier thread.

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  91. One question is who is complaining? Is it the people who did the rating or people who see the ratings? In either case, Netflix may want personalize the ratings by what ratings they want to see. For example, I only want to show all my ratings above 4 stars or higher. The same can work for people who want to see someone who rating movies above 4 stars.

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  92. "Once you have perfeced the overall idea of what you want to do, then you start working on "What ifs". For example, "What if this person did not want this function, but wants this" or "This person does not like this part, but likes this". Thats when they can start tweaking it for more customizations."

    We aren't talking about a preference that would change Netflix from red to blue.

    This is about privacy, its a Pandora's Box. Once its open, its too late to go back and put precautions in place.

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  93. Good point Baff. In that case they should stop making Netflix a community all together and just allow people to rent movies and rate them and write reviews. No matter how much privacy you give people, there will be people that still want more privacy. As it is now, it might not be private enough for a lot of people.

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  94. @amit - No one has complained about being able to see more ratings. Quite the opposite, in fact -- many people (myself included) really want to see more than just 5-star ratings because it gives us a better idea of whether or not we can trust that reviewer's opinion.

    Check out the comments for the "Thunderdome" posting if you're curious. (I commented as Amanda there because I hadn't uet updated by Blogger profile).

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  95. Also, Netflix can pretty much do what they want. Everyone signed an agreement. 99% of the people who signed up with Netflix did not read the privacy statement. If you did not read its no one fault but your own.

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  96. @Angelmonkey. I see what your saying now. I think thats a great idea. Then my comment stands, allow people to say the minimum rating they want people to see.

    Also, to tell you the truth, I don't trust anyones ratings but my own. The reason is no matter how people are similiar to me, they don't know my thinking. I base renting my movies on the synopsis. If the the movie sounds good, then more often then not, I will like it. Thats why majority of my ratings are high. I enjoy movies just to enjoy them.

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  97. People have asked those of us with privacy concerns why we don't want to share our info or what we're afraid of. I'll be honest and answer the question. The truth is I have no idea.

    I actually have no problem with my friends seeing who each other are. (Well, a small problem, but I can get over that.) The thing that I don't like is that my friends' friends will see me and my home town. I don't know why that bothers me, it just does. Maybe if my town wasn't listed, I'd be fine; I don't know. It's irrational but that's how I feel.

    PS: I'm a little nervous that nobody was able to answer my questions about deleting friends from my account from this morning. Hopefully, it's just because I didn't phrase it clearly enough and nobody knows what I'm talking about. I'd hate to think the answer is that you can't delete yourself from someone else's friends list -- or that once Preferences is gone, you'll never be able to delete anyone ever! :eek:

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  98. michael, from netflixSeptember 12, 2007 at 4:35 PM

    Okay folks. You've made your point. Let me formulate my thoughts and response and I'll create a new post for the blog tomorrow. Thank you all for really civil and intelligent debate.

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  99. Ang, if you go to "Preferences" under community. You can remove your friend. If you remove your friend, then you should be removed from them as well. I hope this answers your question.

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  100. I have read the Netflix Privacy Policy, several times in fact.

    Basically, it says that they will do whatever they want with our info, but it will be anonymously. I'm fine with that.

    My argument is that our Nicknames are not anonymous, so this use is not covered in their policy. I'm not so fine with that.

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  101. Your nicknames are plastered all over Netflix. So what is the difference on what they are doing now with the nicknames? If you use that as a legal reason, then they are already crossing the "privacy" line from the beginning.

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  102. @Ang: Thanks for your honesty. Actually, if you set your profile to "private," your friends' friends won't be able to see you. You won't be listed at all on their Friends & Favs page. Also, your town isn't listed on the main page -- a user would have to navigate to your profile page (if you have a public profile) in order to get that info about you.

    To answer your question about removing a Friend: YES, if you remove a Friend you will no longer appear in that Friend's list. So no worries there.

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  103. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  104. @baff - Nicknames and avatars are as anonymous as you choose to make them. Since Netflix isn't forcing you to reveal yourself in your nickname, the privacy policy clearly gives them the legal right to do whatever they want with your information as long as the info they give is associated with your nickname and not your real identity.

    Just because someone may know the identity of a person with said nickname, it doesn't make the nickname any less anonymous. If a "friend" of mine posts on their blog, "AngelMonkey's real name is Jane Doe and she lives at 555 Fake St. and her phone number is 555-555-5555"... my nickname is still anonymous because Netflix didn't provide the information linking my nickname with my true identity, my friend did.

    A method for distinguishing one reviewer from another is required in order for people to be able to save favorite reviewers. I think it's neat that we can customize our nicknames and avatars to make them more personal (and perhaps a bit less anonymous) if we choose to. If you want to be truly anonymous, throw out the nickname Netflix gave you and replace it with a random number (sans the initials).

    @Michael... Thanks for responding and thanks for putting up with our unending debate. :)

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  105. Techy people can someone please answer this question for me.

    I just logged on with Firefox and on the community page my reviews are no long listed - message says:
    "There are no reviews currently available for this member. "

    I am also logged on with Internet Explorer and all the reviews are showing on my Community page. (same page that has that message on FireFox)

    I've cleared the cache on both browsers. Does anyone have any ideas as to why reviews on the community page appear and disapear and show on IE but not on Firefox?

    They are still listed on the movie pages.

    Thanks.

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  106. From my understanding-you can still use the friends feature without letting them see your other friends if you make your profile private.

    They still get to see what movies you have, what movies you've rated, and what you've got in your queue (why this would be more acceptable to some of you than your friends seeing whos in your network is beyond me).

    The only thing you would'nt be able to do is be a top rated person. WITH A PRIVATE PROFILE-YOU CAN STILL RATE MOVIES & WRITE REVIEWS

    Perhaps this list of people in your network will show user names, not numbers. We will have to wait and see i guess.

    Netflix is not the only site that doesn't allow you to hide people in your network (and they are giving you that option!). Take into consideration that most Myspace users don't know how to do that. Also there is Yahoo Answers and Yahoo 360. What Netflix is doing is not something NEW, it's just new for them.

    Quite honestly, in my opinion, no one so far has actually stated WHY they do not want their friends to see who is in their network.

    And i'd have to reevaluate any person in my life who would share what movies they have at home and what movies are in their queue but not who else is connected to them (it doesn't say Friend-It's all fans/favs/and friends.) Are you perhaps a serial killer who is tracking people in your network down & murdering them or something? WHY do you need to hide this list???!!!??? WHY is that so important to you to hide who is connected to you?? Are you perhaps up to something you shouldn't be up to? Good-spose those friends on your list will get suspicious when you hide yourself. More power to em.

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  107. PS-I'm sure we all got a notice along these lines that we agreed to before getting involved with the Friends feature in the first place GO To the Terms of Service to read further (i tried to find an old copy of the terms of service, but it's been updated already-but it should not have changed much-there were warnings!:

    Netflix, Inc., reserves the right, from time to time, with or without notice to you, to change these Terms of Use in our sole and absolute discretion.

    BY USING THE COMMUNITY FEATURE AND ALL RELATED FEATURES, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOU ARE CONSENTING TO THE RELEASE OF INFORMATION ABOUT YOU TO A PUBLIC FORUM, INCLUDING OTHER MEMBERS OF THE NETFLIX COMMUNITY, NETFLIX SUBSCRIBERS AND OTHER VISITORS TO THE NETFLIX WEBSITE. IF YOU DO NOT WANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOU, INCLUDING PERSONALLY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION TO BE SHARED IN A PUBLIC FORUM, DO NOT USE THE COMMUNITY FEATURES.

    Use of the Community feature is for your personal, non-commercial use and is at your own option and risk.

    Each person on your Friends List will be able to view your real name, location, movie ratings, Queue information, reviews and any comments and other information you choose to post, and you will be able to view their real name, location, ratings, Queue information, reviews and comments. Your Friends will also be able to see some general information about your other Friends. Your Friends will also be able to leave you notes, visible only to you and them. Your "Queue information" is what movies you have at home, what's currently in your Queue and what movies you have rented in the past.

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  108. Amit,

    “Good point Baff. In that case they should stop making Netflix a community all together and just allow people to rent movies and rate them and write reviews.”

    This is the real solution. Netflix as a whole should not be considered a community. It should stop pretty much where it was. We rate, to get our recommendations, we rent, we write reviews. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a door in Netflix that leads to a Netflix community. If the community were kept separate then it wouldn’t affect or overly complicate the site function of all the less involved users. The complexity it seem to me comes chiefly because there is no clear delineation between the types of users and that the community functions are being integrated too much with the basic functions of the Netflix site.

    “No matter how much privacy you give people, there will be people that still want more privacy.”

    First I’m not going to allow any business to “give” me my privacy. I’m not going to allow them to take it away… Which is why I’m allowing this to take up so much of my time, because I enjoy using Netflix and want to continue using Netflix. So I want them to reassess what they are doing and be a trusted and responsible player.

    And once corrections to the privacy erosions that are already taking place are corrected, ‘wanting more privacy’ won’t be an issue. You will have it unquestionably and will only relinquish any portion of it by your choice… If you decide to seek out and ‘opt-in’ to any of the community features.

    AngleMonkey,

    “@amit - No one has complained about being able to see more ratings. Quite the opposite, in fact -- many people (myself included) really want to see more than just 5-star ratings because it gives us a better idea of whether or not we can trust that reviewer's opinion.”

    Others have requested access to all ratings too… some have actually requested that they be allowed to send messages to any other Netflix member uninvited with no respect for the privacy of all those other people. I don’t know if Netflix can legally reveal all or even a portion of our ratings, they seem to say they could, at least in part, because ratings aren’t the same as rental history. If that is true and the lawyers approve, Netflix could both follow the letter of the law and the spirit of the law (which implies that ratings are private too) simply by making sure that the user controls specifically whether or not their ratings are shared in this way. People who want to do so might be allowed to do so as long as everyone else is protected from ever having their ratings exposed.

    Amit,

    “Also, Netflix can pretty much do what they want. Everyone signed an agreement. 99% of the people who signed up with Netflix did not read the privacy statement. If you did not read its no one fault but your own.”

    I have to disagree. No business can afford to use their user agreements or privacy statements to disregard or abuse the trust of their customers. And they can’t even count on the courts protecting them if they are particularly reckless or abusive of user agreements.

    Ang,

    “It's irrational but that's how I feel.”

    It’s not irrational, I love my friends don’t necessarily love everyone they associate with.

    Sorry Chawk,

    Not that techy…

    Michael,

    Thanks, I look forward to tomorrow’s post.

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  109. anonymous said:

    "I have to disagree. No business can afford to use their user agreements or privacy statements to disregard or abuse the trust of their customers. And they can’t even count on the courts protecting them if they are particularly reckless or abusive of user agreements."

    Regardless of where I stand on this whole privacy deal, I certainly agree with this statement, and I think Netflix would too. Just because they can do this or that doesn't make it the prudent move...

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  110. AngelMonkey said:

    "(I commented as Amanda there because I hadn't uet updated by Blogger profile)."

    Ha! AngelMonkey is Amanda! I knew it! Your privacy has been VIOLATED!!!

    Sorry, just wanted to lighten the conversation a bit...

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  111. People have asked those of us with privacy concerns why we don't want to share our info or what we're afraid of. I'll be honest and answer the question. The truth is I have no idea.

    Then it honestly sounds like you all just want to complain about something, Hard for us to take your concerns seriosuly if you dodn't even know what your concerns are.

    I actually have no problem with my friends seeing who each other are.

    Then sounds like you have no problem with what Netflix is doing

    The thing that I don't like is that my friends' friends will see me and my home town. I don't know why that bothers me, it just does. Maybe if my town wasn't listed, I'd be fine; I don't know. It's irrational but that's how I feel.

    Yes that is being irrational and a thought process you need to change. Beacuse no one knows who you are. it does not list your name! It lists a 100% completely anonymous nickname.

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  112. Cynder66 said:
    "WHY do you need to hide this list???!!!??? WHY is that so important to you to hide who is connected to you?? Are you perhaps up to something you shouldn't be up to?"

    Were you a member of the Gestapo in a past life? LOL

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  113. @shaun - "Sorry, just wanted to lighten the conversation a bit..."

    What? The nude beach analogy didn't lighten things enough for ya? ;)

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  114. this seeing friends of friends stuff is totally unacceptable. I agree with everyone who wants an option to block friends from seeing each other. And for all those asking why? I don't want my mother seeing some of the stuff my friends watch. Period. It would be sad to have to drop people from my friends list because of something like that. I don't care if my friend's friends see me, but they might, and they need to be able to choose, the same as I do.

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  115. cynder66 said, "Quite honestly, in my opinion, no one so far has actually stated WHY they do not want their friends to see who is in their network." So? No one so far has actually stated WHY they need to know this. See, we don't answer this question because answering the question requires giving up the very privacy we seek in the first place.

    I think really what you're getting at is that you don't think people deserve privacy -- unless their reason is compatible with your value system. May the next time someone asks you a personal question give you pause to reconsider the certainty that everyone shares your values.

    "Netflix is not the only site that doesn't allow you to hide people in your network." It's the only one that's renting movies. Please see "Netflix is not a social networking site."

    "And I'd have to reevaluate any person in my life who would share what movies they have at home and what movies are in their queue but not who else is connected to them..." (Ridiculous statements amounting to "only evil people want privacy and thus privacy is evil and must be stamped out" omitted from quote.) I have to consider any person who doesn't respect my privacy a threat.

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  116. "WHY do you need to hide this list???!!!???

    Gee, maybe because it's nobody's damned business? That's the bottom line. My friends and my friends' friends are not the business of every shmoe with a Netflix account and too much time on their hands. So somebody wants to see how I rated everything I've ever watched just to see if you can "trust" my reviews? Sorry, but no. What I watch and how I have rated thousands of movies is just none of your business. If I decide to post a review that's up to me, but it shouldn't open other information up, no matter how innocuous it may seem, to anyone who happens to be cruising through.

    I don't care to have my ratings, queue, profile, or whatever else Michael thinks will enhance the "community" on display. That isn't what I joined Netflix for, and it won't be an incentive to spend more time on the site. I have found more movies than I can fit in my queue searching the site and following links.

    To flip this around, why are you so intent on seeing everyone's info?

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  117. @h.h. - That's a fair question. Here's my answer: I'm intent on seeing everyone's info because I think it will make it easier to discover great movies to watch. I don't care about the identity of those people... just that there are people, with opinions on films that I agree with, that I can learn from.

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  118. to anon from September 12, 2007 8:18 PM and cynder66...

    No need to get rude and nasty here, especially since Michael just mentioned this being a civil and intelligent debate. Well, it was.

    PS: It sure would be a lot easier to respond to everyone if they'd use a name instead of hiding under anonymity.

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  119. Agreed on all counts. Although please realize that some people don't want to use their real name, but also don't want to lie by adopting a fake one when they're speaking from the heart. You omit to mention that Michael, besides praising everyone's civility and rationality, also announced that the privacy cloak has been broadened to include friends - the response so far has surprisingly muted after 119 passionate posts on the subject!

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  120. I don't care to have my ratings, queue, profile, or whatever else Michael thinks will enhance the "community" on display.

    One thing you are forgetting to consider is that no one will know it is you. You'll be 100% anonymous. And to those who have worries about it, just make yourself private. No problem, then those who want to participate can those who don't won't have to worry about it.

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  121. To flip this around, why are you so intent on seeing everyone's info?

    Two things: First of all, I won't be able to see everyone's info. I will only be able to see what movies they like and/or recommend. Secondly, I want to see what movies someone recommends because, it will help me find new movies. Plain and simple.

    What I watch and how I have rated thousands of movies is just none of your business.

    Then make yourself private, what's the problem?

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  122. I don't want my mother seeing some of the stuff my friends watch.

    So you don't want your mother to know that there are people out there watching movies she might not like or approve of? Not sure I understand that statement.

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  123. A very interesting debate to be sure. Though not a new one. The issue of privacy has been an ongoing debate since I have been on-line beginning in 1995.

    The number one privacy question always asked is "What do you have to hide?" and the number one response is "That is none of your business, that MY private concern!".

    I enjoyed the Beach analogy, as it falls into line with our "Inky Dink" philosophy.

    See when you can wear you bathing suit no one can see whats beneath it. Therefore your "very real" or "self perceived" deficiencies remain hidden. When forced to reveal what is hidden your ego and self esteem are put out there for everyone to see.

    But the reality of it is TRULY

    Nobody cares about your issues except you. More importantly, nobody else's opinion about you matters nor has any relevance to who your are… Except your own.

    To tie these personal issues and insecurities into a website that rents movies "and" offers you suggestions on titles that you may enjoy based on others similar to you is just silly.

    I don't care who your Friend's are, I don't care who knows who my friends are (no one at the moment), I don't care what movies or genres you prefer, nor what movies or genres your friends may prefer.

    All I care about is that folks with similar likes to my own may have seen a movie that I never heard of and enjoyed it, that I may "choose" to rent it, to expand my level of entertainment to a level.

    Personally I prefer Special K over Corn Flakes, and I don't care if you know that. Fact… Most people will not even care to know it or that I don't care if they do.

    Besides, if most folks really knew how much information about them I could truly discover on the Internet, VERY EASILY, they would become catatonic with fear!

    Oh Wait… I would need to know you "REAL" name first, where you are "Currently" living, your age, etc.

    Yet "Gasp!!!" This is NOT a thing Netflix is offering with these new features…

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  124. Becky Glass (previous anon)September 13, 2007 at 8:01 AM

    From Anon 9/12 8:18

    “People have asked those of us with privacy concerns why we don't want to share our info or what we're afraid of. I'll be honest and answer the question. The truth is I have no idea.”

    “Then it honestly sounds like you all just want to complain about something, Hard for us to take your concerns seriosuly if you dodn't even know what your concerns are.”

    Just because he/she has “no idea” doesn’t mean the rest of us have no idea. Quite the contrary. Other’s have been perfectly clear on this issue but are being dismissed by you and most others who just can’t seem to see past the idea that that other people might have different privacy thresholds than themselves and should be respected. If you are just being lazy and not even make the attempt to understand another persons perspective. We can’t help you. If you simply have a mental block, and are truly incapable of understanding another person’s perspective… Again we can’t help you. Other people who seem to share your comfort with what has been proposed so far are still ALSO capable of understanding the objections that have been expressed. I just don’t know how anyone could get through to you and the others who just claim they don’t get it. It’s shouldn’t be this difficult to understand that not everyone will agree that their privacy concerns are trivial when they feel they are being undermined and that Netflix should have sole control over their privacy here. And that furthermore, Netflix should be allowed to decide these matters now and at anytime in the future at their discretion without further regard to basic privacy rights. Again if you can’t, or refuse to understand, no one can help you.

    It seems to me that contrary to my wish to maintain my privacy… Your wish (and other’s similar wish) to disregard my privacy rights just so you can find a movie to rent… Now that is trivial.

    Becky

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  125. Becky, can the privacy of a person be violated if that person is anonymous?

    We don't want to see your face and we don't care who you are. We just want to compare what you have under your bathing suit to what we have under ours. If you don't want us to see, then don't take your suit off.

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  126. But Becky, why are you so concerned about the opinions of people who just can't or won't 'get it'. Most of us do respect your privacy rights, but since Netflix allows you to exercise them with the privacy option (which will now hide both you and your friends, if you read the next thread), we're puzzled why you and others are still banging our head against the wall with this issue.

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  127. @Frank. That rather creepy argument is hardly persuasive, as evidenced by all the hullaballo about the proposed x-ray security machines at airports that can see right through your suit, bathing or otherwise. Do you favor those too?

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  128. That rather creepy argument is hardly persuasive, as evidenced by all the hullaballo about the proposed x-ray security machines at airports that can see right through your suit, bathing or otherwise. Do you favor those too?

    Anonymous, the comment was obviously made in jest as an allusion to the previous analogy. But to fully address your comment, as a matter of fact I have no problem at all with those x-rays machines if they make air travel safer. Do you think you have anything under there that no one else has and do you think that anyone who sees what you do have cares or knows who you are? If yes, then perhaps an ego-meter calibration is in order. So, I must say while a fairly inaccurate analogy to what is happening at Netflix, I don't see how anyone could have a problem with the machines as long as you are anonymous.

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  129. Smug, but fair, Frank. Funnily enough, as a trade off against being decimated in mid air, the machines don't bother me either. Although I'm not sure how thrilled either of us would be if our faces and naked pix started appearing on u-tube. I think at that point our actual names wouldn't really be the issue. But we're drifting far, far from the subject, for which I apologize.

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  130. Frank,

    “Becky, can the privacy of a person be violated if that person is anonymous?”

    Yes. It’ s been explained previously by myself and others. (Unless your still just trying to be funny… I can’t tell)

    M.path,

    “But Becky, why are you so concerned about the opinions of people who just can't or won't 'get it'.”

    I’m not much anymore… which is why I pointed out that all the explanation they should ever need already exists within the previous posts and I therefore can’t see the point of continuing that thread of discussion. It’s redundant, tedious, and given me, and everyone else seriously following this issue, enough of a headache already.

    “Most of us do respect your privacy rights, but since Netflix allows you to exercise them with the privacy option (which will now hide both you and your friends, if you read the next thread), we're puzzled why you and others are still banging our head against the wall with this issue.”

    Because you apparently don’t really understand what the issue is yet. Mike (see above) is correct. We don’t want the goal posts to continuously move on us. I can opt-out of everything as you said. But if I want to protect my friends by doing so, I can no longer use all the other features as I was. You may think you respect my privacy rights but how seriously can I take that assertion when it seems clear to me you don’t understand what’s really at issue.

    Becky

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  131. 2McAbre (aka Jon) -- your argument trivializing privacy assumes that no harm can come from disclosing any information because NO ONE cares. Absolutes are dangerous. I hardly fall prey to the Chicken Littleness of newsmedia but I come up short of believing that everyone in the world is benign and disinterested. But you undermine your own argument, "joking" that you could dig up frightening amounts of information given a few keys. While it's true that there's a Pandora's Box of personal information carried by credit bureaus, this is not the only method by which information is obtained and people's lives are changed. Real people can identify each other whether they're wearing their full name address and SSN on their lapel or not. This is the crux of the problem discussed here, a problem that Netflix has now averted by extending the "Private" flag to make one's Friends invisible to each other. Averting this problem happened only after we raised the issue here and fended off South-Park Saddam-style "hey, baby, relax!" comments. You should understand that arguments like yours are insulting.

    You say that I have nothing to fear from disclosure. I counter that you have nothing to fear from non-disclosure. You can't undermine my position without undermining your own. The reality of it is TRULY between these extremes, which is why the issue of privacy remains an ongoing debate.

    BTW, Product 19 pwns Special K.

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  132. Yeah, trust the hacker dude when he tells you to just relax.

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  133. lunkhead (formerly m.path)September 13, 2007 at 11:54 AM

    Dear Becky. Will try harder. But walking in someone else's conceptual shoes is notoriously hard (hence uninterrupted warfare ever since Jericho fell). This is a really interesting and eye-opening discussion, as we tip-toe rather impressively just this side of the usual name calling and ugly epithets.

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  134. Just Friends…

    Wasn't trivializing privacy concerns at all, though to someone who fears disclosure it may seem so.

    I am who I am, what you see is all that you get. I do not fear letting anyone know whatever they want to know about me, because that fear IS trivial, and I choose not to live my life with that degree of fear.

    This world would be a far better place if folks would spend less time fearing "Truth" instead of fighting so hard to live behind their veils of deception.

    The bottom line still does remain, but I will clarify this "just a bit".

    The VAST majority of people on the face of this earth do not give a second thought as to whom you are or what you are about. They choose to spend their time with a greater focus on "themselves", not on those whom they do not know.

    The very MINUTE number of people who would take your information and use it for other stuff like, oh I don't know, how many 12 year olds prefer big macs over whoppers, or do women under the age of 30 still like action adventure flicks, etc. STILL do not care who the "Individual" is.

    That is not trivializing privacy concerns, that's simply stating a fact.

    As Dramatist (hah, drama) John Heywood once wrote in the year 1546…

    "Wolde you bothe eate your cake, and haue your cake?"

    Before you answer that question let me explain what Mr. Heywood meant.

    Basically, he was saying sometimes you have to make a decision and live with the consequences.

    Like choosing to be private with the associated consequences, or choosing not to be private, with the associated consequences.

    To "eat your cake and have it too" means you want it both ways.

    Something seldom granted in the real world.

    Special K to Corn Flakes, Check Mate.

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  135. While it's true that there's a Pandora's Box of personal information carried by credit bureaus, this is not the only method by which information is obtained and people's lives are changed

    Absolutely Amazing! Social Security numbers and credit bureaus are now being mentioned in the same discussion as Netflix Friends & Favs. Think some people are placing too much value on their own movie opinions?

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  136. Formerly M.path, concerning the difficulty of walking in someone else’s conceptual shoes without resorting to ugliness…

    We can but try.

    I hope you don’t think I was trying to do anything but communicate my frustration that I can’t get certain other people to take privacy protection seriously, or understand points that have been fully argued already to my mind. I wish I could, but I can’t think of any argument to add to what has already taken place. I’m not trying to call anyone names or imply that they are inherently stupid. I just don’t understand why this issue is so hard to understand for some, especially for people who otherwise say they care about privacy and mean it. I don’t know how to help them understand. I just don’t.

    Becky

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  137. As it so often does, it seems to come down to semantics : what you consider 'privacy'. My, and others', line-in-the-sand has to do with name, address, soc#, age, sex, 'orientation', ethnic origin, belief system, etc.., but am fine with people knowing what car I (as a nameless cipher) drive, foods I like, books I read, and yes, movies I watch. For other people the circle of privacy is obviously much larger. And I think that's why neither side can get any real traction with the other.

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  138. @Becky - Didn't take your comments ill in the least. I find your arguments very persuasive (as did Michael, clearly), and think it's essential that we allow other people to show us stuff beyond our own sadly limited mental horizons. That's precisely why I love movies so much.

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  139. Why is this issue so hard to understand? One's privacy cannot be violated in the least if one uses an anonymous alias. Can't for the life of me understand why that is so hard for some to grasp.

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  140. Anon,

    “…but am fine with people knowing what car I (as a nameless cipher) drive, foods I like, books I read, and yes, movies I watch.”

    But don’t you at least want control over that set of information? Can’t you envision a time when Netflix will introduce a community feature that you simply just don’t want to be bothered with? Or imagine how you would feel if then you would have to give up sharing all that other stuff in order to remain unbothered by the new feature? Don’t you too wish to remain worry free when it comes to new, unforeseen applications of the information gathered about you? Even if we uses usernames online as a buffer between ‘real life’ and ‘cyber life, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have control, or wouldn’t mind if that part of our identity were compromised in any way.’ At least that is the case for me, and that’s where I’m coming from in this.


    M.P

    Thanks for the clarification. You had me worried. ;)

    Becky

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  141. Even if we uses usernames online as a buffer between ‘real life’ and ‘cyber life, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have control

    Usernames make you completely anonymous. And an anonymous person's privacy can't be violated.

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  142. Why usernames are not always anon has been covered

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  143. "Why usernames are not always anon has been covered"

    But they've not been covered with logical thought, and that's the point here.

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  144. "But don’t you at least want control over that set of information?"

    I fear that that train left the station the instant I plugged into the cyber hive, and only enrollment in a witness protection program amongst the Amish could return that now illusionary control to me. This may amuse/horrify you if you haven't already seen it :

    http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

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  145. "Why usernames are not always anon has been covered"

    Why usernames actually are always anon unless the person chooses to make the username identifying has also been covered.

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  146. @becky "But don’t you at least want control over that set of information?"

    Personally... and this is really just personally. The answer is NO. If no one has any idea who I actually am, I don't care in the slightest bit what anyone knows about me. If I was a serial killer... I wouldn't care if people knew that about me either as long as they didn't know my actual identity and therefore couldn't have me arrested. If I'm anonymous... meaning that the information being given isn't linked to any identifying information about me, I don't care what people know and don't feel the need to have any control over that.

    "Can’t you envision a time when Netflix will introduce a community feature that you simply just don’t want to be bothered with?"

    Sure... maybe I won't want to be bothered with it. So I'll just ignore it. In fact, I might do just that with the new Rank & Influence feature. But that doesn't mean that it bothers me that other people can see my Rank & Influence.

    "Don’t you too wish to remain worry free when it comes to new, unforeseen applications of the information gathered about you?"

    I am worry free. Netflix can do whatever they want with the information they gather about me, as long as it's only linked to my anonymous username. This is in the privacy policy and I don't have any reason to distrust that Netflix will keep my identifying information private.

    "Even if we uses usernames online as a buffer between ‘real life’ and ‘cyber life, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have control, or wouldn’t mind if that part of our identity were compromised in any way.’"

    See, I think it does mean we shouldn't have control in the realm of Netflix, because we agreed to give them control of that information. And I'm not sure I understand the part about "wouldn't mind if that part of our identity were compromised." How could it be compromised? Typically speaking, if my "identity is compromised" it means that people now know who I am. Since we're talking about compromising my "cyber identity", this would mean that people would now know that I am AngelMonkey... but they already know that... it says who I am next to all my reviews and comments. Are you saying you don't want your username to be linked to your reviews? Or when you say "compromised" do you mean that Netflix is lying about our movie tastes? If Netflix said I rated something 5 stars when I actually hated it, then yes, I'd be upset. But that's a "misrepresentation" of my cyber-identity, which is not what's happening.

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  147. Looks like both privacy threads have turned into the 'Angelmonkey 'n' Becky Show'! Can't you clever Gurls just agree to disagree!? ;)

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  148. People, a randomly generated nickname is as private as it gets. No one will ever know who you are. Why all the fear and paranoia... Boo!

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  149. N.Thralled,

    I don’t know. Only one way to find out.

    AngelMonkey

    I wish I could get through to you because you seem like a cool person. If you or anyone else is comfortable with a real loose approach to cyber-life that’s fine for you. In a way I envy you. I’m not trying to convince you that you should share my concerns as they apply to YOU. I’m just trying to get you to accept that I, and others, could have these concerns, that they might be legitimate even if they are not shared. And that perhaps at the very lest that it may be important for a company serving such a diverse population to consider very carefully.

    Trying to convince me that I should be comfortable with what your comfortable with, if that’s what you are doing, it seems like it, is like trying to convince me that lobster is yummy and good. It’s a disgusting water bug, gross! (I could have used the nude beach analogy again, which is more apt, but some people enjoy it way too much.)

    It’s fine that you trust Netflix. I really don’t anymore. Maybe later, but not quite yet…

    To me trust has to be earned and maintained. By changing how my information is treated they began to lose my trust. I don’t care about EULAs, no one reads them for a reason, they are BS. So yeah, a company can attempt to hide behind them, even abuse them, add any clause they wish to force down our throats, but that doesn’t mean that their customers should let them get away with absolutely everything they want to get away with. And the way I see it, as innocuous as the eminent changes seem to some, alarm bells are starting to ring. I want to be able to trust Netflix. But by changing the way they handle my information now, I have to wonder what is next, and next after that. I hope they can regain my trust.

    Protecting privacy rights always takes place on a slippery slope. If I slide back three feet I will start to push back, you maybe comfortable with a six foot slide before you think about lending a hand. That’s just the way it is. Hopefully though because some are pushing now, you won’t have to join in later when more serious damage has been done to us or the company that provides a service we otherwise enjoy.

    It’s fine that some people say they wouldn’t care what anyone knows about them at all, weird the way I see it, since I’ve never encountered these people in real life, but there you have it. Nothing you can say though, can change the fact that my comfort levels are different from yours. I wish I knew that I could even convince you of that, and that maybe my concerns are due some respect anyway, even if you don’t exactly share them. It’s great that you’re so open, but some people get burned when too many walls come down. They should have the right to protect themselves, it would be nice if you would help protect them too.

    You said,

    “Are you saying you don't want your username to be linked to your reviews? Or when you say "compromised" do you mean that Netflix is lying about our movie tastes?”

    You’ve misread something somewhere. My username is mine to protect. (assuming no major security breach at Netflix ofc) I just want Netflix to help me do that. Personally all I want right this moment is to shield is my friend connections while maintaining my level of participation in the features I’ve been using up ‘till now. Formerly friends was a closed private network, ‘friends and flix’ makes that open and public now, unless you opt-out altogether. I allowed Netflix to build that contact information with my friends because I understood that it was a closed network and expected, trusted, that it would remain so. That is what I mean when I say compromised.

    I personally don’t mind sharing my ratings, as long as my friend connections remain private. However, someone in a previous post suggested they didn’t like the idea that has been proposed to open every reviewers ratings to everyone. Now, Netflix feels they can reveal the 5 star ratings but so far balk at revealing more. My guess is because it might violate at least the spirit of the law that disallows them or anyone exposing what you rent on Netflix. If Netflix revealed that information, then even though I would personally share my ratings list as a stand-alone option, I would completely understand if the people who didn’t want that information shared were upset when it was. That too is what I mean by compromised.

    Then there is the request someone people have made about the ability to ‘private message’ any other reviewer. Let’s say Netflix thought that was a cool idea and implemented that too. Now, thousands of trolls and hundreds of thousands of good intentioned but misguided social-butterflies would be able to send unsolicited mail to anyone they want for any reason they want. The right to privacy also includes the right to be left alone. They already in effect allowed that kind of break-down to happen with ‘friends notes.’ Most were unaware they would either send or receive e-mail just because someone wrote a note on Netflix. Some people love the feature, but I’d say it was a safe bet that a lot of people who become aware of it were rather pissed. In either case, that is what I mean by compromised.

    So yeah, some of us have started pushing back now, hopefully before it gets any worse.

    Becky

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  150. friends and flix’ makes that open and public now

    Becky, your statement above is at the root of what you are misunderstanding! You and your friends will remain anonymous with the control to change your nickname at anytime!

    Here's what your profile might look like - FTR4567(you) has 3 friends: kjhjk7u87; jkhdf6; and dhff7

    That's COMPLETELY anonymous! No one, no one, will know who you are. Nor will they care.

    I'm sorry, but your inability to grasp the simple concept at hand coupled with your unwillingness to listen and - God forbid - open your mind, makes us all think you are indeed fearmongering and/or fretting over a non-issue. You can state your case over and over that the sky is green, but it still won't change the facts.

    GH567F9

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  151. Amen AngelMonkey!

    @Becky, I for one do not/ did not mean to imply that your right to be private or maintain a comfort level of privacy should be trivialized or disrespected.

    Quite the contrary in fact, I have been an on line privacy advocate for years… And I realize that statement may conflict with my previous posts. So to clarify a bit.

    There is a distinct difference between personally identifiable information which can harm an individual for life if it fell in the wrong hands, and "trend-able" information.

    We are talking about how many people like what movies and why, clearly trend-able data.

    Without trend-able data gathered from the source (individuals) we would have 10,000 different candy bars in the store with only 100 of them actually turning inventory. the other 9900 would spoil, turn to waste and cause the 100 which do sell to become astronomically expensive to cover the cost of waste.

    You most likely may disagree with that, and that is your right, as it is my right to disagree with you. So we can agree to disagree.

    You wrote "I don’t care about EULAs, no one reads them for a reason, they are BS."

    Are you serious? So then if I were to take that at face value, you are among those who believe its your right to pirate movies, music, software, etc. Also that there is no such thing as copyrighted material or patent rights, or any other social rules of conduct and behavior whatsoever.

    Rules are meant to be followed, if you do not agree with them you have the right to not accept them. Just as a company has the same right to reject your application to join if you choose not to follow the rules.

    As far as privacy concerns regarding a movie rental service and not wanting friends favorite movies to be listed.

    The only viable reasons would not be something that Netflix would be responsible for answering to.

    1.) 14 year old has account, parents say no "R" movies, gets friends who can get "R" movies and they swap without parents finding out.

    1a.) That is between the 14 year old and their parents, NF is not your parent nor legal guardian.

    2.) Spouse is cheating on spouse, lives in small community, has listed as friends all single people from community. Doesn't want spouse to know.

    2a.) That is between you and your spouse, NF is not a marriage counselor, priest nor morality police.

    3.) Member likes alternative lifestyle movies, but lives so deep in their closet the dust bunnies cannot even find them. Friends listed enjoy same movies.

    3a.) That's between the member and their conscience or perhaps psychiatrist. NF is neither guidance counselor nor psychologist.

    I could go on and on, and in each instance could show how NF would not be responsible for personal issues.

    As an aside… How many strict privacy advocates have cable or satellite tv?

    Did you know that those industries collect viewing data on you FAR more detailed then anything Netflix does? And that THEY actually share/ sell that data to networks and affiliates?

    How about do you have a grocery store card? the ones you scan at the checkout to get sales prices and coupons…

    Surprise! The stores collect all the data of what you purchased each time you scan that card and provide/ sell it to marketing and manufacturing firms.

    However these are examples of "trend-able" data, and unless your names and addresses are also being provided, (which in some instances they are) are not truly "gross" violations of personal information.

    However if you believe they are (which is your right) you may opt out at anytime, you simply have to do so in the context of the service(s) license agreement.

    Of course you wouldn't be able to get all the nice sales prices at the grocery store…

    That would be the consequence of the chosen course of action.

    It would not however be the fault of the business for not allowing you to create and interpret rules along your own definitions.

    That is what I meant when I wrote earlier…

    "Wolde you bothe eate your cake, and haue your cake?"

    Personal choice brings consequences, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

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  152. Ok, so how about this, to tie our 2 ongoing analogies together? I get the impression that Becky feels that she was offered a delicious free cake, accepted it, was enjoying it, and then suddenly was told that in order to go on enjoying it she'd have to strip down to her b and p's and open the drapes. Not saying that's how I feel, but she (and others) obviously feels tricked, betrayed, disrespected, or what have you, and just needs to be assured that she's not going to have to strip naked at some point in the future to prevent her phone from being disconnected. She'll correct me if I'm way off base, I'm sure!

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  153. she (and others) obviously feels tricked, betrayed, disrespected, or what have you, and just needs to be assured that she's not going to have to strip naked at some point in the future to prevent her phone from being disconnected.

    And they have been assured over and over, ad finitum, that they will not be exposed, yet they refuse to understand. I realize that many people are afraid of progress and change and that there will always be those who clamor on-and-on about how good the dial-up ISP days were (and these individuals surely fall in this category).

    Yes, they were offered a FREE cake. they loved eating that cake. It was delicious. But now that the cake is being enlarged and complimented with punch and cookies, they want to complain about how the cake, punch, and cookies will make them fat... WITHOUT EVEN HAVING SEEN THE NEW CAKE! If cake, punch and cookies are not good for you, it is your responsibility to know when to stop eating.

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  154. Nice trump! Sorry Becky, I tried.

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  155. Wow... this is the best thread ever. It's intellectually stimulating, and it gets even MORE delicious by the minute!

    @Becky - I was never implying that you or anyone else must have the same cyber comfort level that I do. That's why I said, "Personally... and this is really just personally."

    And yes, I feel that we can agree to disagree on many points. I think I made that agreement with Baff half-way up the chain. :)

    Whether or not I understand your concerns doesn't mean I can't understand that you have concerns and respect that. But I can also believe, that your concerns are unfounded. I don't believe that the current "changes to privacy" on Netflix can result in a slippery slope because I do not believe that Netflix has made any changes to privacy. I do not believe that they have invaded your privacy at all because they have only reveled information in an anonymous manner. They are revealing more than they used to, but it's still non-identifying information, so I see it as nothing has changed. I know you feel differently.

    "It’s fine that some people say they wouldn’t care what anyone knows about them at all, weird the way I see it, since I’ve never encountered these people in real life, but there you have it."

    You say that you've never encountered anyone in real life who wouldn't care what anyone knows about them. Well yeah... obviously. In real life I do care what people know about me. That's just the point. This isn't real life... no one knows who I am in real life. No one can link all the information released about me in the Netflix community to my actual real identity. It seems that you and many others have difficulty realizing that your cyber-identity and real-identity are two completely separate things, which is why the threat of "compromising" your cyber-id actually makes you fear that your real id will be exposed. But this just isn't the case.

    However, as we've both mentioned, it's completely your prerogative to want to guard the sanctity of both your real and cyber-id to a level that you find comfortable. This is why Netflix offers private profiles. I understand that you enjoyed the free cake while it lasted. Heck, I would love free cake for the rest of my life, but if the person offering the cake says, "Sorry, you have to pay for it now," I don't feel like I've been tricked or betrayed. It just means I now have to decide if I like the cake enough to pay the fair price for it. And if I don't -- which a is totally acceptable and respectable standpoint -- I have to give up eating cake. That may suck, but it's not unfair.

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  156. Gh56789,

    I understand your position. That should be clear. Status quo is good enough for you. I get it. However, I will give you one more opportunity to open YOUR mind and understand my position.

    (To everyone else, sorry for the repetition here.)

    Gh56… Usernames also look like this, Allan, Freezer Burn, Buzz Cut. Alan, I love him but he’s a twit with no sense when it comes to privacy, or remembering to keep someone’s unlisted phone number to themselves. Most people wouldn’t blame me for wanting a bit of a buffer there? Buzz Cut is a great guy, funny as hell, but he uses his actual nickname, it is known by 100s around town. But the real concern is that a couple of scary people have taken a dislike to him because he’s a retired Marine who now works for Veterans for Peace. He’s a big scary guy who keeps a gun in his nightstand. I’m not. So there’s a window of exposure there I don’t need considering the number of Malta members still active in the area. And finally, what I don’t know is that Freezer Burn has been living a hidden life that’s only hidden to the people who don’t move in certain nefarious circles. I wouldn’t want someone to assume I’m one of his party girls. Everyone starts out anonymous true, but that anonymity degrades over time even if you aren’t particularly reckless. That’s what you don’t seem to understand. I just want control over how easily or quickly my anonymity degrades. (I made those names up btw, any similarity to anyone’s real username or real life is coincidental. Just trying to illustrate the problem.)

    Letting the general public see my friends, and my friends see my friends, obviously diminishes my ability to maintain my anonymity. (or would have had I not already opted out) I consider it a legitimate concern whether you share it or not.

    I’m not saying the sky is green btw. It’s quite clearly a pinkish-coral with purple and red. Which it IS from my perspective, as here it is sunset with a smug alert. I wouldn’t be surprised if you think the sky is always blue. It seems nothing would satisfy you except that I see that it’s clearly only ever blue too.

    2mcabre,

    “There is a distinct difference between personally identifiable information which can harm an individual for life if it fell in the wrong hands, and "trend-able" information. We are talking about how many people like what movies and why, clearly trend-able data…”

    I understand the basics of ‘trend-able’ information as you call it… I really hoped that at least that aspect would be clear by my earlier explanation of why I personally didn’t mind, and would have liked to continue to share my ratings…

    Now I will try to clarify my view of EULAs… and how they are not absolute protection for a company that might abuse them (legally or not)… just as a general explanation of my view not directly analogous to Netflix.

    For example: I do business, with companies who gather information on what I buy so they can offer me more products that I might want to buy. I may, or may not, on a case-by-case basis, allow a company to share that information with their affiliates. But I NEVER knowingly or willingly do business with companies who gather that information and then turn around and sell it to third parties. I only do business with companies that give me the explicit option of sharing that information at all or sharing it in a limited way, and companies I trust not attempt to alter that agreement without my specific permission that they can. If one of the stores that I allow to gather that information then turns around and sells that information. I will not do further business with them, and then I will happily sign on to the class action suit, and if sufficiently provoked, join or organize a grass-roots campaign against them. That is I’m trying to communicate with reference to EULA abuse…

    If a company behaves responsibly… No problem. If they don’t, then even if the courts back them up, that still doesn’t mean the bad publicity and loss of good will won’t hurt them. That’s the point I’m trying to make when I suggest that companies shouldn’t try to hide behind all the slippery clauses they can pack into their EULAs.

    There are a vast array of things that are perfectly legal to do, yet also perfectly wrong. What’s legal is often a distressingly weak measure for what is right, just, or fair.

    That copyright thing you mention is just baffling… way out of context…

    Pete,

    “Ok, so how about this, to tie our 2 ongoing analogies together? I get the impression that Becky feels that she was offered a delicious free cake, accepted it, was enjoying it, and then suddenly was told that in order to go on enjoying it she'd have to strip down to her b and p's and open the drapes. Not saying that's how I feel, but she (and others) obviously feels tricked, betrayed, disrespected, or what have you, and just needs to be assured that she's not going to have to strip naked at some point…”

    You get it. Thank you. 

    (Except the cake wasn’t free… I will apparently soon be paying for cake I can’t eat, since yeah, I rarely eat cake in just my bra and panties even with the drapes closed.)

    Anon 9:03 am,

    It has nothing to do with fear of progress, clearly. I’ve stated that I was enjoying reviews, and that I’m comfortable with my own personal ability to keep my anonymous username exactly that, (given that sufficient precautions are taken on Netflix’s end) I’ve said I’m involved with MMORPG’s another significant vehicle of exposure… I’ve demonstrated knowledge that clearly shows I’m participating quite heavily in the innovations of the internet, and here too at Netflix, also stated clearly my wish to continue to do so. It should be obvious that whatever my fears might be, technological progress isn’t among them.

    Where ARE you guys getting all the ‘free’ cake? I’ve been paying for mine every single month. Now I feel really gypped.

    Netflix could give us privacy along with our cake, AND add all the punch and cookies you could ever wish for. What are YOU afraid of? That’s what I don’t understand. Is it simply that you won’t get all your sweeties right NOW? That you might have to wait a little bit longer for Netflix to get it right? The cookies they are about to give you are undercooked and doughy. (Some people like that I guess) The punch is still warm. (Some people don’t care) Given a bit more work the party would have come off perfectly for everyone, not just the people who like underdone cookies and tepid punch.

    As for myself, I’d like beer, and buffalo wings. (hold the cigarette butts and salmonella)

    AngleMonkey,

    My concerns are unjustified because you believe they are unjustified. You understand that I’m not happy but are satisfied that I’m left with only this take-it-or-leave-it option. I hope I haven’t over simplified to the point of inaccuracy but that is the message I’m getting. If I’m wrong and you can rephrase that in a couple sentences, I’ll still be here.

    If I’m right then we too will have to agree to disagree…

    I stated earlier: "It’s fine that some people say they wouldn’t care what anyone knows about them at all, weird the way I see it, since I’ve never encountered these people in real life, but there you have it."

    That was in reference to other statements not yours if that’s what you thought.

    You said: “It seems that you and many others have difficulty realizing that your cyber-identity and real-identity are two completely separate things…”

    Again we just disagree. The way I see it they are only two separate things if Netflix continues to help me keep them two separate things… which is why I’ve taken advantage of the ‘fix.’

    I just hope that next time they won’t yet again force me to opt-out of a change that should only be offered as an opt-in.

    Becky.

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  157. @Becky - to clarify (in more than a couple sentances), I don't think your concerns are unjustified... there is plenty of justification for why you feel the way you do, and really, it's how you feel, which doesn't need justification at all. I do, however, think they're unfounded. And that's my personal belief. I know that you believe differently, and my degree of trust in Netflix and yours is where we do have to agree to disagree because neither of us know the hard facts. Extreme example: If my husband is concerned that I might be cheating on him... Maybe he has plenty of justification for these feelings (e.g. I stay late at work, I'm always "too tired", etc.) I know for a fact that his feelings are unfounded because I know I'm completely faithful. This is a situation where I could understand his feelings, know that they are justified concerns, but also know they are unfounded concerns.

    I stated earlier: “It seems that you and many others have difficulty realizing that your cyber-identity and real-identity are two completely separate things…”
    Your response: "Again we just disagree. The way I see it they are only two separate things if Netflix continues to help me keep them two separate things… which is why I’ve taken advantage of the ‘fix.’"

    We don't actually disagree at all here. If a link between my cyber and real identities was exposed, then we wouldn't be talking about two separate identities anymore, because everyone would know that CyberMe = RealMe.

    You stated: "You understand that I’m not happy but are satisfied that I’m left with only this take-it-or-leave-it option."

    That part you misunderstood. I'm not satisfied with it because I think EVERYONE would have a better experience if more privacy options were given. Heck, I even laid out a whole plan for how to do it in the comments of the last thread. It would mean more people would join the party, even if only partially, and everyone can benefit from that. I just don't think that it's Netflix's responsibility to give more than a take-it-or-leave-it option. They don't owe that to us. We pay for DVD rentals, the community is just a perk (and a fantastic perk in my opinion, Michael).

    Anyway, I think (hopefully) we're feeling each other pretty well at this point. But please do let me know if I'm wrong. I'll be here, too. :)

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  158. michael, from netflixSeptember 14, 2007 at 8:55 PM

    Wow. I am completely awestruck. this is the most remarkable thread i've seen. great debate, passionate on both sides. thanks for contributing here.

    the new features will release on monday. enjoy your weekend.

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  159. AngleMonkey,

    ‘My concerns are justified but unfounded.’

    Perfectly clear… And you just don’t know how much better that makes me feel than when I simply thought they were unjustified… ;)

    We will just have to accept our basic disagreement as it is unlikely to ever be resolved, and if that ends this part of the discussion that would make me very happy.

    As for Netflix’s responsibility in all this… I just hold them to a higher standard than you do. I think they’d be smart to hold themselves to that higher standard as well. You can only get away with annoying your customers for so long. I’m surely annoyed. I’m sure though, that they can do better.

    Anyway, I’m beginning to wonder if maybe the whole community thing, including this blog, isn’t just a clever ploy to keep us doing anything but actually watching all those movies some of us got piled up in our queue. You guys have only got one weekend left to watch movies before your whole week is profitably taken up picking out faves and inciting up some fans. ;)

    Take care,

    Becky

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  160. Everyone starts out anonymous true, but that anonymity degrades over time even if you aren’t particularly reckless.

    Aha! Now we've hit on something that perhaps you weren't aware of. You can change your nick at any time! If at any time, you feel as if your cyber-identity is eroding, just change your nick. All the privacy you need returns.

    Where ARE you guys getting all the ‘free’ cake? I’ve been paying for mine every single month. Now I feel really gypped.

    Clearly that comment was made in jest, but just want to point out that netflix offers DVD rentals for a fee, the community (cake, cookies, and punch) is free.

    But I NEVER knowingly or willingly do business with companies who gather that information and then turn around and sell it to third parties.

    But you must first allow the company to demonstrate fairplay with regards to your privacy information in the first place. Trust until that trust is broken.

    Letting the general public see my friends, and my friends see my friends, obviously diminishes my ability to maintain my anonymity.

    Didn't you mean to say "letting the general public see some anonymous friends of some anonymous Netflix user diminishes your ability to maintain your anonymity?" Because surely after all the discussion you still don't think anyone knows who you are?

    GH567F9

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  161. I've read all these threads and one thing really stands out - Only a very small handful of people have actually pointed out WHAT information they are afraid of getting out into the public. One person said that they are not sure why they are afraid of, another alluded to concerns that some OTHER Netflix users MAY have, and one person expressed concern that it may be discovered that they watch movies - not porn movies, not gay movies, just movies! It would be nice to hear from those who have privacy concerns exactly what you are afraid of losing. I understand that at the heart of your concerns it is just privacy in general. But there HAS TO BE be some other tangible issues that make you feel the way you do. Please post anonymously and enlighten me. Embarrassed that you only 1 friend? Don't want to embarrass another friend who has only 1 friend and you have many? Afraid that your friends will think you exposed them?

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  162. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  163. "Aha! Now we've hit on something that perhaps you weren't aware of. You can change your nick at any time! If at any time, you feel as if your cyber-identity is eroding, just change your nick. All the privacy you need returns."

    Actually, if you change your nickname, Netflix will automatically give everyone tracking you your new nickname...

    I can't really fault them for this since most people changing their nick just want to change their nick, not hide out. But still, your solution doesn't do much.

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  164. One person said that they are not sure why they are afraid of

    And I'm still not sure, but that doesn't really matter does it? You don't expect people with arachnophobia to be able to explain why they're afraid of spiders, do you? They just are. The fact is, having my nickname and home town known to people whom I don't know makes me feel uncomfortable. And what made me angry was that when this new outward friends feature was first announced there didn't seem to be an option to protect this information from strangers.

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  165. @ Becky That copyright thing you mention is just baffling… way out of context…

    Not in the context I was using it. It was simply another example of, if someone doesn't like the rules, and choose not to follow them, then they can, "choose" to violate copyrighted material without consequence.

    And I do get your concern for privacy, I just do not agree with the severity level it seems that some feel it needs.

    You "friend" buzz cut may be a part of veterans for peace. So am I BTW, I also rally with and support the impeach movement.

    I don't care if anyone knows it, and yes… I have been blasted by complete strangers for my beliefs.

    My position is simply that I refuse to let fear of what others think or do directly and/or negatively influence my life.

    I've been outspoken, direct and honest my whole life. I still have friend's (who admire that trait in me), nobody has dropped a bomb on my home, and if I ever had an employer (or business) who treated me differently due to my personal beliefs? THAT is when I would use the courts and laws that govern our land to fight the battle.

    I would not however expect my local grocery store to install a plastic curtain around a shopping cart just for me, or the few others who think like I do, to keep others from knowing we shop there.

    Spock:Were I to invoke logic, however, logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Kirk: Or the one.

    I do not make that reference in jest, as it was a poignant social comment that is still true today.

    The majority of people simply do not have issues that cause them undue concern, therefore logic suggests that they simply do not care what others know or can find out.

    This doesn't mean they are stupid or lacking proper education on the subject, only that they do not have anything in their lives that frightens them enough to "want" to care.

    Look I certainly understand how a single woman in a small community with a friend in a controversial group, with a couple of psycho enemies, may be uneasy with the thought that she could be associated with this guy.

    But unless these folks are criminally insane and openly out to do this guy and everyone he associates with in…

    I simply could not, no… would not, allow them to have any control over me whatsoever, not for any reason.

    Besides (stated in jest, not contempt, I swear!) the whole scenario sounds way to 007 to me and I might have to change movie genres for awhile.

    Anyway I "suspect" that the delay in release may mean that some minor changes are being worked on that will address your primary concerns. The delay by two days is too conveniently timed.

    Wouldn't you say?

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  166. And I'm still not sure, but that doesn't really matter does it?

    No, it doesn't matter but neither does it provide insight into why the fearmongering. As I stated before, we understand that the feeling is there, but we just want to be enlightened to your point of view. Throw us a courtesy bone. As it is, it sounds like fear for fear's sake, and surely you can see how others might have a hard time seeing your side of the equation if you can't tell us what your side is. And I know you owe us nothing, but we can't walk in your shoes if you haven't walked in them either.

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  167. You don't expect people with arachnophobia to be able to explain why they're afraid of spiders, do you?

    No, but at least that tells us WHAT they are afraid of. We're pleading for insight into WHAT. We now know the fear is there and genuine. We've come to grips with the fact that it ain't going away. But now enlighten us as to perhaps some specific bad experiences with identity theft, psycho ex-husbands, zealous church affiliations, etc. There certainly must be specific triggers or reasons. And that would go a long, long way towards verifying your position statement.

    Curious

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  168. private friends, public profileSeptember 15, 2007 at 9:40 AM

    2mcabre, you still don't get it. And you're still insinuating that privacy is predicated on baseless fear and nothing else.

    And yes, you've just trivialized privacy concerns again. The only thing anyone is interested in is anonymous statistics? The only viable reasons for not wanting Netflix to expose information are your own problems and thus Netflix shouldn't care (about respecting its customers)? Your dismissal of legitimate issues is appalling, and betrays a presumption of immorality besides.

    The world would be a far better place if folks would spend less time judging others and inflicting intolerance... but while we wait for that, allow me the privacy that protects me from the belligerently ignorant, the perniciously oppressive, and even the aggressively marketed.

    "To eat your cake and have it too?" Good gravy, man, have you not read a single post in this discussion? MOVIES AND RELATIONSHIPS ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. I want to share my cake without sharing my cheese -- whether you think anybody's going to want my cheese or not.

    I applaud that you live without fear, but I suggest that your bravery carries baggage of judgement upon others whose choices don't make it easy to be brave or who simply wish to choose the peace of privacy.

    Chex Yourself, Mate.

    anonymous poster said, "Think some people are placing too much value on their own movie opinions?" thus missing the point completely.

    anonymous said, "Why is this issue so hard to understand?" while failing to understand the issue herself. I encourage everyone to actually read the issue in the later blog post on privacy before you go casting generalized aspersions about privacy paranoia.

    PROBLEM: Netflix was going to reveal all of your friends' nicknames to all of your other friends. These are nicknames that may or may not be anonymous, they are nicknames that you cannot control, they would be revealed to people who know you, and even the "Private" setting would not prevent this. Even if the nicknames were completely anonymous, the existence of a friendship is in and of itself personal information about relationships, NOT about movies. The only option was to withdraw from Friends entirely -- a valid option, but one that resulted in reduced functionality.

    SOLUTION: Netflix extended the "Private" setting to prevent showing friends' nicknames, even to other friends. Those who'd enjoyed the one-to-one private nature of the Friends feature could continue to do so.


    Everything else here is gravy: a congealing mass that has overwhelmed a once-tasty feast... and pouring yet more gravy ain't gonna improve anybody's impression of the meal.

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  169. The proof

    “But now enlighten us as to perhaps some specific bad experiences with identity theft, psycho ex-husbands, zealous church affiliations, etc.”

    That

    “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

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  170. Your dismissal of legitimate issues is appalling, and betrays a presumption of immorality besides.

    Besides the fact that the way you talk makes you sound very corny, your reciprocal dismissal of the point-of-view of what you consider the opposition, is equally appalling and further shows that ignorance and narrow-mindedness can't be gussied up by pretty, 25-cent words.

    MOVIES AND RELATIONSHIPS ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. Good God man, do you not understand that the Netflix community is about both? We've had movies for years. Now we want community and relationships. If you don't, click on the radio button beside "private." Don't take the enhancements away from me.

    I want to share my cake without sharing my cheese -- whether you think anybody's going to want my cheese or not

    With my forehead resting on my desk and while emitting a prolonged sigh of exasperation, we'll go over yet another analogy for those who came in late. (Next sentence spoken in a disinterested droll-->) It's not that we don't want your cheese, it's that your cheese will be disguised to look like and taste like delicious pie. We'll get to look at samples of your cheese, but we won't know it's cheese.

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  171. @ private friends, public profile

    See now, the fact that you are reacting with aggression, anger and name calling, something I have not done…

    Shows that I have in fact hit upon a nerve, which is connected to truth. People do not bash others for their opinions unless those opinions border on an unacknowledged truth.

    Something BTW that I've always strove to discover, truth… Is actually starting to coming out.

    So with that said "Uh-Hum" Netflix is not a dating service, nor is it a reunion site, a family gathering site, a cruising hot-spot, or an airport restroom etc.

    As such Netflix should not be held to the same degree of privacy nor amenity as an actual on-line dating service or whatever may be similar.

    This is a place where people come to "Rent Movies", not where we go to meet others in our area to form or build a relationship with.

    To presume that I "Do not get it" or that I "Trivialize the issue" or worse yet that I have lessor morals or ethics is ludicrous and absurd.

    You don't know me, and you certainly have no right to pass judgment on me.

    What I have discovered as this discussion progresses is that the dominant underlying reason for special to a few privacy features all surround relationship issues.

    "I know him, and I don't want others that know him to know I know him."

    "I'm in a relationship with someone and I don't want others to know I'm in that relationship."

    And you have the gall to say…

    "Your dismissal of legitimate issues is appalling, and betrays a presumption of immorality besides."

    See, once you have eaten the cake its gone… It doesn't exist anymore. To want to have it AND eat it presumes an extremely high level of selfishness.

    Fear, Bravery, Weakness, Strength are all "Choices" that we as individuals can make.

    Don't envy me my choice to not live in fear, instead why not choose to live a braver life.

    As in all things that choice is your, and yours alone to make.

    Don't be guilty of that same "trivialization" you accuse me of because I choose to not agree with your belief.

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  172. Me suspects anonymity = something to hide.

    Those who drive hot red corvette never do so with tinted windows rolled up. Those who drive peeling red Chevette always do.

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  173. ladies' tag team fanSeptember 15, 2007 at 11:58 AM

    Can we please have Ms Monkey and Glass back now? Not only is their grammar and spelling much better, but their arguments far more cogent and comprehensible. And most especially enough with the snacks. There's no gluttony going on here, just a legitimate concern about invasiveness.

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  174. Whoops! OK, ok : "...not only are their....."

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  175. "You don't know me, and you certainly have no right to pass judgement on me." Ditto.

    I don't think you have lesser morals or ethics, but you seem to think I do. I have a problem with that. Don't presume that because I have relationships I do not wish to share that I have some weakness. It is a choice I wish to make. You keep saying I should just shut up and be more like you -- why, because my choice is wrong? Should I not be allowed to make it? Should I not object if it's made for me? Why is any choice other than your brave life a lesser choice? I am not you, I do not wish to be you, and your opinion of your bravery relative to mine may be nothing but a function of different circumstances and not an inherently superior choice.

    "What I have discovered as this discussion progresses is that the dominant underlying reason for special to a few privacy features all surround relationship issues." Actually, that's where the discussion started, because that's what the change affected. If Netflix had announced that it was offering pornographic movies, you might discover as the discussion progresses that the underlying reasons for approvals or objections about how it's handled are about something related to pornography.

    Of course, if you mean denigration by the word "issues" as if to say that we just shouldn't have issues, then you're still up on that high horse of yours, aren't you?

    Yeah, if you're saying that any relationship that's not public must be illegitimate, appalling, or immoral -- or does your having-and-eating-cake comment mean something else? -- I guess you are.

    And regardless of what kind of service Netflix offers, it should be -- and clearly is -- concerned with customer privacy.

    And maybe I don't have any relationships to hide. Maybe that's what I'm hiding. Netflix has chosen not to reveal whether I'm a player or a hermit, not even to those I share movie tastes with, as is appropriate for a place where people come to rent movies.

    PS curious: Friends may not fall for your other friends' lame delicious pie disguise. And it's none of anyone's business whether I have cheese or delicious pie or anything at all. "Don't take the enhancements away from me." That was precisely our point to Netflix about Friends, and Netflix understood. Your enhancements remain intact, and no one advocated otherwise.

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  176. Hehe... it's funny that Ladies' Tag Team Fan complained about the grammar of others.

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  177. I understand that at the heart of your concerns it is just privacy in general. But there HAS TO BE be some other tangible issues that make you feel the way you do.

    Funny how no real-world examples have been given. Perhaps it IS just fear of the unknown.

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  178. Actually, anonymous, I have only one friend. She believes I lead an elaborate secret life full of danger and excitement and a lot more (and better) sex than she's getting. It brightens her day to gaze at my queue with all of its risque titles and imagine with wistful longing that I'm sharing those discs with various tall dark and handsomes, and living out at least some of those exotic fantasies. I can't bear to take that away from her by exposing my barren Friends list.

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  179. I can't bear to take that away from her by exposing my barren Friends list.

    I actually think there is some validity to this particular point being made (in spite of its jocular context) because there was a similar uproar when the influence rating was announced. I think Flixers are more concerned about others seeing their lack of friends (or lack of influence), than they are about any issues with regards to privacy. Just a hunch, but I may be wrong.

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  180. flixfan:

    Those who drive hot red corvette never do so with tinted windows rolled up. Those who drive peeling red Chevette always do.


    Well it's obvious where you don't live. Around here it's the people in the chevette with the windows down. The guy in the corvette has AC.

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  181. I'm glad the people at netflix have seen the light here. To all those still reading here, who keep going 'what do you care for, it's anonymous,' I have one thing to point out. I'm not anonymous to the people on my friends list. Are you?

    I could less if some stranger knows who I'm linked to on here. I do care about my friends, who I can chose, and my relatives, who I can't.

    There are social networking sites for social networking. Netflix is for renting movies, that's why I joined.

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  182. I'm not anonymous to the people on my friends list

    But you will be totally and completely anonymous to everyone else, so nothing to worry about with regards to your privacy.

    There are social networking sites for social networking. Netflix is for renting movies, that's why I joined.

    Then sounds like the Netflix Community area is not for you.

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  183. Or it sounds like he read the side-bar maybe?

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  184. Funny how no real-world examples have been given.

    Funny how you expect people to give detailed information about why they want their privacy protected.

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  185. Funny how you expect people to give detailed information about why they want their privacy protected.

    Oh yeah. I forgot. Because "anonymous" means "public" to an obstinate few.

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  186. I can certainly understand how frustrating it is that someone can't see something that's 'so totally obvious' to you however often and how loudly you repeat it (suggest you avoid parenthood!), but what I don't quite understand is why some people have to be quite so snide and contemptuous about it. The most extreme example perhaps being "Are you perhaps a serial killer who is tracking people in your network down & murdering them or something?" How charming, and what an enlightened approach to the issue!

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  187. Oh yeah. I forgot. Because "anonymous" means "public" to an obstinate few.

    Oh, yeah, I forgot. "none of your business" when it comes to the events of my life, anonymous or not, is incomprehensible to you.

    I have to wonder about those who are so hell-bent on seeing everyone else's Netflix info that they are foaming at the mouth over those of us who just want to maintain the privacy level that we have had all along.

    Why do you care so much about anyone's reasons for wanting that? Netflix is working on a way for privacy to be maintained for those who want it and still allow you to snoop through the info of those who don't care or are unaware of any changes or ways to prevent you and your curiosity from nosing around in their ratings and such.

    Why should anyone want to share any information, anonymous or not, with someone who is as condescending and rude as you? Why do you care about the ratings or whatever of anyone you view with such contempt?

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  188. "Why do you care about the ratings or whatever of anyone you view with such contempt?"

    Excellent question!!!!!!!!!

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  189. Excellent question!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you, Sam. You and I a very much in the same camp on this issue and I appreciate your posts.

    I do wish I had waited a few minutes before making my last post. I was pretty annoyed when I wrote it and was more abrasive than I perhaps should have been myself.

    It saddens me that those of us who have privacy concerns are being so forcefully taken to task for that. I am, in all areas of my life, initially a very private person. With family and friends I am quite open, but I have never been one to just spew life all over the place. I'm not comfortable with that outside of Netflix, and I'm not comfortable with it inside of Netflix, even with a supposed cloak of anonymity.

    I am pleased that Michael is taking steps to allow for the differences and I appreciate the other posters here who, even if they don't feel the same way, respect the difference of opinion.

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  190. I've always found it a bit disconcerting that Facebook does this too -- if you're on Facebook, and you have friends connected -- everyone can see not only all your friends, but their REAL names. While I find this a little freaky, I like Facebook and I use it. So do about 40 million other people. Netflix has a system that is infinitely easier to use, and still more private than Facebook. And only about movies, not your entire life. I'm not sure what Netflix is doing warrants this degree of passion and controversy. It's tame by internet standards.

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  191. There's been a lot of comparison to facebook and myspace here, some of it by myself. But there's a somewhat unrelated example in which lack of concern for privacy has resulted in something almost everyone hates: spam.

    If people and businesses had treated email addresses as private information from the beginning, there wouldn't be spam. But many people, including some who will closely guard their phone numbers, give out their email address like the time of day. And far too many companies see their customers' email addresses as commodities they can sell or trade. The result is that now well over 50% of all email on the internet is spam.

    My point is that even if certain things don't seem like they need to be secret, it's probably best to err on the side of privacy, or at least maintain the option for those who want to.

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  192. Oh, yeah, I forgot. "none of your business" when it comes to the events of my life, anonymous or not, is incomprehensible to you.

    Actually it's the movie ratings of an anonymous person. Not the events of your life. You're not that important.

    Oh, yeah, I forgot. "none of your business" when it comes to the events of my life, anonymous or not, is incomprehensible to you.

    Then mark yourself as private. What's the problem?

    I have to wonder about those who are so hell-bent on seeing everyone else's Netflix info

    Since when is seeing movie ratings classified as "everyone else's Netflix info".

    and still allow you to snoop through the info of those who don't care
    I guess you really don't get it. No one can "snoop" through anyone else's Netflix info. People can see the movie ratings of other anonymous Netflix renters, that's all.

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  193. My point is that even if certain things don't seem like they need to be secret, it's probably best to err on the side of privacy, or at least maintain the option for those who want to.

    e-mail addresses and identities will not be shown to visitors. Only movie ratings.

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  194. I'm not sure what Netflix is doing warrants this degree of passion and controversy. It's tame by internet standards.

    I think you hit the nail on the head.

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  195. Actually it's the movie ratings of an anonymous person.

    Exactly which of the people in your friends list don't know who you are?

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  196. Oh, yeah, I forgot. "none of your business" when it comes to the events of my life, anonymous or not, is incomprehensible to you.

    Actually it's the movie ratings of an anonymous person. Not the events of your life. You're not that important.


    Pardon me, but this was in response to the person (you?) who was insisting that those who want privacy provide example of real life events to back up their request. This had nothing to do with information that can be found on Netflix. Take up the issue with whoever thinks telling about such things to people like you (people who have NOTHING to do with Netflix policy and procedure) is necessary, because I never said that I was that important, but apparently someone else thinks so - of me everyone else who does not want you in our rental history.

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  197. Then mark yourself as private. What's the problem?

    I have. I don't have a problem, but people who don't like that some of us choose to remain private just don't seem to want to let go of the issue. Sound familiar?

    Since when is seeing movie ratings classified as "everyone else's Netflix info".

    Movie ratings on Netflix would be considered Netflix info, would it not? At what point did I say "all" Netflix info, as you seem to think? Oh, that's right. I didn't. You are making assumptions here.

    I guess you really don't get it. No one can "snoop" through anyone else's Netflix info. People can see the movie ratings of other anonymous Netflix renters, that's all.

    I get it just fine. But you left something out. Along with movie ratings anyone who fails to mark themselves private also reveals their friends, and friends of friends, etc. You are saying "that's all" and yet you are not telling the whole story. There is a post on another thread about why this could be problematic. Again, I have chosen the privacy option so it isn't an issue for me at this point.

    I have already expressed my appreciation for the steps that Netflix has taken. I am okay with it. You are the one who keeps harping about it . What's the big deal? People think differently than you, and Netflix is doing their best to accommodate both sides yet you keep being obnoxious to people who don't see things exactly the way you do. I feel bad for you that you feel you have to treat people this way.

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  198. When will the Friends page change happen on the 17th, I'm looking forward to the change.

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