Who’s Going to Rope You?

The walled gardens are closed, hierachical, centralized databases such as Google and Facebook which control over information flows and undesirable information (Mitew, 2014). However, the online networking can be centralized and decentralized. Speaking of social networking, web sites such as Myspace and Facebook are undeniably fancy and popular but they are all centralized. This makes users more likely to use a decentralized approach which allows users to have more control over their own private data in order to avoid dissemination of information (Yeung et. al, 2008).

A centralized network is defined as a third party between one and another. It is also known as a central node which acts like something that you will never meet but it is a must to meet at some ways to reach from one to another. There is no direct exchange from the PCs while all information that we send has to go through the server or the central node (Samarajiva,2014). In the opposite, decentralised networks have no third parties and no servers. People can exchange information directly and need not a third party such as Napster and SoulSeek (Samarjiva, 2014).

According to Fitzpatrick and Recordon 2007, people are getting irritated of registering and declaring their friends on every site(centralized networks). People believe that they are lack of control of their own privacy by using these social networking. And, they likely agreed that their information has been taken advantage of to use as advertising. For example, Beacon, a part of advertising system from Facebook disappoint many users that their information published on their friend’s news feed about their activities in other websites(Malik, 2007). In addition, there is an interview from InformationWeek and UBM Tech, Fritz Nelson and David Berlind (2012) talking about how the walled gardens want to have all control of our data.

Therefore, it is believed that decentralised networks allow people to have more control their ownership (Wilson, 2008). Decentralized network provides a better controlled-structure for socialization as users do not have to worry about privacy, ownership and dissemination such as FOAF (Friend-Of-A-Friend) (Brickley & Miller, 2007). A FOAF plays as a central role that provides a format for a specifying ‘friends’ relationship among people and it is also believed that its popularity is rising in the community (Golbeck and Rothstein, 2008).
This decentralized social networking can be used as an major point where your friends can access your status, photos or to write personal message on the board.On the other words, this is only restricted and allowed to the “friends” relationship – others than friends will not able to read and access to it- which gives users more control over the data.

All in all, the walled gardens might have to worry about their future while decentralised networks allow more of what users want and yet their data need not be taken advantage of as an advertising system.


Jennifer Golbeck, Matthew Rothstein. Linking Social Networks on the Web with FOAF: A Semantic Web Case Study. In Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI’08), Chicago, Illinois, July 13–17, 2008m, pp.1138-1143. 2008

Who’s going to rope you into their walled gardens 2012, Online Video, Ignite Technologies Inc, Santa Clara CA


7 thoughts on “Who’s Going to Rope You?

  1. its scary to think that when we are using a centralized node or sever that all our data has to go through to connect with one another, say facebook for example, that all that data is stored for use later on. It seems like a breach of privacy however all of us agreed to this when we agreed to use the sever. I personally want to break off from these walled gardens and move to a more decentralized network, however I have too many connection already within those platforms, which would be hard to re-establish outside of them, which makes it hard to break away from their hold.


  2. Hi. It is really scary to think of how these centralized network sites such as Facebook and Google has accessed to every single piece of our online activities and stored them in their online databases without us knowing it, particularly for the use of advertising. I actually wasn’t quite aware of the issue until I’m in this course. This makes sense to me as most of the times online advertisements that I encountered while surfing the internet were things that I am interested in. For instance, online shopping and online games. I often get recommendations to different online shopping sites and latest released games on Facebook which captures my attention most of the time. On the other hand, I guess these online databases might be useful in other ways which we might not know. Year ago I watched a sci- fi action movie, Robocop. In the movie, the law enforcement forces used these online databases to gain access to every single piece of information, activities and locations of the criminals through their centralized networks- CCTV, credit card transaction, online activities and etc, which is kind of mind- blowing in my opinion, despite it was just a movie. Haha.


  3. I absolutely agree with what you have written. Even though internet was set up as a free system where everyone has free access to it but in fact we are all controlled by the internet unknowingly where the open network has become more centralized and feudal state. It’s disappointing to find out that all the great social networking platforms are developing walled garden where they have access to all our privacy. I myself personally feel very insecure to fill up my own personal details on my Facebook profile as well as putting up my personal photos and videos as I am afraid that it would be shown or accessed by strangers (which could be friends of a friend). Hence, I really like the idea where I can control my own privacy on a social networking site and decide who can view my personal information.


  4. The video you presented in your blog is a very interesting source. While the internet and access to these “Walled Gardens” are free to join, we are paying for this access with information. These Walled Gardens, including Apple, Facebook and Google are notorious for using your personal information and using it to their own advantages. Take Facebook for example – take a moment to read the ads that appear on your Facebook page, and I guarantee that more often than not the ads you are receiving are relevant to your recent online searches. It is through these ‘stacks’ in which we are paying for our access to these services, and we have to wonder, is it really worth it?


  5. I agree 100%. And I also agree with what Dan has mentioned: any ad you see on any website (generally speaking) is relevant to what you have searched for in the past. This is done so it releases a sense of interest of connectedness to you as a consumer. Great post! There’s a YouTube vid about this exact situation where a woman’s e-mails are censored each day and the connection between her personal emails and the ads on her side tab were incredibly similar! If I can find I’ll link it to you 🙂


  6. great post, i really enjoyed reading it. i cannot agree more with what you have said, and especially with the other comments posted its often concerning about just how much information you give away without even realising it and then ads start popping up everywhere relevant to your search terms (freaky) loved the video in your post too, was really engaging. look forward to reading more.


  7. There are alot of contradictory lies between walled gardens, we see good and bad of it. Frankly speaking, I personally opts for walled garden concept as there are more privacy although network is all decentralise.


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