I’ve advocated for increased inter-user privacy controls on behalf of myself and other FetLife users for several years

I’ve advocated for increased inter-user privacy controls on behalf of myself and other FetLife users for several years

If you were one of the people who used the FetLife Exporter hosted on this site and were sent a vaguley threatening email from Susan Wright telling you to delete your content, you should also be certain to read the update posted on the Exporter tool by following this link.

P.S. I don’t have any FetLife users’ passwords; none of the tools I wrote saves or logs any of them, by design. (Read the code if you need to be double-dom sure.) HOWEVER, I did get an email from a FetLife user who Susan Wright contacted who told me that Susan Wright had changed her account’s password without her consent. (Here’s a PDF of the timeline of events as the user shared them with me [and in plain text].) So in other words, when the FetLife staff tells you “Don’t ever give your FetLife password to anyone,” what they’re saying is, “because we’ll just take it anyway.” I sent them back this note:

  • You will announce the release of a FetLife feature that offers FetLife users the ability to export their content. As you may recall from our previous correspondence [ there is open-source code available to you [ that can give you a head start implementing this feature.
  • OR
  • Given the continued lack of such an offering, you will stop blocking the server hosted at fetlife.maybemaimed from making connections to FetLife so that users will be able to use what I currently understand to be the only hosted FetLife content export tool available to them.

If, as you claim, you have no problem with people exporting their own FetLife content, then the company you represent will illustrate that by taking one or both of the following actions:

The fact that you don’t offer Fetlife users the ability to control their content without simultaneously jeopardizing the privacy of other users has long been a known problem. [ These types of best-practice privacy options are also among the earliest “Improvements” requested by FetLife users in response to FetLife’s solicitation of feature requests. Please see the following if you need to refresh your memory:

  • “Private groups” –
  • “Make activity feed private from non-friend” –
  • “Have private events” –
  • “Make writings private” –
  • “Privatize or restrict all/parts of my profile” –
  • “Have global privacy / private ‘objects'” –

Every single one of these have been “Suggested … about 1 year ago”, yet FetLife has chosen to prioritize a host of other features, many of which further degrade a user’s privacy. It is no surprise to me that many people therefore do not feel safe using FetLife and have wished to migrate, with their content, away from it.

If you do not like the way the only currently available FetLife account backup tool works, you are entirely capable of making your own.

Moreover, I am not in the habit of deleting files simply because someone claims to be their creator in some random piece of email

Meanwhile, if you do not like what some users have chosen to do with their ability to export content, speak with THEM about it, not me. Here is a form letter you’re welcome to distribute to FetLife Caretakers that they are all very welcome to use:

If you are indeed the owner of the FetLife account using the nickname you’re referencing, then you are able to remove this content from the server at fetlife.maybemaimed at any time, and you always were. The video at the export page explains how to do this.

As a general rule, I am not in the habit of doing things for other people that they can do themselves. ;)

Tamnoon
Author: Tamnoon

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