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  (Source: TIME (left); Facebook (right))
Friendly animated prehistoric reptile will chide users into greater awareness

In Twitter's younger years service co-founder Biz Stone was browsing iStockPhoto when he came across an unusual picture by Sydney, Australia artist Yiying Lu.  An unusual sight, the minimalist cartoon depicted a happy whale held aloft by a flock of tiny birds.  Mr. Stone was captivated by the beast, which might be viewed as a metaphor to the awkward business of web hosting, or perhaps the Twitter community's best efforts to deal with thorny issues like trolling, privacy, hacking, and sexual content.  Whatever the analogy he saw, he made it his service's canned failure screen giving birth to the "fail whale".

Now Facebook, Inc. (FB) has officially made its servers home to a cartoon animal mascot of their own, the "Facebook dinosaur".  The dinosaur appears at various places in the privacy features of the site, including popups.  The dinosaur gently chides/reminds users of the realities of privacy in the digital age.  It encourages users who have been ignoring the growing set of privacy controls to take note of them via the App Control Panel.

Facebook Privacy Dino

The mascot was rolled out last week along with finer grain privacy controls.  For the first time Facebook is now defaulting users to only share with their friends, rather than allowing their content to be viewed by strangers and searchable on Google Inc.'s (GOOG) search engine.

Like many dinosaurs in the real world, its discovery has provoked some debate.  Some (including The New York Times) think the friendly blue dinosaur looks a bit like company founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at work.  They've dubbed it the "Zuckasaurus".  Okay, we can kind of see the resemblance:

Facebook dino and Zuckerberg
[Image Source: TIME (left)]

The Wall Street Journal is battling to dub the beast "Privosaurus Rex".  And others yet are calling it the "safeasaur" or a "privasaurus."

Facebook Privacy

The dinosaur was first discovered back in March: It vaguely resembles the dinosaur the dinosaur designs of stock photo artist Lordalea, although the similarities may be coincidental.  Facebook privacy team engineering manager Raylene Yung told The New York Times on the dino:

Our team looked at a few different characters, saw the dinosaur and just thought he was the friendliest and best choice.  Once we tried him out, we saw some great results and welcomed him to the team.

Hopefully this dino doesn't overstay its welcome and go extinct like Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFTill-fated, but somewhat nostalgic Office mascot, "Clippy".

Sources: Facebook, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal



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RE: Privacy
By xti on 5/29/2014 9:48:00 AM , Rating: 2
lol...typical overgeneralization.


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