Facebook as Big Brother?

Was George Orwell imagining something like Facebook when he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four?   We are being watched in many ways – from finger printing at airports to chips in our credit cards – but perhaps we are most exposed through the information we reveal about ourselves, online, in places like Facebook.   Just a few days ago the media reported on a defence lawyer that tendered as evidence Facebook pictures and groups the defendent had joined online to paint him as a heavy drinker.   “Despite objections the jury read captions like ‘getting trashed’ and ‘getting drunk’…”  (SMH 21/04/09)  Juries don’t doubt this kind of “circumstantial” evidence because they have seen the “proof” with their own eyes online, as admitted by the defendent.    And it’s well known that companies check the Facebook profiles of potential employees before hiring them.  Presumably, the more press this kind of thing gets, the more constrained users of social media will feel, or is just the way things are now?  A “new world order”?  An interesting trend to contemplate and observe…