A few days ago I joined academia.edu, most of all out of curiosity. Today I realize that I have 9 followers! And I didn't set up my profile or uploaded any article yet, how famous I must be!
But, wait a minute, I'm also FOLLOWING 10 people. What the heck! I never decided to do so. I wanted first to explore the platform and understand it, how I could use it, before being put in the front line.
Not a big deal in this particular case, my 9 followers and 10 followed (pretty much the same people) are all friends of mine.
But the nasty thing is that just because I signed using my Facebook account, some decisions were taken FOR me without my consent. Yes, yes, I know I gave consent when I clicked on Allow FB to do this and that, but it looks like the fine print in contracts, I thought we were done with that.
This is why I consider owning your online data is important, you want to avoid misrepresentations and plain misbehaviour of siloes with your online image. Will it be possible some day? I realy hope so, and a movement in this direction is already active. I joined #IndieWeb and I starte Reclaiming my Online Identity.