Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:

  • Twitter scraps 'suggested users' list

  • We're at war! For the Web!

  • Facebook implements a new privacy policy

  • Twitter and Facebook party with Xbox Live, but it's not poppin'

Twitter Scraps ‘Suggested Users’ List

Since its launch earlier this year, Twitter’s list of suggested users—the platform’s way of helping newcomers find interesting people to follow—has gotten a lot of backlash. As a surefire way to gain a healthy audience (featured users reportedly get around 53,000 followers after the first week of being on the list and 170,000 within the first month) the controversy doesn’t surprise us. Some of the accusations, however, have been fairly touchy, including favoritism for a particular political party (ouch).

Twitter’s answer to the problem? They’re scrapping it.

"That list will be going away," said Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. "Instead there will be something that is more programmatically chosen, something that actually delivers more relevant suggestions."

Exactly how they plan on managing this we’re not sure, nor do we know when the list will be taken down or replaced. We do know that in addition to a more egalitarian system, Twitter plans to add other features including faster ways to forward messages and the inclusion of more languages.

"Ninety-seven percent of our efforts are basically on delivering user value," said Stone. "Everyone is still experimenting. It's still young, it's still early. Anything goes right now as we figure out what works and what doesn't work."

An All Out Battle for the Web

Hold onto your hats, kids. The infamous Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media predicts that we’re on the verge of a war bigger than any we’ve seen this side of the Web 2.0 era.

In a blog post titled The War for the Web, O’Reilly defines two models of operating system: a singular “One Ring to Rule Them All” type, and a second made from loosely joined pieces. He says the first model can be seen in Microsoft Windows on the PC, “a world that promises simplicity and ease of use, but ends up diminishing user and developer choice as the operating system provider.” The second is a system that works like an actual web, or, the Internet itself. Though it’s “less polished” and “less controlled,” it’s a great foundation for new innovations because it’s open to everyone—no permission required.

Though we’re currently at a crossroads, O’Reilly gives a lot of examples that suggest we’re headed in the winner-takes-all direction, including Facebook’s tight privacy policy (now revised), the need for Apple’s blessing when it comes to iPhone apps, Rupert Murdoch’s recent threat to pull the Wall Street Journal from the Google search index, and, of course, Google (‘nuff said). O’Reilly writes:

“…we've grown used to a world with one dominant search engine, one dominant online encyclopedia, one dominant online retailer, one dominant auction site, one dominant online classified site, and we've been readying ourselves for one dominant social network.”

The problem with this method? Zoom out, look at the big picture and you’ll see that it’s a war against interoperability, against reciprocity, against freedom! (Cue infamous Braveheart scene.)

If there’s any hope of keeping things open and free, O’Reilly says it’s up to developers to start placing their bets on open systems.

Facebook Implements a New Privacy Policy

With less than 7,000 user comments about it (the threshold that makes a vote necessary), Facebook has gone ahead and adopted a new privacy policy. Based on user feedback, the policies attempt to run the platform in an open and transparent way. Some major updates:

Viewing and editing your profile 

Users can change or delete profile information at any time by going to the "Edit My Profile" section, where any changes will be updated immediately. While a user's date of birth cannot be completely deleted, there is the option to make it invisible. 

Deactivating or deleting your account

When a  user deactivates an account, no other user will be able to see it, but it will not be completely deleted. Accounts can be reactivated at a later date, and information will be restored.  If a user chooses to delete their account, it is permanent and no information is saved. 

Limitations on removal

Even after a user deletes their account or removes information from it, copies of that info may remain viewable; however, the user's name will no longer be associated with that information on Facebook. Additionally, Facebook can retain certain information to prevent identity theft and other misconduct even if deletion has been requested.

Backup copies

Removed and deleted information may persist in backup copies for up to 90 days, but will not be available to others.

Twitter and Facebook party with XBOX Live

Social connectivity is freakin' everywhere! On your computer, in your enterprise, all up in your blog, and now, on your gaming system--that is, if you have an Xbox. Microsoft announced that it would be making the handful of new social features available to Xbox 360 users months ago, and now they're finally here. Twitter and Facebook can be accessed in the My Community category, while social music platform can be found in the Music Marketplace and Zune Video in the Video Marketplace.

The availability of Twitter and Facebook is pretty exciting, and should make online meet-ups that much easier to organize, and discovering your friends immersed in both the gaming and social network world that much faster.

Foreseeable issues include Microsoft's cap on Xbox Live friends (currently it's at 100 max), especially as Microsoft integrates more social networks. Additionally, you can't make status updates mid-game, and if you have any idea how disastrous it would be to sign out of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2--even if it's to tweet that you need backup--then you understand how big of an issue that is.