My topic is Facebook: privacy and the consequences.
As most of you probably now, Facebook is an online social networking site that allows you to connect with others. It could be the person sitting in class on Facebook mobile just across the room or a friend at their desk across the ocean. It is a great way to keep in touch with distant relatives and friends that you would not otherwise get to talk to often. I have personally had friends in other countries who have been in the service, studied abroad or live there and while it’s really hard to connect on times with Skype, it’s easier to send a quick message on Facebook to chat with them. It is an Asynchronous site, because there are not time constraints or immediacy in which a person has to get back to you on, you do not have to be online with everyone at the same time.
According to CNN, Facebook gained it’s 500 millionth user this year. That’s half a billion people worldwide using Facebook. That number has doubled in less than a year.
When Facebook first began, users had to have an EDU email address to start an account. &quot;The original mission was just to create a Facebook for Harvard University - this book of pictures they used to find cute girls and guys,&quot; he notes. It was literally a free, online dating site for college students to find other students. It soon expanded to other universities and as college students arrived at school, setting up a Facebook account was a key step in getting started on the college path. I’m not sure if Lindenwood has one, but I transferred here from Missouri State and down there, they have a site for first-year students that resembles what Facebook may have originally been like. It is set up to meet new students, get to know others with the same major and in the same dorm building and learn about events/opportunities in the area. I remember my cousin telling me about Facebook when it was still set up for only college students, which is why I had one as soon as they went public around 2006.
When Facebook finally extended it’s services to users other than just college students, it made it so that users had to be at least 13 years old. However, while we know how old the internet is, it doesn’t know how old we are. For all Facebook or any other site knows, I could be a 23 year old, 5 foot 7, bronzed goddess from Greece. There is no way for the site to validate who is actually behind the username and computer screen. Which is why privacy issues are a bigger issue now more than ever. The internet allows individuals to “hide” behind the computer monitor. While this may not always be a bad thing, many of the best authors have come from hidden identities and pen names, there are many predators lurking on the internet. Not having privacy controls or safety sense can lead to serious consequences involving internet predators who reach out to their victims using aliases on social networking sites. That is why more and more sites are popping up to steer children away from “adult content” sites like Facebook and directing them towards “teen-friendly” sites, such as Yoursphere, Myspace and Tagged.
Facebook has had many issues with it’s privacy controls in the past. One problem with Facebook is that while it continually changes it’s site and controls, it makes a set of changes and then does the drawbacks. A quote from BBC news says that “Facebook has been using a mode of asking for forgiveness rather than permission” and that “what users really want is control over their information”. And many of the problems with Facebook come from the simple fact that is a company made up of only a few thousand employees who are trying to please half a billion users. However, the privacy changes that occurred in May 2010 have been the best we’ve seen so far.
May’s changes brought about simplified privacy controls that have detailed options that run alongside of them. Now, not just can you choose to make your page private or public, but you can control what groups or individual users are allowed to see certain portions of your profile.
Now, you can: BLOCK that crazy ex that won’t leave you alone. HIDE the pictures from last weekend’s party that got a little out of hand from Great Aunt Martha. DISABLE your profile from being found in Facebook’s search engine. DELETE that accidental drunken “love” confession that you didn’t really mean to post on that guy’s wall.
The newest feature on Facebook is PLACES. This was from Facebook, I just changed my friends name, but I have not personally used this feature.
“ Places” allows users to “check-in” at their current location to let others know exactly where they are at in the world. It also allows them to tag other users without their consent, which opens up an entirely new privacy issue.
Facebook is a great way to connect with other users around the world and stay in contact with friends and family. It is great for passing the time and staying updated on political and social issues, as well. Having a Facebook account is not any more of a risk than filling out an application and placing your information on it. However, just as if you were to let that application get into the wrong hands, you must use caution on the internet. Privacy and internet safety should always be top priorities when using the World Wide Web and social networking sites, like Facebook.
Your Privacy, Your Consequences Anna Schiele COM-130
profectio.com According to CNN, in 2010, Facebook gained it’s 500 millionth user. Double the amount of users in July of 2009, and one hundred times that of the 5 million users that the site saw in 2002.
buying-tshirts.com campuscompare.com When Facebook first began, it was created ONLY for college students, with the intention of being a site for finding “cute guys and girls”. If a user did not have a .edu email address, they could not join Facebook.
Photo by Anna Schiele When Facebook went “public” a few years ago, they added a clause in their Terms and Agreements requiring that users be at least 13 years of age… … however, like many websites, there is no way of knowing the actual age of a user. As more and more concerns over young users rise, more sites are popping up that aim at younger children. Yoursphere is the newest not-for-profit site that is aimed at children. And other sites include Myspace and Tagged.
PRIVACY CONTROLS: Facebook has changed its privacy controls many times in the past few years. The change that occurred in May of 2010 brought about simplified controls. realtipsblog.com
The changes in 2010 also included more detailed privacy options to run alongside of them. reputationdefenderblog.com Not only can a main profile’s privacy be controlled, but users can also limit what groups of friends is allowed to see posts and updates.
mediaplusme.wordpress.com Having privacy controls not only protects you from social embarrassment and screwing up the chance of snagging that big job opportunity, but it allows you to keep different areas of your life at different arms lengths.
background photo courtesy of: missouri.jugem.jp Recent Check-ins Spellman Center Anna Schiele was here 17 minutes ago . So what’s the newest thing on Facebook? Places.
Facebook now allows users to “check-in” using the site or a mobile device in order to let other users pinpoint their exact location. It also allows them to tag various other users in their posts who may be in the location as well. In the past, many have been worried about the privacy of having their phone number and address on the internet, but now it’s possible to see where they are at an exact point in time. webdesignledger.com
popwatch.ew.com Having Facebook is a great way to stay connected and keep in touch with friends and family, pass the time, and keep updated with social topics. However, individuals who choose to use Facebook should use caution with what they allow others to see.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/05/26/wolf.polonetsky.obama.oil/index.html Slide 1, 2 and 3 http://lorrie.cranor.org/courses/fa05/tubzhlp.pdf Slide 4 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10705923 Slide 5, 7 and 8 For information found solely on the slides…