Facebook…Friend or foe?
Posted by Grach
The Facebook Privacy Debate
Facebook is one of the largest social networking site, with over 800 million users, it has been one of the biggest social impacts to the web. But is Facebook really a safe place to post up personal information? With its new and improved Facebook about to launch concerns have been raised with the amount of content being shared on the web.
One main issue with Facebook is the privacy of the users account. It is very simple to create an account and impersonate another person, for many different reasons; unfortunately due to its varied and popular status on the web it is a severe reason for this. The inappropriate use of Facebook unfortunately something that cannot always be dealt with.
Trolling is another strong criticism of the social networking site. In September 2010 a man was jailed for 18 months after posting and commenting obscene and hurtful messages on a memorial page set up on Facebook which was deemed “malicious communications”. The word “trolling” or “trolls” is the term given to a person who posts stirring messages to an online community as a way to promote a reaction. This again is another issue Facebook faces.
Facebook launched a way of disabling a users account if they do not wish to continue using the site, where by the user can deactivate their account but not delete all together. The danger being that even though the information is not seen the data collected is still stored with the site and could easily be accessed without permission.
Advertising is another strong issue with the social networking site, as a lot of funding surround Facebook as a way to support its funding, however such brands as Halifax and Vodafone removed their advertisement from the site due to protecting their brands, some advertisements appeared along side pages such as the British National Party page, which they did not wish to associate with.
With its new sharing feature of posting and sharing what users listen to, watch and read about, Facebook has promoted questions about its user content. In September 2011 an article on helpnetsecurity.org, which focused on the five main concerns of the new and improved changes to Facebook, over the growing, concerns of the privacy and security issues. A few main points in the article were the new push to encourage users to share more publicly their information such as jobs, education and locations as a way of building more data, brings up the issue of privacy settings. Another issue was the new “timeline revolution” which allows users and friends look back at information and content which the user would not wish to be seen, which is available to anyone.
Overall Facebook is a digital world of information that can be highlighted at the click of a button. The fact of security and privacy are huge factors, which are being addressed by Facebook. Campaigns such as take this lollipop are just one of the campaigns encouraging users to be careful when allowing others to access their information, for example, how many people read the information before they click the “allow” button. This campaign was a way of focussing in on security issues surrounding Facebook.