Facebook has recently come under some fire by its users for what is deemed invasive and unruly privacy settings, both on the general website and the new messenger app, something that has plagued the social network site since its massive growth in popularity.
Facebook has made it clear before, with the growing trend in monetizing individual’s profiles, it may be allow users a free account, but somewhere along the lines its users are paying in some way. For those who are victim to it, it means being subjected to an internet overhaul of your profile, where content and pictures can be sold to third-party companies who may use them in advertisements.
“I have heard about this happening before,” said senior Zach Cooper, “but it is a public forum. People who have an issue with this should be safe about what they are putting up and out there for everyone to see.”
The privacy settings are made very clear in the terms and conditions, and as revisions are released for users, they can see what exactly is being changed. However, these terms are almost never read.
“I never read the terms and conditions,” said senior Joseph Yim. “I don’t think anyone does.”
In the case of students like Yim, they do believe these security issues outweigh both the safety and the use he finds with it.
“I don’t mind the privacy issue, because I don’t post a lot of personal things on Facebook. I mainly use it for buying and selling shoes, it helps connect me to things I do like a lot that I couldn’t otherwise be involved with.”
Other students argue this victimization is frightening, but again should be expected.
“Facebook is designed for the sole purpose of stalking people,” said junior Mick Farrell. “If the people who are in charge of the site are using it for that reason, then so be it. If the Internet was a free as people want it to be, that’d be pretty rad.”
There are means of a private citizen to protect themselves from this kind of privacy invasion, as offered by the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) suggest: To share smart, stay informed, spread the word, contact Facebook, and call for action.
The sort of discourse they mention is part of an ongoing debate on Internet privacy. Facebook is one of the leading social media platforms, let alone of the most used websites, so outcry by those who are proponents of having protection online as a free forum denounce the actions the site has taken.
The new Facebook messenger is another target of outrage by some, as Android users have reported it using the camera or calling phone numbers. Facebook remains steadfast, citing the Android language “doesn’t necessarily reflect the way the Messenger app and other apps use them.”
In spite of this, students at schools have had issues with it.
“I was minding my own business, taking a picture of myself,” said Farrell, “when I looked at my phone and Facebook opened itself. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, and exited out. But then my friend asked me what was up with my profile picture and I checked it out: the picture had posted itself as my new picture.”
Facebook has met this criticism with very little change, but always elaborates and gives a statement for their reasoning behind new privacy settings or simple glitches in the Android system. As technology evolves, people themselves begin to question and realize flaws or things which should be changed. The debate of privacy has been a recent one, and has been addressed with new social media sites like Ello being created, with the bend that they will do very little collection of data which ends up being deleted instead of stored, and promises to never sell images to companies or any of the invasion some have observed with Facebook. With the evolution of the Internet, changes such as these may be even more hotly debated with options hopefully available of those who wish they weren’t losing their privacy.
Anthony Campbell//Staff Writer