tech - hawg
Thursday, September 07, 2006
  Facebook users freak out
Apparently, the recent features Facebook added angered a percentage of their user base. The reason? It seems to me to be a misunderstanding. According to the "a day without facebook" protest site, the new feeds that Facebook added make it eaiser to "stalk" your friends. From the site:

There is one major reason there is a sense of anger over the Feeds feature.

It damages what privacy was left on Facebook. Before Feeds, it was already easy enough to stalk anyone at your school, and everyone on your friends list; but with the advent of Feeds, it is now nearly impossible not to be “stalked” or to “stalk”

Without even trying an individual now knows the changing relationship status of individuals on their friends list, the new “friendships” added by users, and the photos tagged by either a user or a user’s friends.

It is almost impossible now to keep your information to yourself. In the last year this has become incredibly important as we have seen judicial actions brought against students based solely on photos posted on facebook, we have heard of cases concerning actual stalking where Facebook was the accused main form of information, and we have seen employers who have begun using Facebook to check on potential employees.

Before Feeds there were steps that could be taken to prevent your information becoming everyone’s property; now there is literally no option to prevent your information from going completely public.

This feature was not requested by the users, and the users are not given a chance to opt out of it.

There are other reasons users are complaining, ranging from the fact it takes away the time-wasting aspect of Facebook to aesthetic complaints about the new look.

Clearly there is a desire to not have Feeds be the Facebook standard.

What these Facebook protesters seem to be misunderstanding is that you CAN decide what your friends do or don't see. On the other side, these feeds also make it easier to keep up with what's going on with your friends. In short, Facebook users can decide what they want to share. Their information is shared out to everyone at all times without giving the user the ability to change it. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg even weighed in on the official Facebook blog:

We didn’t take away any privacy options. [Your privacy options remain the same.] The privacy rules haven’t changed. None of your information is visible to anyone who couldn’t see it before the changes. If you turned off your wall to non-friends, no one who is not your friend will be able to see a post on your wall. Your friends can still see it; it hasn’t changed. Secret groups and secret events remain secret from other people. Pokes and messages remain as private interactions. Nothing you do is being broadcast; rather, it is being shared with people who care about what you do—your friends.

You crazy kids are so dramatic, sheesh.

[more info at techcrunch]
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