Thursday, October 31, 2013

Facebook Friend or Foe

Brent Pohlman says that Facebook has made it easier for people to gather information on others and stalk them, but I completely disagree on the grounds privacy. Privacy settings are easily usable, for example when I turned 14 Facebook sent me a notification that my profile, if I wanted, could be public to the world, but I remained private. The people who are stalked are showing some degree of carelessness because Facebook profiles can be locked down so tightly that anyone who tries to friend you, they can't see your pictures, and your wall. An even more aggressive thing to do is to make your profile invisible to others; you can friend them, but they can't find you. The technology isn't the problem here, it’s the users and their carelessness.

Social networks touch a huge number of people’s lives daily. There are more than 1.15 billion users on Facebook--one seventh of the world’s population--and 669 million daily users, 80% of whom are living outside the United States. Do you know how many people manage Facebook? Hundreds, thousands, millions? The answer is only 5,299 people. Only 5,299 people manage a site that a seventh of the population uses. Facebook has changed society in many positive ways but one specific way I am going to focus on, is how Facebook has impacted society, but more specifically people. Facebook has allowed us as a society, the ability to share picture with the click of a button. Mark Zuckerberg said that his company was built around around the simple principle of user control of what they share. He believes that if people control what they share, then they will want to share more, and this has been very effective and still is.

Facebook has also forced us as a society to become better people. David Kirkpatrick, who wrote “The Facebook Effect,” says that Facebook has made it harder to cheat on your boyfriend or girlfriend, because of the instant ability to check to see if they actually are. For example, If you are curious about your boyfriend or girlfriend, just check their wall, check what people have been commenting and look at what he or she has been commenting. One of my best friends broke up with his girlfriend over what she had been posting on another friend’s wall. Facebook has brought back this idea of a small town, because the instant something happens in a small town, almost everyone knows. The instant that something happens, somebody posts it on Facebook, and everyone knows, even though Facebook has over a billion users.

In conclusion, Facebook has provided us with instant connectivity to share important information, or just information with others that we wish to, as well as forcing us to be better people. The fact that Facebook is full of stalkers is not true, and even if it is, just use the privacy settings, they are easy to use and very helpful. Every problem of this type can be solved by simply educating those who don’t know.

Update: November 14 2013

Before this project, I had no concept of blogging, I had no idea how to structure a blog. I have always been writing academically but never informally. My process started off very slowly, picking my topic was easy, I had wanted to blog about Facebook, but it was difficult to decide how I wanted to portray them as a company. I eventually decided to portray them in a positive way because my friends and I have never had a bad experience. My real trouble was narrowing the topic, I finally narrowed it enough late in the project and it ended up t being pretty good. I complete agree with what I wrote, and i haven't found an article to date. Facebook is a great tool when used properly and users are educated.


  1. I agree with the fact that Facebook, if used right is a great tool with connecting with our friends, our family, and people we don't get to see often. When the privacy settings are used like they should be, a Facebook user has almost complete control over who gets to see the things you post. Great use of facts and statistics to prove your point! Just a thought, did you know that Facebook can use any of our photos we post. They don't own them, but it says in the terms and conditions that they have the right to use them in advertising, without saying where they came from? So Facebook can go through our profiles and find the awesome photos we take and use them. Good or bad? Overall, great points!

    1. Personally its not a big deal to me, its just one of those things that you give away when you use the site. It depends if the pictures are truly great then yes it would be a great thing, it just depends upon the situation. I would love to see my profile picture in one of their adds! Great comment trainkid123.

      Pretty Pants The Man

  2. Hello Pretty Pants The Man, I agree, Facebook is a great way to connect with family and friends. I enjoyed reading about getting stalked on Facebook. Most people like my friends private setting on Facebook are not set to highest level so your blog made me think my privacy online on Facebook. I also enjoyed reading your statistics about Facebook like there are about 1.15 billion users on Facebook and its one seventh on the people on earth. I did not know about the “Facebook Effect” until now and how it talked about how it make it harder to cheat on somebody in a relationship. Great Blog Pretty Pants I really enjoyed reading it. - Le Master Trole

    1. Hello Le Master Trole,
      Thank you for making such a great comment, Facebook is an amazing tool in itself no one can deny it. I always enjoy when someone makes an intelligent comment. The fact is right now that my privacy settings aren't so insanely high set but it is always a good idea to always know what they are and how to use them.

      Thanks again PPTM

  3. Thank you for writing a very emphatic post on the value of Facebook and the responsibility people must accept for using it properly. While I agree with you that understanding of privacy settings is a user’s responsibility, I have read that Facebook’s privacy policies and controls are confusing and difficult to use. A recent New York Times article points out that there are six tabs a user must use to make sure everything is checked: Privacy, Timeline and Tagging, Blocking, Followers, Apps and Ads. There is also no way to opt out of certain sharing of user data for commercial purposes. My question is: Do you think Facebook can do a better job of making privacy controls accessible and publishing changes in policies? I am interested in your opinion on the privacy issue. --Mrs. Riches

    1. I have recently checked my Facebook with in the last day or so and the privacy settings are readily available. Facebook has simplified them greatly since the last update. There is no perfect company in this world of social media and im not trying to defend Facebook in their practices but yes they could do a far better job than they have been. they should probably send out notification to the users that settings have changed. Historically they have done a pour job but i hope they will get better. Thanks for your comment Mrs. Riches

      Pretty Pants The Man.

  4. Hello Pretty Pants the man! Your blog was interesting to read because it was different than most blogs about Facebook's privacy settings. It is true that Facebook has easy to use privacy settings and that more people should use them. I did not know about the turning yourself invisible setting and was wondering if you could explain it some more such as what are the negative drawbacks to this? Do people misuse their privacy settings? How hard is it to get past Facebook's privacy settings? I liked your blog and hope you post more.

    1. SWEET_T i'm not sure what you mean by getting past the privacy setting, and the misuse of privacy setting is up to interpretation. The main idea behind the privacy settings is allowing yourself to feel comfortable with the amount of information that anyone can obtain with out consent. The drawbacks from being "locked down" may include the fact that only the you can add people, they can't add you, and it may appear that you're trying to hide something. My advice is just don't add people that you don't know and have a relatively secure Facebook. Great comment SWEET_T.


  5. Hi Pretty Pants the Man,
    I thought that your blog made sense and was well written. I enjoyed your post because a lot of people usually talk about how Facebook is negative so it was interesting when you gave a pro-argument for Facebook. In the first paragraph, I really agree with your point that: "The technology isn't the problem here, it’s the users and their carelessness" In the last sentence of your post you say: "Every problem of this type can be solved by simply educating those who don’t know" How do you think people should educate others about this issue? You used evidence well and your point was thoughtful, good job.
    -Thing 5


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