Facebook, Public Or Private? Essay

1011 words - 5 pages

Facebook, Public or Private?

People, and especially parents, have concerns and fears of privacy on social networking. The issue is not clear and well understood among people, what is visible and what is invisible on these sites? When I first joined Facebook, I started by creating an account or a "profile" as you all did, in which I provided my personal information; name, birth date, hometown, religion, etc. The process continued, uploading my photos, and making my friends list; of existing friends, and I began accepting people I didn't know. “Friending” someone means that you give them access to your profile and thus your personal information, and vice versa. After sometime I began ...view middle of the document...

Boyd is therefore mentioning that all Facebook users have to consider how his/her friends will construe a certain action, knowing that it will be publicized to everyone. Facebook assumes that all friends are "real friends" which is not really the case. People can accept friend requests from strangers, in order to make new friends online.

Danah Boyd's purpose in writing this article is to persuade and inform her audience about the dangers of the weak privacy settings of Facebook. Boyd is referring to some researches and studies to persuade the readers about the claims she is presenting, like referring to McPherson and the biologist Robin Dunbar. However the amount of evidence is not enough. She is using her own examples as well, in order to clarify the idea, such as the example provided above. The article is somehow weak when it comes to evidence and supporting the author's idea. For example, Boyd is examining whether the NewsFeed option on Facebook is good for people or not from her point of view; using "me" and "I". However the article is rich in the amount of ideas and claims presented about the topic.

On the other hand, Facebook and Online Privacy: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Unintended Consequences, an article for Bernhard Debatin, Jennette P. Lovejoy, Ann-Kathrin Horn M.A., and Brittany N. Hughes, first published online 17 November 2009; is a sort of assessment of the Facebook privacy settings. The article is not defending these settings, however the authors are presenting what Facebook did and is doing to improve its privacy settings. They are discussing some of the flaws that were fixed in the privacy settings. However, the article is also discussing that other flaws still exist.

As mentioned by the authors, grave flaws were identified earlier in 2005 in Facebook's privacy settings that could enable data mining and stalking. One of the flaws that the authors supported their claim with, is that "nearly two years after (launching Facebook), passwords were being sent without encryption, and (therefore it could be seized by third parties)" (Jones & Soltren,...

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