« washingtonienne | Main | Internet Access For All: Yay or Nay? »

FACEBOOK... good or bad?

I have had quite a bit of experience using Facebook. I signed up this Fall, and have been an active and regular participant since. Facebook is an excellent way to reconnect with friends from highschool and childhood who you don’t get a chance to see on a regular basis. This is probably the main reason why I decided to sign up and join the fad.

Privacy is definitely a huge concern when joining any third party online forum. When joining Facebook, I consulted with friends who have had it for years as to what I can do to control the information that is visible for other members to see. First and foremost, I almost never place my address on anything online. Placing your address on Facebook, in my opinion is ridiculous. There’s really no reason to. If a friend wants your address, they can simply privately message you or call you for that particular piece of information.

I think that Bruce Schneier brings up a very good point when he stated, “Unfortunately, Facebook can change the rules whenever it wants. Its Privacy Policy is 2,800 words long, and ends with a notice that it can change at any time. How many members ever read that policy, let alone read it regularly and check for changes?? I know that I personally didn’t read word for word what the policy stated. I knew that by signing up for Facebook that I had to be cautious about the information I decided to add to my profile, because you just never know what will happen and who can obtain this particular information. I think if people are going to become upset about privacy issues regarding online forums such as Facebook and MySpace, maybe they should reconsider using the programs all together. There’s a simple solution to solve this problem, if you are worried about information getting loose, then double think signing up for something like this in the first place. One must know what they’re getting into and the possible outcomes that are associated with the decisions they make.

Overall, if you are cautious and selective about the information you decide to use in Facebook and are cautious and selective when you use Facebook, I don’t think one has much to worry about. There’s always the option to deactivate your account if you aren’t in compliance with Facebook. Like Cornell’s University stated, "Golden Rule. Don't say anything about someone else that you would not want said about yourself. And be gentle with yourself too!?