February 25, 2013
What the Facebook? We all know that one group of girls who constantly gossip about what they read on Facebook the previous night. One time I was on the bus headed home from school and overheard some girls giggling about one of our mutual friends who had recently posted on her Facebook that she was three months pregnant. It truly made me mad when I logged onto my Facebook account and saw a comment on the post from one of the girls, “I’m here for you one hundred percent.”; when in fact, she had been making fun of the soon-to-be mom only three hours earlier. Gossiping is not the only problem dealing with having an account on Facebook. The most occurring problem with Facebook, or any other social networking site, would be that of privacy. By definition of its creators, Facebook is “a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family, and coworkers” (_________). It was created by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. Although some stories say he stole the idea from his classmates at Harvard University, his story states he created the idea along with a couple of roommates. Facebook was exclusive to Harvard at first, but when Zuckerberg saw its capabilities he decided to make it worldwide. Google Trends shows this particular social networking site started to gain popularity in October of 2006. By March of 2010 Facebook had skyrocketed and its leading competitor, MySpace, started to plummet. Consequently, Facebook became the number one social networking site all around the world. According to Consumer Reports, in June 2012 there were more than one hundred and fifty million Americans with Facebook accounts and over five hundred million memberships worldwide (______).
One of the first articles I came across during research had to do with facial recognition when pictures are uploaded. It is a recent update to Facebook. There was a survey done which asked what areas corporate could work on to make Facebook a more user friendly site and the number one answer was to fix the tediousness of tagging friends in photos (________). They came up with an application that remembers faces by distance between eyes, nose and ears, and automatically tags them. In the beginning, it was a controversy because Facebook had enabled facial recognition without consent of the users. This feature can now be disabled through pop-up notifications; however, critics say the issue goes beyond the specific notifications to the fact that one company now controls such a vast biometric database about so many people. Facebook has already stored over sixty billion photos and says the number grows