COMMENT | Another Facebook alarm bell23rd March 2018
I confess I am one of the people who sometimes take tests on Facebook. So what is all of the fuss about?
Pretty sure that whenever me and my single brain cell have decided to partake in these online analysis of personality and many other brain-teasing trait-identifying, pigeonholing non-entities tests there is a stage at the end to post your results.
This part of the process includes a disclaimer stating the originating program owner will get access to your personal data and friends list; if you proceed to post your results. I don’t. I take the tests out of my own curiosity with no intention of sharing so never give access to that sort of information.
Perhaps Facebook was/is culpable of allowing a large amount of data to be shared, but ultimately it is generally the user who gives permission for the information to be shared. It’s not like it’s been stolen.
If I was more worried about Facebook and how it is used and its foibles I would mention underage users. A couple of years ago I did a search for gay men in my area. Among the results were men who liked men and wanted to meet men. One of them was the 8-year-old son of a friend I worked with.
Starting the day with an awkward conversation “Hey Phil, as you know I am gay. I looked for other gay men in my area on Facebook this morning. Best if I ask you to do this search too.” To say he was shocked as he scrolled down the page and found a pic of his 8-year-old would be an understatement. He didn’t know his son had a Facebook account. His son had not got to the age of being interested in girls so had checked interested in men. Ergo he came up in my search for gay men!
If I was to scream anything from the rooftops it would be about safeguarding children. Online grooming is already a massive problem and a gargantuan organisation like Facebook was foiled by a little boy in primary school who had a natural curiosity to see what all the Facebook fuss and interest was about.
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