They say that “all publicity is good publicity”, but the recent media frenzy over Facebook’s data scandal will definitely be something that the company could’ve done without.
Millions are saying they plan to delete their Facebook account, and Mark Zuckerberg himself has even been requested to appear before a parliamentary committee in the UK to answer some pretty serious questions.
However, when all is said and done, we love Facebook for what it gives us – a platform for maintaining friendships with old buddies, as well as finding new friends to talk to.
As much as people have been complaining about the site recently, I personally doubt that they’ll be leaving it for good any time soon.
Of course, like most technology, it comes with privacy implications. And we’re not just talking about Big Data mining your personal info to sell to advertisers – it’s the fact that, depending upon your privacy settings, anyone can look through your pictures, and you would be none the wiser.
Whether or not we would like to admit it, this is something that we’ve all been guilty of at one time or another. For example, if your crush has just got back from a holiday at the beach, and you just happen to be online when they post the photo album, what’s the harm in having a little look? It’s what they put them up for, after all.
We do this in the knowledge that, although Facebook shares a lot of stuff we wish it wouldn’t, it doesn’t tell others when you’ve been looking at their pictures. So, you can browse away to your hearts content without them being any the wiser, unless – heaven forbid – you accidentally ‘like’ one of their photos.
However, that may no longer be the case. This is not to say that suddenly Facebook is going to adopt the same functionality as LinkedIn and reveal to its users who’s been perusing their profile.
Facebook have always said they have no plans to reveal this data and, by and large, this remains the case. This is not because they particularly care about your privacy – it’s simply because it would dissuade many of its 1.86 billion users from using the site as fully as Facebook would like.
However, the site has introduced a new feature which means you may need to exercise a little more caution. Facebook recently rolled out its ‘Stories’ feature to all of its mobile users.
Similar to the same feature on Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook Stories are short user-generated photo and video collections which can be viewed twice and then disappear after 24 hours.
As with Instagram stories though, you can see also how many people viewed your story, and specifically WHO has specifically looked at each piece of content within your story.
So, when you’re having a sneaky perv at your crush’s holiday story, just be aware that they know what you’re up to! If this is a problem, you might want to stick to the traditional Facebook voyeurism – just the photos.
What do you think of the recent Facebook data scandal? And will this new stories feature make you more paranoid about looking at other people’s stuff on the site? Let us know in the comments section, we’d love to know your thoughts.
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