Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Facebook and Privacy...

Yesterday Facebook rolled out its new redesign of its home page, adding a News Feed feature for all its users. As the site itself describes, "News Feed highlights what's happening in your social circles on Facebook. It updates a personalized list of news stories throughout the day, so you'll know when Mark adds Britney Spears to his Favorites or when your crush is single again. Now, whenever you log in, you'll get the latest headlines generated by the activity of your friends and social groups".

I am continually fascinated by the extent to which people seem willing to put every aspect of their private lives in the public domain. As any regular AIM user can attest to, anonymous online stalking is already rampant - and indeed not even all that frowned upon. College kids even seem to get a bit of a kick out of having a stalker, as if it were an amusing fact of life in cyberspace.

But Facebook may have pushed the envelope just a little too far this time. After launching its News Feed feature, users immediately went up in arms and have called for a boycott of Facebook on September 12th.

Privacy, and the desire for it, may not be dead yet, after all.


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