Every time Facebook changes the layout of profiles or edits the way the newsfeed works, users get up in arms. People do not like change, especially when it comes to their favorite social networking site. They take to their pages with fury to yell at Mark Zuckerburg and the rest of the Facebook team to leave Facebook the way it is. When Facebook updates its privacy policies and offers users new steps to secure their pages, no one comments and many ignore the window explaining the changes that pops up after they log in. A few years ago, privacy notifications elicited more a reaction. When social networking first became a phenomenon with sites like Myspace and Livejournal, the media was constantly discussing the issue of how people’s privacy was now at risk. Users did not trust social networking sites to protect their identities, and so were cautious and constantly warning each other with horror stories of Myspace pages gone awry. With the development of Facebook however, public opinion about social networking security seems to be changing.
Now that Facebook is such a part of our daily lives—from personal pages to corporate advertising—the media coverage of Facebook invading our privacy seems to have died down. Only when major changes occur, like the prospect of Facebook going public this past winter, does the media reignite the fear that Facebook holds too much personal information. In this travelogue, we plan to track the changes Facebook has made in its privacy settings since its start and how users and the public in general (media included) have reacted to those changes. We want to see if there truly is a trend that, as people have become “addicted” and more dependent on Facebook, they are willing to be more trusting and give out more personal information in order to have a better online social experience.
By: Elizabeth and Kristen