A social networking site can be defined as a website where people can network, and communicate with another. These websites are designed solely for the purpose of communities being made, whether you want to re-connect with an old high school friend, or whether you just want to make some friends online in general.
Social networking sites have revolutionised communication, and are now one of the main sources of communication used today. Facebook was created in 2004 by Harvard student Mark Zuckerburg, and is estimated to have over 175 million members (Hovi, Pitkanen, Tuunainen, 2009).
Whilst social networking sites have grown over the years, so have concerns about
privacy issues on these sites. Privacy is a hard concept to define, but it has been stated
by Johnson (1989) as follows:
“Privacy is a conventional concept. What is considered private is socially or
culturally defined. It varies from context to context. It is dynamic, and it is quite
possible that no single example can be found of something which is considered
private in every culture. Nevertheless, all examples of privacy have a single common
feature. They are aspects of a person’s life which are culturally recognised as being
immune from the judgement of others.”
In the context of this essay, Fried (1968) defined privacy as, “control over knowledge
Facebook initially was a network which only Harvard students could join. This was
then extended to other Ivy League schools, then to nearly all of the colleges in the
United States, and now it is a global phenomenon, where anyone in the world with a
valid email address can join.
... middle of paper ...
...oaded information such as videos & photos. However, unless
Privacy settings were altered, status updates were to be made available to the public.
Also, even if privacy settings were used to a maximum by the user, his/her profile
picture, friends list, fan pages, name, city and gender would still be available to the
general public. With Facebook working very closely with search engines such as Bing
and Google, it has been stated in the Guardian that “some updates from the social
network” will be included in their search index.
Previously in this report, it was discussed that the default privacy settings on
Facebook are such that anyone on your network can view your profile. Networks can
be companies, schools, colleges, and towns. Photos and videos are the only exception
To this, and can be viewed by anyone in the world (Peterson, 2009).
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