Social networking websites these days boast of web traffic and user accounts that rival the entire population of many countries. Such is the immense reach of these social networking websites that almost every person you come across these days is active on at least one of these websites.
Though the intention behind joining these websites might differ from person to person, but at the end of the day, all they are doing is providing these social media websites the kind of traffic they desire.
This traffic not only helps these websites in becoming popular, but it feeds them with enough people willing to display their ads to promote their brands on the website EZTV. This generates revenue for the social networking websites and helps them in keeping the bandwagon rolling.
Facebook needs no introduction and nor does their recent trysts with privacy issues all over the world. News of the social networking giant landing into hot waters due to complaints of sensitive user data being used (read sold) by the Facebook permitted applications to advertisers thehiltonian. Now this has happened before and has already created a huge outcry about the security of user information that users share with Facebook and the external applications which exist on the website. Thousands of people quit Facebook and many others followed suit.
It is happening again and not the website creator, Mark Zuckerberg himself recognized the trespassing of user information by the approved applications like FarmVille (made by gaming giant Zynga).
In a precious incident, the social networking giant was again in the news for all the wrong reasons. A huge database of user accounts information in addition to the pictures from thousands of profiles was available on various torrent websites. Anyone could download and use the information as he/she desired.
Two things come to the mind on reading this news.
One – The credibility of such a hugely influential website effectively goes down the drain and 500 million does not seem that inspiring a number as it used to. It is the foremost concern of every social networking website to safeguard the interests of the users and therefore ensure a very high level of safety for the sensitive user database that is commands.
Second – The average Joe is expected to be smart enough to know what kind of information he/she is sharing with the world through such social networking websites. At the end of the day, these websites remain an external platform and although they do provide a promise of safety when you join them. Keeping the promise remains another thing.
Apart from the rising trust issues between the user and Facebook, it is also the duty of the user to be aware about what they can share and whom they can trust among their peer group online. At the end of the day, nobody can be trusted enough to not misuse the data you make public online.