Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Facebook: Does privacy mean anything anymore?

By: Cassie Schenck

Everyone’s updating their statuses and Facebook chatting with friends about all the new changes the social network has made over the past few weeks.

The changes to the website have many Facebook users wondering why the website has made such drastic changes to the layout design and new features.

With around 800 million users, 50 percent of whom sign on at least once per day, there are bound to be some controversies.

“I understand that Facebook must make changes in order to remain the leading social networking site, however, people don’t like the change because it is a burden to learn the new format and also an invasion of privacy,” sophomore Jack Delabar said.

Many of the changes that Facebook has made are on the layout of the home page. One of the new features is the ‘News Ticker’, which allows the user to see their friends’ updates the moment they happen. With the instant updates, the user is able to see things such as friends adding new people, pictures they are being tagged in, what their friends are liking or commenting on and their status updates.

“Truthfully, I don’t like all the changes they’ve been making because I like to control my information, and now it’s harder to do because the settings aren’t in a central location anymore,” senior Gail Willadsen said.

Some are worried that the new features are interfering with their safety and security, like senior Jason Hartwig.

“I’m not so concerned with the security of Facebook as I am with the privacy of it,” Hartwig said. “Information is not free and to the extent that Facebook as an entity has the right to utilize your information is worrisome. I have a hard time putting the well being of my privacy in the hands of an organization which truly has no obligations to my ‘best interests.’”

On the other extreme, some students are not worried about privacy concerns.

“I’m not really worried about people reading what I post on Facebook or who I’m interacting with,” sophomore Karyn Durkin said. “Facebook isn’t making us do these things as users, we are choosing to publically post things.”

Facebook’s upcoming “Timeline” feature allows the user to post pictures, post places they’ve been, and announce relationships or new friends in a simpler format. The only way to change the privacy on these options is to change the default settings so the information is not public. Under privacy settings, there are many options to change who can view certain things on your page and limit what you show to others. It is important that Facebook users be aware of scams, hackers and information they are sharing with their friends.

“I feel like it is a little bit creepy that people see everything you do without even trying,” freshman Samantha Shelton said. “It’s kind of crazy.”

Facebook is planning another wave of renovations to the site. With all the clutter that Facebook is adding, the website is hoping to continue to engage the user even more.

“I have no idea why so many of us freely give up our huge right to privacy and precious time to a 24/7 social network that is so clearly narcissistic – all about ‘me’ – that it tricks users into thinking their daily happenings have real meaning compared to the majority of humans on this planet who don’t even have internet, computers, cell phones and electricity,” Language and Literature professor Kathy Newport said. “Never mind the ‘mirror mirror on the wall’ gaze of Facebook and the childish and never ending competition to be given attention and collect admirers or followers.”

According to an article written by Jolie O’Dell published on, the company is looking forward to the upcoming changes and new potential for the site.

“The next year is going to be defined by the apps and the depth of engagement that is possible now that everyone has their networks in place and connections established,” CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said.

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Founded 1901
Facebook: Does privacy mean anything anymore?