Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Facebook in the News (August 2013)

A new story on BBC News states that Facebook will be compensating users for sharing details about them on their advertisements.  While this is not a huge deal, it is just another example of how the internet is not a private place.  Part of me does not understand how a person can be upset when they put their lives on Facebook and then that information is shared. 

Approximately 614,000 Facebook users whose personal details appeared in ads on the site without their permission will each receive a $15 (£9.65) payout.

More than 150 million Facebook members had their names and pictures used in Sponsored Stories, but only those who responded to an email from the site earlier this year will be compensated.
Privacy organisations will also receive some of the $20m (£12.9m) settlement.

Facebook has not responded to the BBC's request for comment.

The payout was approved by a US court on Monday following a class action filed against Facebook in 2011 by five of its users.

The group said their details had been used to promote products and services through the site's Sponsored Stories programme, without paying them or giving them the choice to opt-out.
A Sponsored Story is a tailored advertisement that appears on members' Facebook pages, highlighting products a user's friends have endorsed or "liked" on the site.

Continued at BBC News (source).

Another story from BBC News is based on a study showing that Facebook use makes users feel worse about themselves.  I have stated this a few times before and have felt these effects myself.  Many people seem to spend hours on Facebook and come off the site feeling inadequate or depressed about their lives.  According to the article, there is a growing amount of research that states that Facebook has negative consequences.  I don't know if much research is needed in this - the truth is obvious, but the addictive nature of Facebook makes it impossible to leave. 

Using Facebook can reduce young adults' sense of well-being and satisfaction with life, a study has found.

Checking Facebook made people feel worse about both issues, and the more they browsed, the worse they felt, the University of Michigan research said.

The study, which tracked participants for two weeks, adds to a growing body of research saying Facebook can have negative psychological consequences.

Facebook has more than a billion members and half log in daily.

"On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. Rather than enhancing well-being, however, these findings suggest that Facebook may undermine it," said the researchers.

Internet psychologist Graham Jones, a member of the British Psychological Society who was not involved with the study, said: "It confirms what some other studies have found - there is a growing depth of research that suggests Facebook has negative consequences."
Continued at BBC News (source).