It took three days of protests by members of the social networking website Facebook to make it backtrack on its decision to take ownership of all user-uploaded content, according to a New York Times report. The outcry was resounding. "People Against the New Terms of Service", one of the many groups formed on the website itself to protest the decision, had more than 140,000 members. While the issue may have died down, the debate has just begun. The decision raised serious questions on where the line should be drawn between privacy and social networking. Are you concerned about the security of the content you upload on such websites? How realistic is it for users to expect complete security and privacy on such sites? Tell us at email@example.com
Social community sites make easy prey for cyber crime.
When you put in your personal details or other content, try to secure it using passwords. I do not think being susceptible to cyber crimes is a major issue. Social networking websites are extremely helpful in connecting friends, and I have an account with Facebook because most of my friends have registered. However, I make sure I do not register on websites that are more careless with the content I upload.
I have heard of Facebook and even received quite a few invites, but have never joined it. It is probably because of my age, but I have also heard a lot about data security issues. I have two students in Brussels who are working on the issue of discriminatory practices on networking websites aimed at youngsters. Cyber crimes have serious psychological impact on young minds.
I am definitely anxious when it comes to these websites because of security issues. Interestingly, I have a UK-based friend who has a Facebook profile completely different from her personality. She wanted the benefits of Facebook, without risking anything. So, her profile is that of a male, with a fake name. It was quite confusing when I got an invitation from her.
I have never heard of any incident of cyber crime on social networking websites. As long as you don't give out your credit card details to people, you should be fine. I am a member of Facebook in English as well as its Russian version, and do not feel overly concerned about my pictures. What can anyone do with them? Also, these websites are quite secure. However, age limits might be a good idea.
Children below the age of 15 years should not be allowed to use networking sites.
Technology is unavoidable and amusing. It cannot be barred from children's lives and constant monitoring is also not a solution. Children are probably the most curious surfers online and with the increase in social networking websites, they could be victims to cyber crime. But awareness on safeguarding personal information and meeting virtual buddies in real life, have produced an overall impact on their psychology.
They should not be disallowed from using such websites as it is helpful in gathering knowledge. They have plenty to learn and such networking websites have interesting and entertaining methods to teach them new things in life. I feel that training and development in their early stages should be supervised to watch every movement and let them adopt a civilised behaviour.
Zia Al Rahman
Every coin has two faces, so it depends upon the education and training of an individual. He/she would use a particular technology or website accordingly. I do not think it would be appropriate to restrict children to use networking websites, but I would like to state that it is vital for parents to make them fully aware of the technology. Only then can they help them benefit from it.
Ghulam Hamdani Khan
Children are not aware of the dangers and can fall prey to criminals. They are always soft targets, be it to child abuse or bullies. Children under 15 go to school and meet every day; there is no need to go online to talk to their friend. They should socialise with real friends around them and not with virtual ones. Do they learn anything by exchanging messages with friends? No, they only pick up bad habits.
There is a need for greater pre-moderation by site operators/owners.
I believe site owners have already taken a lot of steps to ensure security of data. You also have an option on Facebook to allow friends to see a limited profile. There could be more such options to ensure privacy. Social networking websites work for me, as they help you meet long-lost friends. While everything is clearly stated in the agreement, there are so many users I doubt many read the fine print before they sign.
Abu Bakr Ameen
I advocate more responsibility on the part of users. If you have signed a document, all clauses are binding. No one is in a position to take legal action against the owners of such websites in cases like Facebook's announcement to own user-uploaded content. While what Facebook did was unfair, it was not illegal. If users are concerned about privacy, they should avoid uploading content that may be abused.
Facebook's decision was unfair. They cannot suddenly make such an announcement. This is the reason I am careful with uploading content on networking websites. I do not upload any photographs, and my friends always check with me before tagging me on pictures in their profiles. The website owners should be more accountable or allow users to chose exactly what content they want another to view.
Website owners are responsible for security-related issues. The current level of security is just not enough as anyone could copy a picture onto their computers. The website users should also act responsibly. I don't put on any pictures. Also, I do not add users who I don't know personally. I don't have a problem if people can access basic details but comments and photographs are private.
Ghadeer Al Masri
It is impossible to control or check the sites.
You can always protect your content using various tools. If someone wants to misuse the content, or hack someone's profile, who is to stop them? They will do it regardless of the security checks. Increasing security of content on social networking websites may be possible, but is very difficult. Every time owners come up with added security measures, there will be a way of getting around it and continuing abuse.
Basically it comes down to money. There is a lot of information in this world that cannot be accessed by hackers, however it is protected using expensive security measures. I do not think people care enough for personal data to invest as much in security of content. If website owners wanted to enforce such measures, users would have to pay for it to ensure their pictures and other data are not copied.
I am on a more private networking website. Your details are not accessible to everyone. However, popular social networking websites would not be able to follow such security rules, as they make a lot of profit and it would not be financially viable. The data is highly insecure and is used by companies as well as people. This is why I would never join websites like Facebook or MySpace.
These sites are quite secure and you always have the option of not adding people. I'm not worried about the content I upload. There will always be some people who misuse things available to them, and there is no way to stop them. However, it's definitely a concern if children are not educated about the problems they could face. We need to try to save them from being victims of cyber crime.
Next week's focus: Co-education
-Mixed gender classes at universities help young people be more confident when entering the workplace.
-Co-education at school is not advisable as pupils are not mentally mature.
-A mixed classroom means shy pupils
will be left behind.
-Co-education creates a better and
balanced academic environment.
For my children I prefer:
- Single gender classes
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