Of Prying Eyes: The Age of Facebook

Posted: February 23, 2010 in Freedom of Expression

Practically everyone has Facebook these days. I’ve got aunties, uncles, great grandparents, distant cousin, friends from high school, taekwondo days, people I met from seminars, workshops, my bosses and the list continues. Everyone seems to be on Facebook. So, more the merrier eh?

What’s to complaint about? You have a site that connects just about everybody at any part of the world. Hey, I was excited, I could finally keep in touch with my best friend from the U.S. As it did not take too much of effort on either side and I still could find out and know kindda what she was up to even if she was not online.

It is cool of course that I can keep in touch with her and she can know what I’m up to, kindda makes you feel closer somehow. So facebook was something I though was “WOW”. An application that makes keeping in touch a breeze. Since facebook includes my circle of friends, I’m often very open in regards to my status messages, what I’m up to, personal preference and other personalized details. After all, its only open to my friends, right? Right?

But what happens when you have data, personal data like photographs open to the world? Open to just about anybody…perhaps an ex-boyfriends, an abusive spouse, a jealous friend, an admirer, a stalker, worse still if they are predators. Some might say that is why we have privacy settings. Yes, privacy settings are good but how private is private? Does it really keep me secure?

My mom’s friend found her photograph online that she put on facebook. That’s really weird cause I really thought that what’s on facebook remains on facebook. What’s even worse is that it was on the world wide web! Damn, how many millions of people have access to that?

Know that I come to think about it, its pretty scary the fact that I update on my location, where I’m going etc. I never considered that it could threaten my security. I never though facebook was prying eyes.

Am I just being paranoid? Or is facebook truly a threat to reckon with when it comes to privacy? It is sure an interesting research topic that I plan to embark on!

I’m sure some of you are aware of the recent changes in privacy settings in Facebook. Does it truly protect us further or keep us even more vulnerable than before? Stay tune cause I plan to find out of these prying eyes.


  1. sabrina says:

    That’s why i deactivated my account….hated the lack of privacy!

  2. mer says:

    ah ya… facebook & privacy ….. the term ‘privacy’ is apparently perceived differently by different generation… certain it’s different between me and my students…

    btw, Cher, I left you a comment in your other blog (which i believe no longer active)… just want to say hi… and yes, i still remember that you were doing research on malaysian blogosphere…

    do you still continue doing research?

    time goes fast, your viva completion was a year ago!

    • cherwith says:

      hey mer,
      Ya, I haven’t updated it in a while but will soon as I’m embarking on another research on blogs, facebook concerning the usage of it as an educational tool and also going to start on my PHD (possibly do on privacy and facebook). Took a very long break after my viva last year, started a new job, moved to a different state but I’m back again. How have you been doing? Working on anything specifically?

      • mer says:

        great that you continue doing research along the line…. i’m working on several projects now, among others: participatory culture & political/civic engagement in social media (part. facebook), to participatory public media.
        hey, i’m interested to read your thesis/dissertation… care to share? thanks.

      • cherwith says:

        Can, but just to warn you lah..it’s not that great, I could have done better…:( Let me see how I can upload it to the site or mail it.

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