Friday, October 11, 2013

Will Facebook's New Timeline Policy Assist Cyber bullies, Stalkers, and Murderers?

Facebook's recent decision to eliminate the ability for users to hide from a Timeline search may be a boon to Cyber bullies, stalkers, murders, etc.. who utilize Facebook to harm others.  As Forbes noted earlier this year, "the new tool will make Facebook stalking much easier".

Facebook's business model is basically, "we built an online hang out for you to you play in, so go play; however, everything you do in our playroom is subject to our rules and we may change them at anytime so we can better monetize your digital activities."  This philosophy is made crystal clear in Facebook's terms and conditions.

Facebook is currently being used by murderers, rapists, criminals, etc.. to commit unlawful acts.  For example, a model was killed last year after her stalker lured her to her death utilizing Facebook.  In 2010, a rapist used Facebook to create a fake profile so he stalk an ex-girlfriend.  Earlier this year, a murderer connected with his victim through Facebook to kidnap and kill a teenager.  

The bottom line is that Facebook should do more to protect its users' privacy.  This policy change may be perceived as one that does not protect the privacy of its users.  Perception becomes reality.  One simple way for users to perceive that Facebook still cares about its users' privacy is to enable users to be able to hide from a Timeline search.

While Facebook has generally been immune from defections due to its privacy policies could this be the tipping point that changes its users' perception about the social network?

Copyright 2013 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved. 

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