SGA proposed Facebook resolution

Lifestyles

“Hey News Feed, I just pooped” is one of the many groups Facebook members can join to express the way they feel about the newly refurbished Facebook.com and its News Feed. The student senate has authored a resolution that intends to increase awareness in students about Internet privacy and security.

President of the student senate and Vice-President of SGA, Luke Herrington, authored the resolution.

“If this resolution can impact Facebook, allowing for increased privacy controls, then maybe we as students, will be a little safer,” said Herrington.

Facebook is a Web site for networking and communication; however, after Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, added new changes like the News Feed and the Mini Feed, there have been concerns with privacy.

The News Feed allows all personal information to be shown. For example, if people change their relationship status or decide to attend an event, the rest of the Facebook community is able to see that. Many see this to be a breech of privacy. Jason Bryan, senator and co-sponsor of the resolution, agrees that certain things need to be hidden.

“I think that [the News Feed] could be a good idea, but the way they’ve done it has a really bad execution,” Bryan said. “When Facebook was just for college students it wasn’t as bad, but now they changed it so anyone can get it.”

According to www.onguardonline.gov, these sites can increase exposure to people with “less-than-friendly” intentions.

“At any given time, approximately 50,000 predators are on the Internet,” Attorney
General Alberto Gonzalez said.

As stated in SGA’s written resolution, several students across the nation and some in attendance at Western have closed Facebook accounts in response to the creation of the News Feed. At last count, 671,001 members nationwide had joined the group “Students Against Facebook News Feed (Official Petition to Facebook).”

Facebook responded to the student reaction with increased privacy settings; however, students still aren’t allowed to remove the News Feed from their home  page. Facebook also failed to allow students to prevent News Feed and Mini Feed publication of additions to a person’s profile, events attended, uploaded photos or joined groups.

The resolution will be sent to Zuckerberg at the main Facebook office in Palo Alto, Calif. Copies will be sent to Western’s dean of student affairs and the university president. Attorney General Gonzalez will receive a copy, along with various newspapers, including the Washington Post and USA Today. The student government leaderships at other universities and colleges both inside and outside of Missouri will also receive copies of the resolution.

“The goal is to gain support from other students across the country,” Herrington said. “If we all apply pressure to Zuckerberg, then we can have a major impact.”

Not all students are concerned with the News Feeds.

“I didn’t have a problem with it,” sophomore Ashleigh Hampton said. “People are throwing more of a fit with it than I think it is really worth.”

There are Facebook groups that support the News Feed like “People Need To Chill Out About Facebook” and “The New Facebook Feed Rules.”

Comments are closed.