Clearly Facebook has crossed the line from being ignorant about child safety to blatantly not caring. The only place to go from here is for them to just admit they are a site that facilitates sexual predation and be done with it. They could start making money by advertising services to creepy perverts..."Rent dirty old ice cream trucks by the hour." Maybe because Craigslist did something good and decided to censor it's bad content, Facebook saw a need to balance the equation and do something bad. What am I talking about? This article on CNN this morning: http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/social.media/09/03/facebook.stalker.button.mashable/index.html?hpt=Sbin.
Facebook has invented yet another gadget that will further violate your childrens' privacy and safety. The latest "gem" is a feature that lets you "subscribe" to a specific person. Once you subscribe to someone, you get notices, via e-mail or on your cell phone, every time they post anything onto their Facebook page. That means when little Suzie posts a message about making the cheerleading squad and going to her friend Janie's party to celebrate, her pervert stalker will know it instantly. To make it even scarier, if you combine this new feature with the equally reckless Facebook Places feature, every time your child reveals his/her location to Facebook, anyone who has subscribed will be instantly updated. Brilliant! So when Suzie arrives at the cheerleading party with all of her cheerleader friends, creepy stalker will be updated. Why don't the people at Facebook just go all the way and offer a "webcam in childrens' bedrooms" feature to complete the sexual predator suite?
Of course Facebook's defense is their usual "you don't have to use this feature." Again, that defense doesn't work for drugs and alcohol (Jimmy, you don't have to go get high with your friends tonight....really Mom?...ok, I won't), how will it work here?
Facebook has clearly left the child-safety building. I have lost all hope that they will ever be a safe medium for anyone under 18. To all you parents out there reading, I will say this: If your kids are on Facebook you better be closely involved. It's turning into a really bad neighborhood.