Facebook – Saint or Sinner

With over 350 million users worldwide, Facebook is one of the most used sites on the internet. With its roots firmly in social networking there’s nothing that can’t be done with a Facebook account these days.
But with reports of Stalking, Suicide, Rape, hate crimes and child grooming being linked with Facebook should we now look elsewhere to gather on the Internet?

If you build it they will come
In 2004 Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin came together and Facebook was launched. Facebook’s initial aim was simple, let people communicate with each other with as little fuss as possible. As time went on more features and functions were added until recently when Facebook was opened up for anyone to develop an application for the platform.
This one act allowed thousands of bits of functionality to be added to a user’s page, which in turn made Facebook useful to everyone.  Although Games are a really popular part of Facebook, there are applications that let you run e-shops, events and other business related activities.

Walk on the wild side
With so many things on offer, most Facebook users often complain of almost being addictive, with ‘one more click’ syndrome. With seamless integration between Facebook and 3rd party websites, this will only increase and grow. Being glued to Facebook is one thing but what happens when addiction turns into crime?
Recently there has been a flood of news stories revolving around the evils of Facebook, with story after story of stalking, rape, suicide, paedophiles…. The list seems to prove the idea Facebook is evil.

Facebook the new rock n roll
Far before Facebook these cries were often associated with activities like listening to ‘Rock n roll’ in the 60s or even letting women vote in the early 1900’s. And things really have not moved on, it’s easier to blame Facebook rather than accept the fact that these people exist with or without the website.
Even in the work place Facebook has been criticised for so many lost hours of productivity a week, no wonder we are in a recession.

Facebook will cure swine flu
Of course there are those who rant on with passion about how good something like Facebook is. How people work better after a session on Facebook, and how they have found love on the site.
And a certain US President would have not been elected without Facebook or YouTube.
Can all the above be true? Is Facebook the only website that counts?

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Facebook is incredibly popular, its range of services is vast and its user bases grows day on day.
Facebook makes it possible to effectively communicate with everyone else on Facebook.
Facebook generates vast sums of revenue.
While the above are true we will of course see lots of stories about rape, incest, murder and stalking, with so many users how can this not be the case.
But what is worth remembering is that all the cool kids have long left Facebook.
Where are they now?

Where the cool kids go, the internet will follow…. One day.