September 10, 2010
With rumours of a Facebook “stalker button” circulating right now, once again questions are being raised on the necessity and safety of a button which effectively lets you monitor individual’s online movements without their permission.
The fear of a Big Brother style entity has invaded the public consciousness for decades now and as we move closer and closer to a future where our every move is recorded by unseen eyes (if we’re not there already), questions on where we draw the line are raised.
Quickly typing “Facebook and stalker button” into Google produces pages and pages of speculation, excitement and concern in equal measure. The “stalker button” is the current bone of contention for online privacy advocates and Facebook need to address their consumer’s concerns head on and quickly.
Speaking as a daily user of the site, I feel the function would be a positive addition, if introduced with certain restrictions, such as limiting a user’s ability to monitor others, certainly I wouldn’t appreciate a complete stranger being able to monitor my online movements!
With this functionality Facebook is walking a fine line between allowing others to infringe on our online privacy and perhaps even our real world safety, but on the other hand too much regulation results in the Big Brother mindset that we’re trying to avoid in the first place…