Facebook is good for something

Facebook.

The mere word can start a fully fledged conversation as to how brilliant it is for keeping up-to-date with family & friends and for playing games, or it can send people running for the hills due to security and safely implications.

I’m a bit of both.  I love the fact that I can keep in touch with my family members and friends who live a distance away.  We share photo’s and funny stories about our lives, that otherwise would be missed.  What I don’t like is that anyone can search for you.  They can find out some very simple facts, and some very important, private, life events.  This includes total strangers.

Take, for example, when I set up an ‘event’ for my son’s first birthday party.  It included dates, places, times, photo’s, etc.  A lot of things that I wanted to be kept private from those who were not invited.  Because of this, I set the privacy and viewing to ‘invited only’.  So one day, I see a notification that someone had commented on one of the posts in the ‘event’.  I log into the page, and what do I see?  A comment from someone I have never even heard of.  This person turned out to be ‘a friend of a friend’.

How on earth..?  I re-read all the privacy T&C’s to see, in very small print, that ‘friends of friends, and in place, friends of friends of friends (etc.) can see the event and comment, etc. in the even page if an invited person makes an initial comment’.

So what does setting the privacy factor to ‘invited only’ mean?  Obviously nothing.

But regardless of what has happened there, it seems that one particular story has had a very successful outcome.

On 27 January 2013, a young woman posted this picture:

facebookphoto

I read the following story with interest, as sometimes good things do happen.

One woman in search of her biological parents found her apparent birth mother and father after posting a picture of herself on Facebook. On Jan. 27, Jenessa Simons shared a photo of herself holding a handwritten sign with her birth information.

Two days later, her birth mother reached out to her.

Simons’ search began when she was 18, but she had to wait three years before submitting paperwork to the state. She decided to try her luck on Facebook while waiting, after seeing the success of posters who garnered 1 million likes for a puppy.

Her photo included what little information she knew: her birthday, hospital, parents’ dates of birth and contact information. They were 16 at the time, and they named her Whitney. The image spread quickly, with more than 14,000 likes and 160,763 shares at time of writing.

On Tuesday, Simons announced on Facebook that she found her birth mother and, later, contact information for her birth father. A high school friend of the two contacted Simons’ biological mother, who got in touch with the 21-year-old.

She was skeptical at first until the woman sent her baby pictures Simons’ adoptive mother had given her.

So how was that for an uplifting story?  The privacy factor on Facebook is still a huge problem in my book, but when it comes down to it, the lack of security in place makes things like the aforesaid story happen.

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