Saturday, May 22, 2010

GRE Issue Task 3

I made this issue myself.

The existence of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter has led to various criminal acts, especially to teenagers. Therefore, such sites should be banned completely from the Internet.

The speaker stated that social networking sites should be abolished for its risking the safety of us and our family. I assert that this strong opposition is based on tangible reasons, but stripping these sites from our life forever is unnecessary. In that case, I propose the idea that this risk is preventable and we can live side by side with them in peace if we know how to do it.

To begin with, I will provide you with a brief elaboration on what “risk” means in this issue. Some people believe that as you joined these sites, you exposed your identity. Facebook is full of advertisements craving for not only the users’ eyeballs, but also specific details about them—yes, about you! These preys have a wide range of tricks to manipulate you to give them your identity as well as your friends’. There are those fascinating applications, namely quizzes, games, and groups who can obtain an access to your profile and use it for their ends. I think it is still insignificant, of course, when their intentions are to use this information as their research for a new product or to attack you with a whole lots of other product campaigns. The problem is what about if such tricks are used by deliberate villains? These malign individuals might find out where their potential victims live, when they go to school, what do they like, and then they might create a perfect plan to lure them out to the real world. That is how we ended up having a portion of undesirable news about kidnapping, rape, fraud, and even murder stemmed from these sites some people cannot live without.

As a counter-attack, I would like to point that Facebook has a privacy setting, as well as other sites in this category do. Any member can protect themselves from anyone, including those in her own Facebook friend list, prohibiting undesired and unexpected parties to take a peek on her photos, notes, profile information, and others. Even if you do not touch the privacy setting, you do not have to share genuine specific information about yourselves. Just use a nickname and go tell your friends that it is you by the private message service or when you see them offline. In addition, the applications’ sharing your identity always asks your permission to do it. If you want to be safe, you can simply ignore them.

Nevertheless, I regret to admit that some users are not aware of this rule, and hence their very private identities are viable to random people. This incognizance is caused by the complicated items in the privacy setting. These ignoramuses just want to have some fun, and reading the “cryptic” explanation hurts their delicate brains. Another possibility is they do not have any idea that this setting exists because there are those young users interacting in Facebook or Friendster as their first online experience.

What should be done, then? The U.S. Senators have urged Facebook to simplify their rules and setting, but it is not only the Facebook administrator team’s job to ensure our young people are safe. Parents and teachers have the same obligation to raise online safety awareness among teenagers, to explain the rules and consequences to them, and to forbid those under sixteen years old to maintain an account in these sites. In the end of the day, social networking sites will remain exist with minimum risk.

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