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  1. #1
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    The Facebook Phenomenon

    For the critical thinkers and the good readers... Wall-o-text alert. I just wrote this on inspiration.


    Unification of the Youth and the Facebook Phenomenon

    A new level of organization among the youth has reared its powerful head at the world in the last few days. It’s a bit hidden to the general population but to college students it was a big issue. This new phenomenon of unification occurred within a few days and had a bigger impact than any of its original unifiers thought it would have. It rocked hundreds of thousands of students from their sleepy days into action across the nation. It was successful; it was powerful. It was Facebook.

    Facebook, the simple Myspace-esque website where students, typically college students, can join their college networks and associate themselves with friends, was created/administrated by Mark Zuckerberg. In his latest blog post, Mark says, “When I made Facebook two years ago my goal was to help people understand what was going on in their world a little better. I wanted to create an environment where people could share whatever information they wanted.” The site allows you to display pictures of yourself in your lives with your friends, to list your interests, activities, and all of your favorites, and to post messages with your friends. One other interesting feature is the ability to update your “status” with things such as, in class, sleeping, or you can create your own such as, chillin in my dorm room or waiting for the party tonight!! As you can see it’s a very useful tool for college students caught up in the rush of the social life.

    But two days ago, Facebook added a new feature; the controversial News Feed. Situated conveniently (or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint) on the home page of Facebook, it allows you to track all of your friends, what groups they join, who they post to, what their status is, in a live feed for all their friends to see. Some would argue that the News Feed only makes it more convenient to see information that you would have already normally seen but for the majority of Facebook students, somewhat in excess of 700,000 at the last check, saw it as a dire invasion of privacy and it created an uproar.

    One feature of Facebook that would impact this in the coming two days was the ability to create and join groups. It’s as simple as clicking one link and you’re in the group. In response to this “invasion of privacy,” Ben Parr, a student from Northwestern University in Chicago, created a group named, Students against Facebook News Feed (Official Petition to Facebook). This group’s sole purpose was to bring together all of the students registered on Facebook who sought to oppose the News Feed and bring attention to the administrators of Facebook. That group started with a few of Ben Parr’s friends but grew quickly to the now over one-half million students registered in the group today.

    The impact was amazing; the group and its intentions were featured in magazines such as Time, Washington Post, and Wired, and posted on many famous internet blogs. The story was picked up by CBS news as well. The admin of Facebook were not oblivious to this fact. Today, Friday morning, Mark Zuckerberg blogged his fix to the problem. They were adding more privacy options that would allow you to remove yourself from the News Feed. He apologized deeply and, rather than criticize the students on their sudden and harsh retaliation, encouraged them, saying, “Even though I wish I hadn’t made so many of you angry, I am glad we got to hear you. And I am also glad that News Feed highlighted all these groups so people could find them and share their opinions with each other as well.” The fix was implemented later that day.

    Ben Parr, struggling in classes because of demands on his time, states, “My goal is to slowly return to normality, to a time when I didn’t get called out of a room by CBS, to a time when Time Magazine correspondents did not ask for interviews, to a time when I did not have fan clubs, and to and a time when I was not demonized because of Facebook.”


    So, in the end, one student, one network, and an easier, quicker way to unify brought an end to what students saw as an unjust feature on one of their favorite sites. This brings me to the point of my article here; We have witnessed, for what may be the first time, the massive unification of the youth under a single cause. In what may near one million students in the coming days, in under 72 hours, we’ve seen a change in the world.

    Facebook has made it so convenient for students to gather together, unify in smaller groups for smaller, yet still important goals and ideals. There are many groups that focus on Politics, development of interests, personal beliefs, and simple improvement of the “network” of our lives. Groups like “The Hardin-Simmons University Ultimate Frisbee Group!” schedules regular ultimate Frisbee matches that can gather 50 or 60 people on random weeknights. Groups such as, “Just where is that Neal Springer,” can bring friends together from high schools, and keep in touch after the great Diaspora to college. “Texans for George Bush” gather together to praise a man for what they believe to be his achievements in the office, but “Y.A.D.- Youth Against the Draft” fights legislation that they feel encroaches upon their constitutional rights.

    The built in discussion features allow the spread of ideas to flow quickly and freely and the ease of participation in the group brings together many points of view from areas around the world. Such a gathering is a unification that I have never even heard of before.

    What does this mean for the future? Well, there’s the obvious prediction. Our college youth will enter the work force and the political race and the social, adult world and will find themselves much easier to unify and express their beliefs and opinions. Before now, the young adults kept to themselves and left legislation and filibustering to the old men in the Senate. But we’ve witnessed a revolution that I can only call the Facebook Phenomenon.

    We’re on the edge of something shocking, and awesome. Is the system ready for it?

    -Larry Vanderpool, Hardin-Simmons University.
    Proud Facebook Member

  2. #2

    "If this group reaches 100,000 my girlfriend will have a threesome." beats all those other anti news feed groups that I joined. Make it hit 300k and the guy is posting pictures.

    http://tulane.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2207756044

  3. #3
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    Summary please.

  4. #4

    Basically, its starts with a description of Facebook, then talks about the new News Feed they added. Tons of people petitioned it on Facebook, stating that it invaded they're privacy more than they wanted, and the owner of the site got his whole staff to work on programming a better privacy program.

    Today, he posted an apology to everyone about the lack of privacy features in the initial release, and thanked everyone for causing an uproar, and (I believe) has set the new features in.

    The rest of the post talks about the author's own opinions and predictions about Facebook and the generation that has access to it.

    Hope that did the article justice. It's very well written, and I definitely like the outcome of the situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yensho
    Hope that did the article justice. It's very well written, and I definitely like the outcome of the situation.
    Thanks ^^ I'm thinking about making a blog. But I wouldn't know how to get started.

  6. #6
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    Ive had facebook pretty much since it started >.> I hate the changes that happened this week.

  7. #7
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    Ironically, the existence of a News Feed didn't actually make it any more possible for people to stalk than it used to be. It simply faciliated it much more neatly, and made it much more conspicuous.

    I think it's a little premature to assume that this one instance is a sign that Facebook is going to become some massive unifying force, and in fact the odds are against that happening. It's only a matter of time before fads grow old or lose their edge.

    I also think that it's naive to think that the unifying force behind this uproar is one person. The idea was a flop, and it was pretty easy to see that it was. Whether or not that person made that group, it wouldn't have made much of a difference.

  8. #8
    Saint Daahan Von Quitter the 1st
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    facebook > myspace

    anyway, I've had facebook since i started college and I love it. I've kept in touch with people from high school and elsewhere and I think it's worth it.

    It's true that the new modifications sucked.

    The thing that makes facebook better than myspace is it's level of privacy. I know you have the option to have your myspace private and only viewable by friends (same with facebook), but facebook is just a lot more clean.

    It's hard to describe, but sometimes you just don't want all that information on myspace in your face.

    oh and facebook looks better.

  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by Daahan
    oh and facebook looks better.
    Thats what I care about. 2/3 of the myspaces are fucking unreadable.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jooeetheplatypus
    Quote Originally Posted by Daahan
    oh and facebook looks better.
    Thats what I care about. 2/3 of the myspaces are fucking unreadable.
    Plus most profile songs are terrible. I just want to melt my computer down.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havocdemon
    "If this group reaches 100,000 my girlfriend will have a threesome." beats all those other anti news feed groups that I joined. Make it hit 300k and the guy is posting pictures.

    http://tulane.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2207756044
    I signed up just because the girl deserves what's coming for the bets she's making.

    Hes at 121,000 already. His deadline is 12/31.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jooeetheplatypus
    Quote Originally Posted by Daahan
    oh and facebook looks better.
    Thats what I care about. 2/3 of the myspaces are fucking unreadable.
    That's exactly why I hate it. Pages and pages of videos and songs and 400k pics trying to load at once = my computer explodes.

  13. #13

    I hate facebook and I hate myspace, yet I have accounts on both, go figure.

  14. #14
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    yeah, i hated myspace for the longest time and i got suckered into making one.

    at least i find it semi-useful in keeping in touch with a few people, but i always feel like retching everytime i log into the damned site.

  15. #15
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    Yeah the new updates on facebook took me by suprise, but I do prefer it over myspace. I also got sucked into making one to keep in contact with freinds who did not use facebook. Dahaan you still need to PM with and hook up an invite, anyone else is welome as well. I know I can't be the only person on forums from the Boston Area.

  16. #16
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    facebook sucks its only good for posting on ppl's walls HI XAVIER AND DAAHAN!

    not that i do much of that >.>

    i check it everytime my email says i get some invite, then i have to go and delete it ;(

    (i didnt give in until my 2nd year of college )

  17. #17
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    niro make a bahamut facebook group

  18. #18

    Oooh, yeah! make a Bahamut Facebook, or BG forums facebook. Yay!

  19. #19
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    i refuse to be more associated with facebook than i already am

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