Facebook App myths debunked

Tessa Climer, ‘Doah Staff Writer
September 17, 2014

'Doah photo courtesy of engadget.com

‘Doah photo courtesy of engadget.com

Facebook has been on the top “free apps” list for as long as I can remember, but not too long ago, Facebook Messenger became a must-have to send messages to your Facebook friends. The latest controversy is that Facebook can receive all of your information when you download this particular app. From who you are talking to on the phone to your street address, Facebook could stream its way into your personal information.

Now, I’ve talked to a few people who have their own opinions on the matter. CJ Cornell, junior Business Administration major, has downloaded and been using the app freely. “It’s the only way to be able to message people, of course I have it,” he says. This isn’t entirely true if you want to use your computer, iPad or even a web browser on your mobile phone. A few others I talked to agreed with this logic as well as the fact that they weren’t talking about “anything important enough” for anonymous Facebook employees to care to know about. Most of the Facebook Messenger downloaders are between the ages of 15 through 21. If the rumors are true about who is getting the information, what will they really get out of a young adult’s phone conversation?

Adults on the other hand, have a very different thought process. I talked to one of my former teachers whose response was very different than the students, “I would never want someone going through my personal information and neither should you! I would recommend deleting the app, who knows what they are snooping through.” The drastic difference between the two age groups was not surprising to me. Our generation has grown up with social media and put our whole lives on the Internet, which is completely different than the generations before us.

When you download Facebook Messenger, there’s a list of permissions that the app will show you under a “view details” category. It goes through about ten bullet points telling you almost everything that the Facebook app has as well. One myth is that the Messenger app can record your conversations with your phone’s microphone, but in reality, it can only record what you allow it to; that’s the same with your phone’s camera. Another myth is that the app can send text messages from your phone without your permission; one of the features of the app is that you can get your messages sent to your phone via text if you allow the app to have your mobile number.

In all honesty, as I go through the Facebook policies on both apps, they are lining up with the same information, proving that the Messenger app is no different than Facebook. If you’re worried about your personal information being out in the world of the Internet, then keep the information on Facebook limited and change some of your privacy settings. Or there’s always the option of not having one! Almost just as many people are taking a step away from the social media as they are stepping in, the choice is yours. Facebook just asks; you don’t blame their Messenger app.

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