The Facebook Messenger debacle (as reported by multiple sites)

Firstly, I’ll just come out and say it. I’m NOT a huge fan of facebook, twitter, etc, as shown in my previous posts. YES, I’ve reactivated my account, but the reality is that my opinion of social media is still the same… That being

 I’m tired of social media and how it twists things, kills friendships, sucks time like nothing, and the like.

That said, it’s important to note that in the interest of fairness, there is a lot of misinformation being spread about Facebook, messenger, and privacy. conclusions are being drawn by those attached to said misinformative websites (Huffington, CBS, and quite a few others) that Facebook is invading privacy, or Facebook is being ‘evil’ in this respect, or best yet, Facebook is ‘spying’ on you and your phone. This is just not correct in any manner here…

The reality is that Facebook has split the ‘messenger’ application from it’s main app. Why? Who knows, I’m not in ‘the know’, and I’m sure the average reader is neither. HOWEVER, there’s quite a few advantages to this

A slimmer FB mobile app
More features in messenger, such as

  1. call friends from messenger
  2. text friends inside of messenger
  3. share photos inside of messenger
  4. integrate messenger with contacts (useful for Outlook users)
  5. many more

More focused development for each application
More potential future features for each application

Now, let’s take a look at the supposed ‘privacy invasions’, shall we?

Change the state of network connectivity  (inate)
What happens when you’re at home, on wi-fi, in the middle of a conversation and leave to go to work, your child’s (inserteventhere), or something else? Would you rather lose connectivity, or would you rather keep the conversation going? This permission allows messenger to (if necessary) change the connection on your phone so you can keep up there.

Also, let’s say you’re at home (just not connected to wifi), and you want to upload a picture or video via messenger. Would you rather SLOW connection, or FAST? Same with video calls. In fact, if you think about it, you’ll WELCOME this change, because most providers limit you in how much you can use before tagging on hefty fees.

Call phone numbers and send SMS messages (individual permission required)
This is a no brainer, and , again, if you THINK about this, you can see why this would be.
Would you rather switch apps just to make a phone call? Or just click that cool ‘telephone’ icon at the top? Guaranteed, most people would go with the click, because, well, it’s easier. This should (in theory) require permission to use the phone every time, just like any other app that does this.

Record audio, and take pictures and videos, at any time (inate)
Again, this is a no brainer, as the app has it’s own tools just for this. This is not giving the application permission to do this any time it chooses, but when YOU specifically allow it to do so. Once again, a no brainer

There are more of these, but by now, you get the point. These ‘permissions’ that are being asked for? Nothing major, nothing invasive. In fact, this is merely Messenger trying to get to know you and your phone better, so that it can be a better application all around for you. Good idea? Well, I’m not 100% sure on that. HOWEVER, to claim this is an invasion of privacy is just hogwash. MOST of these permissions are individually set, so agreeing to one doesn’t necessarily agree to the others. Giving permission to video doesn’t necessarily give permission to use your contacts (though, honestly it is a good idea to integrate your contacts).

The point to everything here?
DON’T believe everything you read. We’ve forgotten that in today’s Internet world, assuming, incorrectly that ‘You can not put it online if it is not true’. No, in fact, quite the opposite. Controversy sells, and this is a whopper for controversy and conspiracy theorists. JUST because the app says “I might use this” doesn’t mean the app will use this WITHOUT your permission, individually.

 

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