Facebook New Groups Feature and Why it Angers Some People

Written By Sam on 15 October 2010

Facebook is the most popular Social media in the world right now with 500 million subscribers, but that has not stopped it from being involved in its own “rightful” share of controversies. Facebook has been known to make new innovative sweeps and features in its ever growing web page, but often than not, privacy issues have always been an issue with all these “well intentioned” moves. One would have thought that by now it would have learned from its past over-enthusiastic mistakes.

Facebook is like that guy who keeps on picking up quarrels with his customers only to come back to make amends! This seems true with the new Group feature on face book. The group feature is designed to allow members create small clusters of friends who can then share information among each other. This “friend” group can interact by sharing photos, and other information among themselves. The Groups in themselves could be public or private with the allegedly exhilarating feeling of creating your own Facebook within the Facebook ecosystem.

Above is a wonderful idea if properly thought of and planned. Except…

  • Anyone can add any friend to a Group without permission, and the fact that second person is a member of the Group is public if the Group is public;
  • By default, you’ll get e-mail notifications from the Group, even if it’s a Group you didn’t want to belong to in the first place.

The obvious result of this is that you can find yourself being a member of a group you have no single interest in or would never wish to be associated with. Especially groups that would do you more harm by putting you in an unfavorable or deprecating light. To add insult to injury, you may also find messages in your in-box from unwanted Groups.

How do you go from this precarious situation? There are two options; 1. You could activate the “minimize notification”. If this is not good enough, you can also turn off Group notifications, but then, there is still no way to prevent yourself from being joined to Groups without your consent. The only option you have from preventing yourself from being an un-willing member of a group is to “un-join” yourself once you’ve discovered that you are surreptitiously joined to a group without your consent by a friend or anyone.

The solution for Facebook is actually simple. They could solve the Groups’ issues by allowing other people to “invite” you to a group but not to “add” you to it. Following the outcry on this privacy issue so far, I believe that Facebook would have no other choice but to make this switch soon.

When Mark Zuckerberg posted in a Blog the announcement of the Facebook Groups about “Giving You More Control,” little did anyone know that he was actually not giving us was “enough” control.

This is a Guest Post By Afewgoodmen Ovie Albert

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