Google Now Indexing Facebook for Comments

by Cary C
This article brings to light that Google is now indexing all pages that are using AJAX and JavaScript.  This effect will be very noticeable for sites such as FaceBook that use these technologies for comments.  Essentially this will mean that any comments you make on Facebook in the public forums are now indexed.  This will also apply to users of sites such as Facebook that do not have their profiles set to private.  While Google insists that the data they are indexing and making searchable was already public information on the Internet, many users are concerned that their privacy is being violated.

 

While I cannot speak for the rest of my class, I personally like my privacy and I do not like that comments I may make on the Internet are now being indexed and made searchable.  I understand that the Internet is essentially one large public community, but I think there is a point where you have to draw a line.  As technology “progresses”, I feel more and more like I have my own collection of TMZ reporters following my every move.  I am not vain enough to believe that people interested enough in my life to constantly follow me, but I do think the Internet is moving us closer towards a world where there will be less secrets and it might be impossible to tell a lie.

However, I am not entirely sure this is a good thing.  I firmly believe that not all information should be made available on the Internet.  I am not naïve enough to believe that it is as obviously national security issues are kept confidential, but a comment I might make on Facebook such as “Dude I am calling in sick tomorrow for work so we can hit the beach” is meant to be viewed only by its intended recipient.  I certainly would not want that information to made public, and I cannot imagine that any readers of this blog would like it as well.  While I appreciate the wealth of knowledge that the Internet has provided, and I will continue to use this information, I do think there are serious ramifications.  For example, I recently was able to locate a girl I used to date more than twenty years ago.  While I have nothing malicious intended, I am concerned that I was able to find her new-married name, the cities she has lived in since I last saw her, her phone number, and her address.  All of this was public information, and it took me about five minutes to get it all.  I just hope there are not any ex-girlfriends of mine looking for me who might have bad intentions.

 

Reference:

Purewal, S. (2011, Nov 2nd). Google Now Indexes Facebook Comments: Paranoid Can Relax. PC World. Retrieved from http://www.pcworld.com/article/243011/google_now_indexes_facebook_comments_paranoid_can_relax.html.

3 thoughts on “Google Now Indexing Facebook for Comments”

  1. This seems like one of those “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about” situations. As cool as it would be to disagree with that reasoning, I can not. I believe that most people will remain completely unaffected by Google’s decision, and those that are afraid they might can simply adjust their privacy settings accordingly. I know that it could seem “unfair” for the burden of content control to fall on the shoulders of the users, but it is seriously unreasonable for the entirety of the burden to fall on the company. I could understand if the social media companies did not provide effective privacy tools and options, but they do. Yes they could be improved (every thing could always be improved), but right now they do pretty good. It’s not impossible to control your online presence. Also, I think people need to get off their high horse whenever they feel that the whole world is going to find out they said something embarrassing. A single internet user is one of two billion other internet users: 0.00000005% of the total, which is also less than the amount of my total caring capacity that I could conjure for him or her having like- a profile on the Frankie Goes To Hollywood fan club website. The world is not ending. People just need to RELAX.

  2. I totally agree with you. The government should ban them from indexing our comments. It’s really silly. Now anyone anywhere can see what everyone is writing and might have access to their information. Not only that, I am betting that we will be more vulnerable to hack attacks. Good article though! I don’t how Google does things sometimes though

  3. Dislike. I am a little confused though. I know I have my settings set to private but what if I comment on someones page that is not set to private? What happens then? In my opinion Google is just the beginning with more to follow.

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