User privacy is a rising issue among social media users who are active online. Many popular sites require users to enter personal information such as where they live or phone numbers. This information is often helpful for online users to find others in their area and make connections with them. Facebook Messenger has invoked controversy about the amount of information users must provide the app.
“I think Facebook Messenger is quite invasive,” said freshman Dylan Hartwig. “If you have the Facebook app, it makes you download the messenger app as well. I’ve heard many stories circulating around that say this app gains access to not only to your private Facebook messages, but also to your text messages on your phone and your photo albums. This is just one step closer to having no privacy in the modern world.”
Hartwig’s concerns about privacy invasion seems to be a shared opinion of many Facebook Messenger users. There are reports of spyware on the app, which allow for access to the microphone and has stirred a lot of speculation. Yet, some users are not as skeptical.
“I don’t like the pop-up message that lingers on your screen because of the app,” said senior Becky Wadleigh. “I’ve heard negative things about it and have read a few articles about it, but I’m fairly neutral about Facebook Messenger.”
Facebook Messenger allows for Short Message Service, or SMS, text messaging. For those without access to a cell phone, this is a beneficial part of the app. The app also gives users access to their Facebook friends’ phone numbers if they have them linked to their accounts.
“I use it so I can Facebook message people on my phone,” said freshman Abby Lutz. “I’ve heard bad things about it, but I haven’t experienced any negative parts. I’m not a very tech-savvy person, so I think it’s very easy to navigate.”
While students exercise a variety of opinions about the Facebook Messenger app, it seems controversy has not prevented them from exploring it further. While there are concerns for most users, it would appear that Facebook is here to stay, as it continues to act as one of students’ primary forms of fast and effective communication.