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The Two Faces of Facebook Jenica Rogers-Urbanek, College Libraries Family Weekend 2007 SUNY Potsdam Presentation online at: What is Facebook?. An online social networking site Facebook says:

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The Two Faces of FacebookJenica Rogers-Urbanek, College LibrariesFamily Weekend 2007SUNY PotsdamPresentation online at:

What is facebook l.jpg
What is Facebook?

  • An online social networking site

  • Facebook says:

    • “About Facebook: Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.”

Who uses facebook l.jpg
Who uses Facebook?

  • Started at Harvard, only for Harvard.

  • Then it was opened to anyone with a college or university email address.

  • Then, ANY email address.

  • Now, 34 million people have registered with Facebook.

  • Still mainly college students and alumni.

Facebook is a great way to l.jpg
Facebook is a great way to:

  • See what’s going on with friends on and off campus

    • Students connect with friends from high school and college through Facebook

  • Find out interesting things about new people

    • What’s your new roommate’s profile say? Who else on campus likes your favorite bands?

  • Network and plan within campus groups

    • All the tools a group needs to have an online presence on campus

  • Make sure that everyone stays connected to what’s happening on campus

    • Parties, movies, events, games, etc. are all posted in Facebook

Facebook helps students stay connected l.jpg
Facebook helps students stay connected

  • Personal profiles

  • Contact information

  • Networks

  • Groups

  • Friends

  • Photo albums

  • Notes

  • Gifts

  • Bulletins

  • Wall posts

  • Everything is searchable, edit-able, and customized to each user.

  • It’s the best of the social web for students

Facebook works because it s a social site with lots of people contributing stuff all the time l.jpg
Facebook works because it’s a social site, with lots of people contributing stuff all the time

And when Facebook works, it works really, really well…

But… how it’s working depends on what people are posting…

So… what ARE they posting?

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Things they might regret. people contributing stuff all the time

  • And good stuff! Lots of good stuff.


  • Also some things they might regret.

    • Stories (both language and content), relationships, pictures, videos, interests, hobbies, etc.

      Do most students understand who their audience is? Or the consequences of this public face?

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Who can see Facebook content? people contributing stuff all the time

Anyone who joins a network can see at least a portion of every network profile. This view is not limited to just a person’s friends, or their campus, or even just college students.


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AND: people contributing stuff all the time

Facebook has just made it possible to search user profiles in Google, unless you specifically tell Facebook to keep yours private.

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Facebook’s privacy policy: people contributing stuff all the time

  • “Facebook wants you to share your information with exactly the people you want to see it. On this page, you'll find all the controls you need to set who can see your profile and the stuff in it, who can find and contact you on Facebook, and more. You can control:

    • who can see your profile, contact information, groups, wall, photos, posted items, online status, and status updates.

    • who can find you in searches and what appears in your search listing.

    • which parts of your profile are visible to people.”

      The default is to have your information be wide-open, and these are ‘opt-in’ privacy measures.

      Users must take the initiative!

So if anyone can see what s in facebook l.jpg
So, if people contributing stuff all the timeanyone can see what’s in Facebook…

  • We ask our students “Do you really want to post…”

    • Your name and phone number?

    • Your entire class and work schedule?

    • Your address or dorm room number?

    • Pictures of yourself doing fun (but possibly indiscreet) things?

    • Online chatter with friends about personal things?

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Also, we remind people that… people contributing stuff all the time

  • The Internet NEVER forgets.

  • Content from your profile could end up on some other site, even after you delete your account.

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Why is that true? people contributing stuff all the time

  • Facebook has control over user content.

    • “By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Contentfor any purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. … If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Companymay retain archived copies of your User Content.”

  • And, how many friends does each user have on Facebook? How many of them do they know well, and/or trust?

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Issues we suggest students think about: people contributing stuff all the time

  • So, in those photos you posted… Are you drinking beer or smoking pot?

  • Your parents can use Facebook to check out your friends, hobbies, habits, and relationships.

  • Prospective employers routinely search Facebook for information on newly-graduated job applicants. What are you showing them?

  • Authorities looking for a character reference can check your Facebook photos to see what kind of ‘interests’ you have

  • A professor writing you a letter of recommendation for graduate school or a great new job can check Facebook, too.

To put it visually is your profile positive and wholesome l.jpg
To put it visually, people contributing stuff all the timeIs your profile positive and wholesome?

Is this the image you want to present to your friends parents professors employers and the world l.jpg
Is this the image you want to present to your friends, parents, professors, employers, and the world?

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Bottom line: Be responsible. parents, professors, employers, and the world?

We encourage students to use Facebook. It’s great. Really!

But use it wisely. Present yourself well. Be careful, and be smart while you have fun.

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Links parents, professors, employers, and the world?

  • Potsdam network:

  • Jenica’s profile:

  • Dr. Schwaller’s profile:

  • Class of 2011:

  • Campus events:

  • Campus groups:

  • Privacy:

  • Terms of use: