The world’s largest social networking site, Facebook, said Wednesday that it has now signed up 500 million “friends.” Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on a blog that he “could have never imagined all of the ways people would use Facebook when we were getting started six years ago.”
Clemson University professor Dan Wueste directs the Rutland Institute for Ethics and is very familiar with recent controversies surrounding the site over privacy issues.
Wueste says most people have some misunderstanding about the site. He says Facebook programming has the ability to follow information about a person and use it for marketing purposes for their clients, based on its detection of the other on-line sites that a person visits. Wueste says the system Facebook uses to track information about its users is similar to computer tracking used in grocery stores. He says regardless of how you feel about the site, it has had and continues to have a tremendous impact on human lives.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was a Harvard University student. Several other Harvard student have filed suit, saying it was their idea. The site was originally created as a way for college students to connect.
Facebook began in early 2004. It took nearly four years to add its first 100 million users, but much less time to grow to its current level, once the usage exploded.
Approximately 70 percent of current users live outside the U.S.