What commenced as a network for college students to keep in touch with each other, has become a worldwide community, with some rather horrifying ramifications? With over 350 million users, around 50 percent log in on any day.
Facebook is the most "Appalling spying machine that has ever been invented" claims Julian Assange, founder of the Wikileaks website. He says it's the world's most inclusive database relating to people, that holds peoples' names, addresses, sex, ages, relationships, location and current movements, as well as everyone's communication with others.
All this information can be read by any global intelligence agency, forever and a day.
"When people add their friends to Facebook they are doing free work for the intelligence agencies. Facebook, Google and Yahoo offer automated interfaces for intelligence agencies," said Assange.
Assange says that as these websites are not government controlled, the intelligence community is free to "bring to bear legal and political pressure to them".
Facebook has long been a point of controversy for many people. Facebook has been credited with breaking up marriages, lower exam results, the cause of depression, and actually causing some people to lose their place of employment.
In some cases people have been known to commit suicide through Internet bullying. Facebook, like any interactive social network site, can be involved in real live fights, not just arguing in cyber space.
Several people have been discovered spending up to 35 hours a week on this addictive website. The employer in effect loses one productive employee from the workforce if four recruits spend 2 hours a day on the network. The influence on western economies may be far more significant than most people allow for.
There are perverts and stalkers in cyber space, which people seem to forget, just as there is in real life. Not only that, Facebook opens you up to all kinds of spam.
Other main negative is how much do you in fact know about your ‘Facebook friends'? Gaily announce publicly to your mates that you will be gone for two weeks. That is an open invitation for unwanted visitors to drop in while you are away and help themselves to whatever they wish of your personal belongings.
On the other hand Facebook and the social networks were used to call out 1000s of people to rebel against oppressive regimes, in the Muslim world. This would have to be the social networks' biggest fault, the leaders of those nations would claim. It depends on the way you look at it.