Even if you do not use Facebook yourself, you can't help being aware of it. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is the most famous website in the world. Over a quarter of the worlds population uses Facebook on a daily basis which for most websites is a totally unimaginable figure. Even if you are a regular user of the site, you may not know all of the following 20 scary facts about Facebook.
Facial Recognition Is Better Than The FBI
The facial recognition software that Facebook uses on all the photos that are uploaded to the site is 98% accurate. This is better than the software that the FBI uses. The feature has been developed so that Facebook can notify you when someone uploads a picture of you but does not tag you in it. If you did not give your permission for this photo to be uploaded you can report it and it will be removed. As you and your friends tag more pictures of you, the software will become even better at recognising your face.
It Tracks Your Every Move
If you have the Facebook Messenger app then this will constantly track your location unless you turn this feature off. Many people don't because they are unaware that the app even does this. Your location is tracked so you can be shown ads that are specific to your location and it is not readily available to anyone else. However, there are concerns that this information could be accessed by anyone who is able to hack into the app and this information could be very dangerous if it were to fall into the wrong hands.
It Can Highlight Division Among Opposing Groups
Facebook is supposed to bring people together but this is not always the case because of the way your News Feed is filtered. If Facebook deduces that politically you lean towards the left it is likely to only show you stories that represent the right in a bad light. This can lead to further divisions between the two groups because negative stereotypes are constantly being reinforced. There is hardly any opportunity for each side to see and understand the point of view of the other and this is the very opposite of bringing people together.
It Can Make You Feel Negative
If you are generally feeling a bit down anyway, spending a lot of time on Facebook can make you feel even worse. We all know deep down that nobody's life is as perfect as they make it seem on Facebook but this does not stop us comparing our life to that of others and feeling that we are worse by comparison. It can also lead to having less interaction with people on a face to face basis as you spend more time online. You may also find that your lifestyle becomes more sedentary as you spend more time in front of a computer or on your phone.
It Is Not A Good Place For People With Eating Disorders
People who suffer from eating disorders may also find that spending a lot of time on Facebook can negatively affect their mental health and there have been small studies that have been carried out which support this theory. The increased use of filters and photo shopping that people use on their photos makes people strive to have a body image that is just not realistic. This can be made worse when you have a lack of self esteem about your own body. Comparing ourselves to others is just not healthy, but this is so easy to do on Facebook.
It Can Add To Feelings Of Loneliness
There is nothing worse when you are feeling lonely than seeing endless amounts of photos of other people enjoying themselves when they are surrounded by their friends. You may also see people doing things that seem exciting while you are on your own at home. Again this comes down to it being so easy to compare yourself with others and deciding that your life is nowhere near as exciting as everyone else's. It is very easy for anyone's experience with Facebook to become quite negative when they are not feeling great about themselves to start with.
Your Personal Data May Be Sold
There have been instances of Facebook selling data to large companies such as MasterCard. This has generally been anonymised data about buying habits that MasterCard have used to help them increase sales across a variety of places online. They would have paid a lot of money for this information but there have been rumours that in the past individuals rather than companies have also been able to purchase data and that they only paid a few dollars for this information. It is likely that this practice has now come to an end but anonymous data is still available to big business.
It Knows More About You Than You May Think
Everything that you post on Facebook gives an insight into the type of person that you are and Facebook has plenty of algorithms that analyze this data. This means that as well as working out your likes and dislikes it can also find out a whole range of other information about your life. They can work out how intelligent you are and even things such as whether you are more likely to pay for goods with cash or by card. Most of the data collected is used to determine what type of advertising you are more likely to pay attention to so this can be targeted to your news feed.
It Knows What Your Sleeping Pattern Is
Facebook can work out what your sleeping pattern is based on your use of the messenger app. The app includes information about when you were last active and a developer was able to use this information to accurately record the sleeping patterns of his friends based on when they last used the app at night and when they checked it again in the morning. Someone else took this even further and was able to tell his friends not only the times that they were asleep but also the device that they were using before they went to bed.
There Have Been Instances Of Political Censorship
There have been claims that Facebook has censored posts in the past because they have been asked to by governments including Russia and the UK. There has even been software developed in China that automatically detects posts that Facebook feel are inappropriate and deletes them immediately. The fact that this type of censorship is carried out goes against all Facebooks claims that its members are free to express themselves in any way that they want. There is a lot of content that people see on Facebook that they would rather not be exposed to but nothing seems to be done about this.
600,000 Hacking Attempts Are Made Every Day
Even if you have not had your account hacked yourself then the chances are you know someone that it has happened to. Over 600,000 attempts are made to hack Facebook accounts every day and although most of these are unsuccessful, there are still the odd few attempts that do succeed. Some of these hacks might be made by people that the hacked person knows but a lot of the time it is just done completely at random and your account is used to post adverts on your own timeline or those of your friends
It Has Proved 6 Degrees Of Separation To Be False
Some people find the fact that everyone in the world is separated by no more than six steps quite hard to believe. However, Facebook has proved that everyone that uses their platform is actually separated by no more than four steps on average. It would take a lot of trawling through friends lists to prove this but theoretically you could click on any strangers profile and they would be a mutual friend with someone who is a mutual friend of someone that it on your friends list. The world is definitely getting smaller due to connections that are made on social media.
A Third Of Divorces In The US Name Facebook In Proceedings
Facebook is a great place to connect with old friends that you have not seen for many years. Unfortunately in some cases this has led to the rekindling of some old romances which has resulted in the breakdown of current relationships and in extreme cases has ultimately led to divorce. There are also people who actively search Facebook looking for people that they can have affairs with. In these cases at least Facebook has shown people what kind of partner they are actually married to and so may have done them a favor in the long run.
30 Million Accounts Belong To People Who Have Died
When a person that was on Facebook has passed away, their family and friends may still want to visit their profile to leave a message or look through their pictures. You can nominate someone to look after your Facebook page when you are no longer around and the page will be turned into a memorial where people you know can talk about their memories of you. There are over 30 million of these accounts on Facebook to date.
8.7% Of Accounts Are Fake
Facebook is taking a lot of action to try and clamp down on fake accounts. If it suspects that you are not signing up using your real name then it will ask you to send a photo of your ID. However, almost 10% of Facebook accounts are fake so there is still clearly more to be done. Fake accounts can be used to send abusing messages and to troll accounts which is the main reason why Facebook is trying to reduce this number.
Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin Renounced His US Citizenship
The official reason for this is that he lives in Sinagpore and so that is where he spends most of his time. However, this did not stop the rumors that the real reason he did this was so that he did not have to pay tax on the fortune that he has amassed during his time at Facebook. This tax has never been paid so if he did recounce citizenship for that reason, then it certainly paid off.
There Is A Good Reason Why Facebook Is Blue
Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind and blue is the color that he can see most clearly. In the development stages of Facebook the site was predominantly blue because it just made it easier for him to see what he was doing. Today everyone associates the color blue with Facebook and the blue 'f' is one of the most recognised logos in the world.
Facebook Has Been Used To Catch Criminals
In almost all cases where criminals have been caught by Facebook it is down to their own stupidity. This includes logging in to their account while they are robbing a house and leaving themselves logged in. However, Facebook is also a useful place for police forces to post photos of suspects in the hope that members of the public can identify them.
Smartphone Users Check Facebook 14 Times Per Day
If you have the Facebook app on your phone then you will know how easy it is to just have a quick look through when you have a few spare minutes. This may seem like a high number but it you count how many times you log on a day you might be nearer to this number than you would imagine.
Your Status Is Recorded Even If It Is Not Posted
Facebook records everything that you write as a status or on any other post, even if you do not press the submit button. This is stored by their systems in the same way as your actual posts are. What this really means is that Facebook is aware of every second thought that you have had when using their site.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker