Feeds

World+bitch flocking to expose self on Facebook

Half a billion 'dumb f*cks' for Zuckerberg

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Facebook is on track to reach 500 million users by June, despite a backlash over a series of recent anti-privacy changes that mean more and more users' information is exposed to all and sundry.

The unofficial but generally reliable All Facebook blog reports that the social network is planning a significant celebration once the milestone is reached to coincide with the third anniversary of the Facebook Platform launch at the end of next month.

The blog adds that Facebook is on track to reach 600 million users and $1bn in revenue by the end of 2010. The social networking site had less than a third that number of users - around 15 million - just 12 months ago.

The site has been the focus of sustained criticism over how it handles customer data over recent weeks. European data protection officials complained over a recent privacy rollback that left previously shielded information widely accessible. Meanwhile a shitstorm is blowing up over Facebook's plans to share user information automatically with "pre-approved" websites.

Last week we reported how "delete Facebook account" had become the ninth most prominent search term on Google, presumably fuelled by disquiet over a run of privacy issues with the social networking website. Organisations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and New York Times have published studies illustrating the byzantine complexity of Facebook privacy controls, and the steady erosion of safeguards over the last five years.

High-profile users, including developers at Google, security experts and journalists, have quit Facebook and posted instructions on how others can do the same. Nascent privacy-conscious social network Diaspora has been earning slews of favourable ink.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg scoffed at users for trusting him with their data in the early days of developing the site at Harvard, according to an ageing instant message conversation that leaked out a few days ago. Facebook convened a company-wide crisis meeting last Friday.

Yet none of this seems to have affected Facebook growth. What seems to be happening is that the influx of new users has far exceeded the exit of early adopter and security-conscious types. Others have stayed around because even though they dislike Facebook's privacy policies, the site remains useful to them.

The constant stream of negative headlines about Facebook seems to have made little difference to all this and may actually have encouraged some to join the site just to see what all the fuss was about. If that's the case, then the growth of Facebook comes as something of a 21st century vindication of Brendan Behan's maxim that the only bad publicity is an obituary. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.