AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

How Facebook’s “seen by” feature is seen by Internet optimists and pessimists

Posted by bn2954 on July 19, 2012

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that Facebook was launching a “seen by” feature that allows anybody who visits a group on Facebook to see who has viewed a particular post.  The Internet is abuzz as optimists and pessimists weigh the pros and cons. Before we see what both sides are saying, we must glimpse into the general attitudes of Internet pessimists and optimists. Adam Thierer explained the differences well.

Internet optimists believe that new technological features as having the ability to improve things and create a new order. They see this change as necessary for society to move forward. Internet pessimists believe that embracing technological change results in overthrows of “traditions, beliefs, values, institutions, business models and much else they hold sacred.”

The Internet optimist says:

  • I can stay informed of my group’s activity and engagement – or lack thereof.
  • I can leverage influential followers or fans of groups better and see who is seeing, and sharing, my information.

The Internet pessimist says:

  • This is a game changer for Facebook spectators. It is going to change how people interact on social media because people will be less likely to look at information if they know everybody can see that they do.
  • This is a complete invasion of privacy. This just the next step toward Facebook’s news feed showing who has seen what. Gawker said, ” Imagine keeping tabs on exactly who’s seen a particular personal status update and you find yourself in a whole new world of neuroses.”

This is just one example of how Internet optimists and pessimists see things. What other features have you seen both sides weigh in on? Which category do you fall into?

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