In todays society, the Internet has become an essential part of our everyday lives. We are constantly connected through our devices, like on our computers and smart phones, and reveal a large amount of information about ourselves whether we realize it or not. When it comes to social networks, we may put too much trust in the services that are supposed to connect us with people around the world. What you look like, where you live, how to contact you, the people you know, and what you are interested in all have the potential to become public, even without you knowing, if you provide the information on a website. A social network, like Facebook or Twitter, has the rights to change their privacy settings, but it is up to that service to find it ethical or unethical to inform the user of the change. In some cases, the warning of the privacy change may be too late.
As the popularity for social networking sites grew, so did the ways in which they were being used. They were created to connect people who shared the same interests, activities, etc. and eventually became a platform to organize protests and spread awareness. In June of 2009, in the midst of protests surrounding Irans presidential elections, Facebook encouraged the pro-opposition Green Movement to use the social networking platform. The Farsi-speaking community took up Facebooks offer and over four hundred volunteers began to create a Farsi version of the social network to better communicate with others. Unfortunately, their trust in Facebook was soon lost.
In December of 2009, without previous warning, Facebook made changes to their privacy settings. No email was sent out a few days before and no article was written to notify users about the changes, just an automatic pop-up appeared on the page after the changes had already took place. Before the changes, users could completely block everything from being seen by people that were not your friends and keep information private.