It’s almost 2020, and you’re still using Facebook. There must be many good reasons for that – your friends, and especially, family, must also be using it, in earnest. That’s known as the network effect, and it’s a real force in the social networking industry.
Of course, however useful they might find it in the moment – Facebook is still the platform that hopefully most people are by now also hopefully aware keeps them just where Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk want them to be – locked in, and to make matters worse – of their own free volition.
But once we are aware of the overall “prison” of Facebook’s ecosystem and our place in it – we can look at what freedoms and privileges Facebook users can have within that “social media jail” – such as it is today.
Take this, for example:
“Facebook Messenger is removing the ability to find someone by entering their phone number.”
That’s something Hong Kong-based security and code researcher Jane Manchun Wong has revealed to her followers on Twitter.
Facebook Messenger is removing the ability to find someone by entering their phone number pic.twitter.com/NzvtpsSun7
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) December 28, 2019
Is this even important in the sea of Facebook’s privacy transgressions and concerns, all too often overlooked nowadays in favor of highlighting the platform’s alleged ability to allow Russians to decide on a US presidential election?
On the other hand – does your average Facebook user not want to be found by their phone number? Or look for somebody, by searching for theirs?
The truth is – nobody knows.
What’s reported here is that people will soon no longer find others on Facebook Messenger by entering their phone number.
While most responding to the post said that “by default” this was a “good” thing – as they might be free people wanting to make their own choice when it comes to who can and cannot find them anywhere – including on Facebook Messenger.
In that vein, another commenter said it was the previous system on Facebook that was “actually quite useful to track down troll calls from a non-hidden number.”
But apparently, no more.
Other replies to the post suggested that Facebook’s decision may have been focused on the Hong Kong territory, in the wake of protests against the authoritarian mainland China.