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Facebook Under Fire for Phone Number Look-Up Feature

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 6 (1274 words)
Categories: Facebook, Facebook Privacy, Fire, Phone
Downloads: 28
Views: 4

This news article focuses on the Facebook look-up feature that allows people, even if they are not your friends on Facebook, to search you through a phone number or email address. In the context of this assignment, this news article is in the category of social media privacy because it relates to a users online safety. The author suggests that the look-up feature does not allow users to disable it, which means that other Facebook users can continue to search them, stroll through their timelines and send Facebook requests if they want to (Yurieff 2019).

In confronting social media privacy, the author says that most Facebook users are not aware of how extensive this feature is. In fact, the article suggests that advertisers are increasingly interested in finding ways to reach out to potential customers and to learn more about their web browsing and online behaviour that might help them better reach people.

Apart from the threat of advertisers, criminals, such as identity thieves, can also abuse this information.

The surge of social media technologies in recent decades has meant that societies are now relying on their mobile devices and computers for information. This, however, has its own disadvantages. Among other things, it means that your personal information such as your profile picture and contact information is in the public domain, which can be dangerous.

Furthermore, the author believes that having the look-up feature on Facebook should be a personal choice that one should be able to change, if and when, they no longer need it. With the complexities that come with technology, many people may argue that technology is its own disadvantage in the digital age, as is in this scenario. Technology is so advance that we often trail behind in terms of understanding its latest technological advances.

The spokesperson of Facebook, who is cited in the article, suggests that the look-up feature on Facebook is not only for the two-factor authentication or security purposes, as most Facebook users assume, but these personal details can also be used to search friends and message a phone number through the use of the Messenger app. With spying on internet users becoming a fast-growing business, user privacy should be a guarantee on all social media platforms, Facebook in particular.

The author of the article cited, Marty Puranik, Cybersecurity expert and CEO of Atlantic. Net, to get a broader understanding of this Facebook feature. In his views, Puranik criticises Facebook’s decision for not allowing users to disable this feature. Among other things, Puranik says that this is a first in the industry.

Personally, I strongly believe that Facebook should allow users to disable the look-up feature since it violates the privacy of users in social media. While the Facebook look-up feature allows users to decide whom they want to their phone number or email with, Everyone, Friends of Friends and Friends, the author suggests that being unable to disable this feature is in violation of social media privacy and should be a worry for most, if not all, Facebook users.

SAs advertising regulator is drafting new rules for social media and they could hit paid social influencers hard Rangongo, Timothy SAs advertising regulator is drafting new rules for social media nd they could hit paid social influencers hard. Business Insider SA, 2019

This news article critically analyses the recent use of the following hashtags (#Ad, #Advertisement and #Sponsored) by social media promoters or influencers when they are posting promotional content on their social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

The article is analytical and explanatory on the adoption of the new draft rules by the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB). Among other things, the new rules require social media influencers to declare when their posts are promotional to sponsored products (Rangongo 2019). In the context of this assessment, this news article relates heavily to social media ethics and policy.

With social media advertising on the rise, the portrayal of advertisements to the public has recently been a matter of public interest. Even more, as technological determinism states, the social impact of new technologies remains a huge debate in societies. The media can affect how societies perceive and understand the world. Considering all the hype and pressure that comes with social media platforms, the decision of drafting the news draft rules by the Advertising Regulatory Board will protect consumers from unfair and ambiguous advertisement.

The author highlights honest as a crucial element of advertisement. If brands decide to recruit a parody account to promote their products, the account’s bio should reflect that it is not real. The reference used in this scenario is the parody Twitter account of Mans Not Barry Roux , which specifies in its bio that it have No affiliated with Oscar Pistorius lawyer Adv Barry Roux. Concerning the advertisement itself, (Advertising Regulatory Board 2019: 1) state that an advertisement should not be ambiguous or exploit the consumers lack of knowledge on the offered service.

Moreover, the author reveals that the new rules require marketers to ensure that promoted content is marked promoted as seen on Twitter and marked Sponsored as seen on Facebook. With the adoption of the new rules, the aim is to ensure the protection of consumers and promote ethical conduct.

The author says that it is the business responsibility to ensure that the social media influencer has enough information about the business and the product itself before sharing the information with the public.

Moreover, the author suggests that any claim made by a social media influencer should comply with the Code of Advertising Practice. Among other things, it states that an advertisement should be related or relevant to the influencer’s personal experiences. For example, if influencers are promoting cosmetics or beauty products, they must be using them or have used them before. In addition, the article suggests that the target audience is reachable if the organisation is present on social media, through the hiring of social media influencers.

For years, social media users were misled. The author uses an example of Nomuzi Mabena, a South African Television personality to provide context to this statement. She once posted a video on Instagram where she appeared to have been involved in a car accident after drinking while on the road. Apparently, this was a drink and drive campaign.

Because the post did not have hashtags, she removed it and posted it again with the right hashtags. The new draft rules, among other things, will promote fair advertisement while adhering to social media ethics. Certainly, this is a step in the right direction by the Advertising Regulatory Board, and we must applaud it.

The above two articles respectively highlighted social media privacy and social media ethics in relation to Media Technology. Among other things, the first article focused on the users privacy on Facebooks; whereas, the second article mainly addressed the violation of social media ethics when posting promotional content for advertising purposes.

With this assignment, it is evident that Media Technology has changed how people receive information and connect with the rest on of the world. In addition, while the appreciation of the new technological advances is visible in the digital age, however, the vulnerability and safety of users remains a huge concern.


  • #Advertising Regulatory Board. 2019. General principles 2019. South Africa: Advertising Regulatory Board. Available: (Accessed 10 March 2019).
  • Rangongo, T. 2019. SAs advertising regulator is drafting new rules for social media and they could hit paid social influencers hard. Business Insider SA, 18 January. Available: (Accessed 10 March 2019).
  • Yurieff, K. 2019. Facebook under fire for phone number look-up feature. CNN Business, 04 March. Available: (Accessed 13 March 2019).

Cite this essay

Facebook Under Fire for Phone Number Look-Up Feature. (2019, Dec 13). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/final-media-studies-example-essay

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