8 Biggest Internet Controversies

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From privacy policy changes on Facebook to pedophiles lurking on MySpace, we count 8 of the biggest internet controversies.

8. Google Street View and Privacy

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On Google Maps, users have the ability to go to what’s called “street view”, which can be a handy tool for many reasons.

But others aren’t impressed. The issue of Google invading the privacy of others was raised in 2007, when a California woman entered her address and looked at her house on street view. When she zoomed into her window, her cat was found looking out of it. It wasn’t that her cat was visible on Google, but the cameras Google uses to capture the images could easily shoot through someone’s window. Other pictures that were captured on street view included two young woman sunbathing in bikinis, and a man climbing over a fence at an apartment building.

Google has said that they take other people’s privacy seriously, and that the images they capture can be seen just as easily as if someone was walking down the street.

7. Amazon vs LGBT Books

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Amazon found itself in the face of controversy back in 2009 when its selection of gay and lesbian-themed books suddenly disappeared from their sales charts.

The reason it disappeared from its sales charts and, as a result, from their ‘product search’ function, was because Amazon wanted to be considerate of their entire customer base, according to a representative from Amazon, who was responding to an e-mail from author Mark R. Probst. However, the only books they categorized as being too ‘adult’ were books with gay and lesbian themes. Many authors of said books even noticed their best-seller rankings disappear as a result. Amazon later said that it was really due to a glitch and apologized, though many people still weren’t happy.

By the way, one book that didn’t lose its ranking was titled, “A Parent’s Guide To Preventing Homosexuality”. Hmm…

6. Net Neutrality

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The principle of net neutrality simply means having an open internet, where users can have easy access to the full internet without any regard to the websites they visit, apps they use, and more.

But in 2014, chairman Tom Wheeler, of the FCC, had a plan that would allow various service providers – such as AT&T and Comcast – to create pay-to-play fast lanes. In other words, it would give preference to certain companies – such as Netflix or Amazon – over others. Comcast once limited bandwidth if users didn’t use their app to stream shows on their Xbox 360s. They went on to deny that it violated net neutrality because they run their app on their private network.

Due to public outcry, the plan was tossed. Instead, internet users received strong protection when a new plan based on Title II of the Communications Act was approved by Wheeler.

5. MySpace Pedophiles

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Remember MySpace? Back in the mid-2000s, it was one of the most popular social networking sites. But a problem arose when people gradually realized that it could be used as a hunting ground for pedophiles.

There have been cases where teenagers were sexually assaulted by pedophiles who found them on MySpace. It seems like teenagers put too much private information about themselves, as well as post pictures of themselves in provocative clothing and poses. What’s worse… their profiles are made public for all to see. Now does this excuse pedophiles? Of course not. In 2009, MySpace even reported that over the course of two years, that 90,000 registered sex offenders had been kicked off the site!

Also – and unfortunately – MySpace isn’t the only social networking site where pedophiles have accounts. For instance, thousands of them were found to be using Facebook. Careful on social networking sites!

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