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POLL: Should Facebook Monitor Chats for Criminal Activity?

If you're a fan of social media, let us know what you think about Facebook's approach in today's poll.

Facebook users who chat often on the social media platform may want to think twice about the discussions they're having. That is, if those discussions fall into what could be considered as "suspicious".

The network, as well as other social media platforms, are now monitoring user chats for potential criminal activity, and subsequently notifying authorities if suspicious behavior is discovered, according to an article this week on Mashable.com.

A new software used by Facebook scans chats for keywords and phrases that could potentially fall into the "criminal" category, and pays more attention to chats between users who don’t already have a well-established connection on the site and whose profile data indicate something may be wrong, such as a wide age gap, according to the report.

Meanwhile, it is not currently known whether the scanned chats are deleted or stored permanently.

So, we're wondering what you readers and social-media advocates in Norton think about the matter. Should Facebook scan chats to ensure the safety of others? Or is this a breach of privacy? Let us know your thoughts in today's poll and weigh in with comments below.

paul July 17, 2012 at 06:55 PM
What do you think the cops are doing right now, half of them are facebooking. We have 30,000 NSA agents listening to cell phone calls at any given time. 100,000 TSA agents are checking bags that have already been checked. 9/11 made us paranoid now we are broke. Who cares what facebook does, it's free.
David McKinnon July 18, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Let the police do their job using search warrants to monitor people who have committed a crime or are suspected of criminal activity. Don't make every person a target by monitoring their every keystroke. If social networking sites take it upon themselves and become monitors for police or other law enforcement agencies then our world truly has become a police state, with big brother monitoring our every move, word, and monetary transaction. Facebook and similar sites could require stronger verification of identity and perform criminal background checks before a person joins. FB is an open and free site. Perhaps that should change to paid membership which could include safety enhancements that subscribers would participate in with full knowledge.

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