Issues Of Online Social Networking Information Technology Essay

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The development of internet technology has thrived unpredictably fast. It is one of the reasons why online social networking became one of new trend and habit that makes internet users infatuated with this activity. Online social networking has growth rapidly in recent years and surprisingly the cost to get internet access is not a main problem anymore. Next, the hotspot network (Wi-Fi) is everywhere like in college, restaurants, libraries, airports, and many other places to enjoy the internet services. Furthermore, at this time, online social networking can be implemented not only through computer but also can be used in a flexible cell phone for us to bring anywhere. Technological capabilities of the online social network itself have improved their multimedia services, not only in the form of bulletin, but we also can upload photos, music, video, text and others. Not only that, the online social networking also has changed the working style of people in various aspects such as business, politics, education, and other activities.

On the other hand, the development of online social networks will bring positives and negatives impact on society. Although it is admitted that the Internet functions such as online social networking can bring a new innovation in sharing ideas towards people in this world wide, but negatives impact of this technology is unavoidable too. Destruction of a personal privacy may bring risks to their reputation. In other cases, users may not know that their privacy has been abused by others.

Therefore, security is the most important reason for the users or even the provider of online social networking services to anticipate occurrence of inappropriate case happen. Where, ethics of usage of internet services is determinant whether the Internet can be extraordinary tools or even become destructive tool for the users itself.


It would not be possible for online social networking to exist without the Internet and World Wide Web when, early in the 1990s, Internet Applications only allowed small groups of people to communicate through closed networks and it was not as simple as it would become in later years. Data sharing was not user-friendly and information was difficult to find at that time. In around 2002, the term "web 2.0" was changed the way in which people used the Internet and World Wide Web. People could post writing, pictures, videos and music on the web. In this interactive web 2.0 environment, online social networking was taking advantages of these functions.

Online social networking widely defined as a Web site or other type of online communication which is allows people to interact, communicate, and socialize that break down difficulty of time, distance, and cultural differences. Example of online social networking are e-mail (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail), instant messaging (Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Google Talk), Social networking sites (Facebook, Twitters, Myspace) and video and photo sharing sites (Youtube, Metacafe, Picasa, Photobucket). (Mooney, 2009).


Since the online social networking is blooming which cause the users become millions and millions of people and thousands of millions of updates are available. So the questions are emerging minutes by minutes to the users about how should the online social networking manages it properly. The answers would be in open-source software and thousands of servers. Almost all online social networking based on open-source software for the example, the operating systems behind Twitter and MySpace are utilized in Linux. Facebook uses F5 Big-IP that also performs network management which is a family of Linux-based appliances. It is same goes to the Web servers. Apache is the Web server of choice and LinkedIn utilizes Sun ONE Web Servers in addition to Apache. To organize their users' messages and status updates, mostly the online social networking also use Sun's MySQL database management system.

Most part that people know bits about how the online social networking are built on top of their LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Python/Perl) stacks. The purposes of the application programming interfaces are to write applications that will run on its network by developers. Developers add functionality to the site using a network's API (Application Programming Interface) for example, Lil Green Patch offers a to the Facebook and MySpace users to donate to environmental causes based on clicks. In addition, Twitter use of Ruby on Rails as its foundation of open-source Web framework. To route millions of daily messages of users, Twitter uses the open-source Jabber/XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) instant messaging even sometimes there are having problems with the scaling on its use of Ruby on Rails.

Former Twitter architect Blaine Cook bluntly stated, "Languages don't scale, architectures do." Cook meant that while one language may be more rapidly than another, that's not important in scaling extremely multiuser systems like a social network. In other words, it's not how quickly your code runs it is how well the entire system will run when it scales from thousands of users and dozens of servers to millions of users and thousands of servers. In fact, according to one of Swedish site that tracks internet sites uptime, "Facebook serves 260 billion page views per month" as they mention it is not so amaze if Facebook now runs 30,000 servers.

Moreover, most of the social networks use the open-source program Memcached to address a problem of how to handle the endless database reads and writes since placing together a system that will respond to millions of users in real time is not insignificant task. Technically, Memcached was created by programmers at one of the social network LiveJournal with distributed memory object caching system and generic high-performance to deal with the huge data requirement of dynamic social network applications. Since that are high demand of caching local chunks of data, the Memcached servers and clients work together to execute a global cache. As a result, it reduced load on the database servers and faster service for visitors and users.

High-tech equipment is required for major online social networking especially for their specification of servers. Mostly they need two or more high-speed 64-bit Intel Nehalem processors with 4 or 8 cores and typically from 256GBs to 512GBs of RAM. Force10 Network's E-Series switches is one of the equipment that can handle up to 5TBps (Terabytes per second) on the back plane with multiple gigabit and 10-gigabit Ethernet connections. The data such as notes, picture, video, and others are kept on variety of different vendors' storage servers that measured in terabytes and petabytes. The social networks keep their server farms in data centers co-located, when it is possible with major Internet's Network Access Points (NAPs) where the major Internet Service Providers (ISP) connect to each other and they provide the most direct through fastest internet connection.

Adapted from, "How Social Networking Works" by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols


While a community consists of millions of users, in addition for online social networking to brings a positive aspects, there are many problems that may occurs and unavoidable drawbacks to be solved, since the number of users increased incredibly and uncontrolled. It could be ethical and security issues such as Cyberbullying, Cyberstalking, Online sexuality, Destruction of user's privacy, Cyberterrorism, Malware (Malicious Software) attack, phishing, and others which will be explained as follow.


Cyberbullying is the use of technology to persecute, embarrass, or threatening targeted to one person or group via such as emails, phone calls, instant messaging, and the latest trend of online social networking site such as twitter and facebook. Cyberbully usually occurs among young people. Cyberbullying could effects greater risk of depression, destroying schoolwork and anxiety to the victims or even committed to suicide as a result. Based on recent survey of over 800 students age 13-17, about 43 percent had experienced cyberbullying in the past year. It is more common happened to females and among 15 and 16 year olds. There are so many type of Cyberbullying such as the following:

Cyberbully mostly happened to teenage

Posting false personal information about the victim in online social networking sites.

Send inappropriate messages to threatening the victim.

Taking inappropriate and purposely edit a pictures or videos of the victim to embarrassing them.

Stealing victim's password and modify the original personal information to inappropriate data to attract people's attention such as about racist, homophobic and sexuality.

Creating fake online social networking sites account to humiliate the victim.


Know more about the issues of online social networking security and what is the prevention that users should take.

To study and learn how to overcome security issues of online social networking technically addressed to the provider of online social networking.

Introduce the basic concepts of ethics and privacy of internet usage in proper way where most of the users still do not have enough knowledge about cyber laws and the cybercrime.