CBCnews

Facebook fun has consequences

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Amid all of the interesting and unusual technology projects that were discussed at the ICE07 interactive media conference in Toronto last week, one kept popping up in conversations: Facebook.

The social networking website appears to have inspired a flurry of recent activity among pockets of the Canadian news media as well as the technophiles at the conference, many of whom enthusiastically confirmed the bizarrely simple yet addictive nature of the site.

That addiction has been known to fuel bizarre behaviour among the site's slavish devotees. Earlier this month, the popular TechCrunch blog related the tale of a U.K. securities trader reprimanded for spending too much time on Facebook – during work hours:

He spent, apparently, over 500 hours on Facebook in a six month period. That works out to about 4 hours per day.

Unwisely, perhaps, Charlie posted the warning email on his Facebook account, saying “It’s a measure of how warped I’ve become that, not only am I surprisingly proud of this, but in addition, the first thing I did was to post it here, and that losing my job worries me far less than losing facebook ever could.”

And here in Toronto, police have charged four teenagers after alleged tussles at a protest over their classmates' suspension for remarks on Facebook – which has spurred more discussion on the site:

The incident has ignited debate over whether schools should be able to punish students for online postings.

Angry reaction to the protest showed up almost immediately on a Facebook group set up for students of Birchmount Park Collegiate, with thoughts posted by classmates and students from other schools.

I'm with TechCrunch's Michael Arrington on this: "I really wish I was a Facebook stockholder."

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