Is the New Facebook Messenger App a Massive Conspiracy to Take Control of Your Phone? Who to Believe?

Ironically enough, Facebook and other forms of social media are the vehicle by which a now viral message is being passed around warning people about Facebook.  If that didn’t make sense, we’ll draw a chart later.  Yes, if you are on any sort of social media, you have probably at least seen the messages about the new Facebook messenger app and all of the horrible ramifications it has for those that make the mistake of downloading it.  And for every alarmist message that says avoid the application at all costs, there is the absolute opposite message saying “Oh, shucks, it’s no big deal.”

They're listening already... so don't worry so much about it.
They’re listening already… so don’t worry so much about it.

The crux of the matter is about what permissions you have to give the new Facebook messenger app in order to send messages with it.  The viral message scarily reminds you of all the things this set of permissions could allow Facebook and other even more sinister figures in the mist to do with your phone without your permission.  It ranges from sending messages to your friends to activating your microphone to listen in on conversations to even using camera functions to watch live video of what you are doing and where you are doing it.  Then, at places like Snopes and the like, there are messages unravelling all of that as nonsense and telling you it’s all perfectly safe and completely reasonable for you to give Facebook’s application all of this power.

Well, Common Sense Conspiracy wants to give you a real answer.  The truth is it’s somewhere in the middle.  The good people at Snopes are probably right.  Most of these doomsday privacy concern predictions will never come to pass.  It’s hard to imagine that Facebook has a whole lot of reason to want to snoop on your conversations or send your friends text messages, and even if they did, it would probably just be harmless advertising at its worst.  So, if you like using Facebook on your phone as a kind of free text messaging device, downloading the new app probably won’t cause your whole life to be suddenly voyeuristic.  Okay, so that was the good side, now let’s look at the bad side.

If you thought that any of the things this article proposes could happen were scary and you thought about the possibilities this could have, chew on a fact.  Your phone is already an open book for organizations like the FBI, NSA, and CIA.  They can indeed do all of the things mentioned above, and they have stopped just short of coming right out and saying it.  Sites like Snopes try to make people feel like there’s no conspiracy at all.  There’s probably no conspiracy with Facebook in and of itself, but are these things true overall?  Sure.  And the real bummer… these organizations don’t ask you to give them permission before they do it.

So, if you are worried about downloading the Facebook messenger app and it opening up all of these threats, what you really need to do is throw away your phone.

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