Senate GOP: Facebook Studies Are Not Worth Tax Dollars

A Facebook research project has been included in list of funded projects that according to GOP were a total waste of money. The GOP produced report marked the first anniversary of the Stimulus package, formerly known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

One of the primary examples that GOP is citing, regarding taxpayer dollar squandering, is a $500,000 research grant awarded to a Duke University Assistant Professor to study Facebook.

The funding that was awarded to Landon Cox was to be used to carry out research to make Facebook user data more secure from hacker attacks or leaks by disgruntled employees.

“My concern is that they’re (the user data) under the control of a central entity,” Cox said – after receiving the grant. “The social networks currently control all the information that users throw into them. I don’t think that’s necessarily evil. But it raises some concerns. A disgruntled employee could leak information about social network users. They could also become attractive targets for hackers and other computer ne’er-do-wells.”

Other examples of wasteful stimulus expenditures cited by Senate GOP includes a $219,000 grant to study the sex lives of female college freshmen and a $390,000 grant to study malt liquor and marijuana consumption in young adults. The list also contains a $5000 tax credit to purchase electric golf carts.

Recent research studies indicate that social networks like Facebook poses the biggest security threat to businesses in 2010, as hackers have turned their eyes towards social networks to maximize the reach and increase virality in spreading malwares and viruses. Furthermore the general Facebook crowd is extremely gullible to virus attacks, as is evident from the recent hoax chain messages regarding Automation Labs and the Facebook Account Agreement Update Virus emails.

Combine these two factors and you would be able to comprehend that Facebook is really a security catastrophe waiting to happen. So in my view the Facebook grant, is not so much of a waste of stimulus money. However, I cant say the same about the study of sex lives of female college freshmen, as I am unable to figure out what purpose that would serve and who really allocated this funding.