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Thank you: Facebook Messenger

There’s currently an Internet uproar over the new Facebook Messenger app, which is not new at all.

The issue

The Facebook app recently removed its instant message function which made it mandatory to download the Facebook Messenger, a separate mobile app, if you want to send messages to your Facebook friends.

Although Facebook announced the change well in advance, people still claimed to have been caught off guard months later when their messenger stopped working in the Facebook mobile app.

The controversy

Being upset already for being required to do something, the people on the Internet decided to dissect the new app’s Terms of Service.

The app requires you approve an extensive list of what the app is allowed to do on your phone.

The list is very long and includes: “directly call phone numbers,” “read your text messages,” “send SMS messages,” “take pictures and video,” “record audio,” “precise location (GPS and network based),” “download files without notification,” “full network access,” “read the contents of your USB storage” and many other things.

The reason people are dumb

Internet trolls and people pissed off that they have to download this “new” app, an app that I have thoroughly enjoyed since 2012, have taken these terms completely out of context for the purpose of slandering the app and Facebook itself.

  • Directly call phone numbers: Facebook Messenger has this wonderful function where you can dial phone numbers and make calls, much like your cellular phone. The only difference, you can do it on WiFi and not have a cell plan. How terrible. The Internet would have you believe the app is making calls without your knowledge.
  • Take pictures and video: Almost every app, the good ones anyway, have a feature to take pics and save or share them. Silly trolls, who sometime come in the form of ignorant newscasters, make it sound like the app is taking secret pictures of you. LIES! It’s simply something that the app needs your permission to access your phone’s camera when you click the button that sends pictures to your friends. All apps with this function have this requirement. If you have a problem with it, you’d better stop Snap Chatting in class, you silly, silly person.
  • Read the contents of your USB storage: Facebook isn’t going through your super-secret, family unfriendly Kik photos. It’s not categorizing you based on what type of anti-American PDFs you’ve downloaded on your hipster forums. Let’s say you have a file on your phone or Micro SD card, wouldn’t it be nice to send that to a friend with a few clicks rather than going to a computer and doing it from there? Well you’re in luck! That’s what this function does.
  • Precise location: Facebook isn’t tracking you, at least not any more than any other app with GPS integration. If you complain about this, you need to be complaining about many other apps (especially dating apps like OKCupid, Grindr and Tinder).

Really, we should be praising Facebook for making such a multifaceted application that has unprecedented versatility.

If only other apps could do as much as Facebook Messenger. Thank you, Facebook; Internet trolls should be heckling you with positivity and compliments.