I spoke with a WSJ reporter yesterday, then sent her to my colleague Cliff Lampe who was quoted in the short story they ran about facebook's new newsfeed feature. My reaction echoes that of Alex and no doubt others as well: this feature isn't doing anything other than make visible in a very transparent way the vast amounts of information that students are placing into Facebook. My sense is that students don't necessarily understand the true audience of their facebook profiles. This feature, which has generated a huge backlash among users, may be the proverbial wake-up call prompting users to either rethink the extent and nature of the information they provide or revisit their privacy settings. Unfortunately there is some evidence that suggests even after being made aware of some of the privacy issues regarding facebook, students didn't change their privacy settings.
I think Cliff's point is a good one- students feel ownership of facebook and want to have more of a voice in the design of the site. It will be interesting to see how the facebook team reacts.