More Privacy Glitches at Facebook

I really tired of Facebook months ago and stopped accepting friends I don't know and haven't heard of. I changed all my privacy settings to "friends only" or "just me" and deleted most of my "pages" and "causes." But I still don't trust it (and something about adding myself as a "fan" rather than a "friend" (required for those with over 5,000 friends) that just rubs me the wrong way.)

I don't like when people post their self-promotional material on my "wall." I don't like reading that x and y became friends. There's probably fewer than 50 friends whose postings and photos I'm interested in.

And now, there's more reason not to trust Facebook.

I wouldn't mind if Facebook crashed and burned, and took Linked In and all the others with them. They were entertaining for a while, but the negatives far outweigh the positives.

Anyone disagree?

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    A time sink is one thing (none / 0) (#1)
    by lambert on Sun May 09, 2010 at 08:18:39 PM EST
    But a data-mining time-sink that plays fast and loose with your personal data is quite another thing.

    Have never had a Facebook account (none / 0) (#2)
    by shoephone on Sun May 09, 2010 at 08:36:01 PM EST
    I just never saw the personal benefit in it. I'm already in touch with the people who matter to me. And there's something about using the word "friend" as a verb that annoys me.

    But what's the problem with LinkedIn? I've been thinking I should get on there soon as a way to increase my job prospects.

    ".. said the glitch wouldn't dent (none / 0) (#3)
    by scribe on Sun May 09, 2010 at 08:51:12 PM EST
    the company's reputation...."

    Not much to dent, when your reputation for privacy-protection looks like the survivor of this figure 8 school bus race.

    facebook privacy (none / 0) (#4)
    by ahazydelirium on Sun May 09, 2010 at 09:51:12 PM EST
    my beef with the current updates to facebook are less about privacy and more about aesthetics. i really hate how it currently looks, and the new community pages often make gratuitous use of capitalization. as for privacy, you have to sign up to use facebook, which necessarily means giving up some degree of privacy and anonymity. i honestly don't mind if some corporation targets my preference for wuthering heights. maybe i discover a new book to read? and then buy it from an independent bookstore, haha. if privacy is a concern, don't sign up or delete your account (which is possible, if somewhat tedious). maybe i'm not so concerned because i'm a big supporter (or believer?) in the singularity, which i imagine will radically change our notions of privacy as technology and daily life merge indistinguishably.

    You may "inactivate" your Facebook (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Sun May 09, 2010 at 10:25:28 PM EST
    account.  I do not see any way to delete it.  I've tried.

    there's a program that (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 10, 2010 at 12:50:43 AM EST
    totally deletes and wipes out your Facebook account and/or other social networking accounts. It's called Delete My Account. Here's the page for Facebook.

    Note: I haven't tried it, use at your own risk.


    yeah, that's the tedious part (none / 0) (#8)
    by ahazydelirium on Sun May 09, 2010 at 10:29:57 PM EST
    you have to email them and request a full deletion. they don't advertise it, but i remember reading an article in the nytimes about it.

    I love Facebook (none / 0) (#9)
    by Pete Guither on Mon May 10, 2010 at 12:27:14 AM EST
    It really depends on how you use it and what you want from it.

    As a university professional, I find it useful and essential.  After 22 years, it gets harder and harder to learn new students' names.  Facebook solves that for me through the repetition of picture with name.  (Note:  I don't approach students to be FB friends until they graduate - I let them friend me if they wish, and a lot do.)

    I also have hundreds of former students -- I want to know what they're doing, but couldn't possibly keep up with corresponding with them (or keeping track of various address and phone changes).  Facebook solves that, and I get news that one just landed a role in a TV show or has opened a new theatre company.  And I can easily wish them a Happy Birthday or drop them a quick note to show that I'm interested in what they're doing.

    It also makes it easier to keep track of various events (performances that friends are doing and so on).  And I can easily post the photos I take of theatre and dance productions to share with everyone in them.

    Part of the trick is only accepting friend requests from people I know.  I've still got a lot of friends, but I don't accept requests from random people who simply read my blog.  Instead, I suggest that they "like" the separate Drug WarRant page on facebook.

    That also works very well, as I import all the posts from my external blog, giving me another great audience for my writing.  And I can easily build up my readership there, because of Facebook's incredible targeted advertising capability (I can advertise my Drug WarRant facebook page only to those who "like" SSDP and LEAP but aren't already fans of my page, for example.

    Regarding privacy.  I don't particularly care what companies know about me.  If I did, I wouldn't put it on Facebook.  And if you don't like what someone's putting on your wall, it's very easy just to block that person or that application from posting there -- just click on the "hide" button to the right of your post.  There's also nothing wrong with pruning your friends list down to the ones you care about.

    Facebook isn't for everybody, but it's an incredibly useful social tool for many.  

    I ran into that security hole (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 10, 2010 at 06:14:07 AM EST
    Instead of responding to it....because there was instinctively something wrong with what it was trying to make me do, I closed Facebook and restarted my computer.  I don't know what I would do without Facebook for dogshow and other breeder info.  I don't know what else could match or keep up with the quality and ease of networking.

    Just had a Facebook... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:22:31 AM EST
    sit-down with my nephew this weekend...I don't use it but my moms does, and she passed on a troubling report that my nephew was posting pics & comments involving teenage debauchery...I told him its all fun and games until he needs a job, that facebook sh*t never goes away, and to cut the crap...have fun responsibly, but there is no need to advertise it.

    These kids today...

    And that is a problem (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:15:37 AM EST
    Growing up with a history that can always be remembered....never forgiven and forgetting.  My husband constantly argues also that if you are serving the nation in any capacity right now where certain people could "capture" you (whether in uniform, civilian, whatever capacity), do not have a Facebook or MySpace.  Everyone is online now....everyone, it is too much easy information for your captors to torture you and possibly your family and friends with.  And you will tell them who you are whether you want to or meant to or not, everybody does.  One of his best friends in M.I. ignores him, and he is one of my Facebook friends.  Whenever my husband is looking over my shoulder and Facebook is up, he always shudders with disgust seeing his friend on there.

    I didn't even think of that... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by kdog on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:38:10 AM EST
    Mr. MT is one smart cat:)

    It breaks my heart to think of all these people who will be slaves to their pasts...most everybody deserves a fresh start after making mistakes, but in this background check obsessed society of ours a fresh start will soon be obsolete.  And people are fueling their own demise with this social netwroking permanent record stuff.

    We should all watch "Les Miserables" for a reminder of why fresh starts and leaving the past in the past is a beautiful trait for a scoiety...yeah, you'll get burned sometimes, but for goodness sake it is worth trying.