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back to article Facebookers abandon online privacy for virtual doo-doo

Facebookers would rather pelt each other with virtual faeces than safeguard their personal information. At least, that's the word from Seth Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of Social Media, a company that enables virtual doo-doo tossing. Social Media recently introduced a Facebook application called Food Fight. Yes, Food Fight. …

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Nonsense

"We had on average 75,000 people a day answering on average 25 questions..."

If the application obtains the data through asking questions there's a good chance that a lot of users will just enter nonsense or choose random answers. That's what I do.

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Third-party privacy

The problem here is that the application he's espousing is not just asking people to give up their own personal information. It's primarily asking them to give away other people's. It seems to be an endemic and rather unpleasant feature of the way facebook has been constructed, claiming that someone known to you has signed you up for a given piece of garbage.

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This proves my point...

..about e-social networks like Facebook. People who join then are idiots. 30+ million and counting.

Soylent Green anyone? We can solve this planet's hunger problems.

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More Social Networking Nonsense

Having tried to use Facebook I still have no idea what it's for. I do know that almost everything you click on wants information from you or wants you do download another IE toolbar (eventually IE will be all toolbars and no browser at this rate). It seems a profoundly dull environment that's constructed around the idea of giving up information to do totally pointless things. I must be a dismal old fart but I just don't see the point of it.

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Dead Vulture

Appvertising

Please banish this term along with the rest, this needs no vote...

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Anonymous Coward

Nirvana for socialites; next to useless for saddos...

>By Smell My Finger Posted Tuesday 9th October 2007 09:54 GMT

>Having tried to use Facebook I still have no idea what it's for......... I must be a dismal old fart but I just don't see the point of it.

dear dismal old fart & disgruntled pals....

if you don't understand facebook, you probably don't have any friends .......... shame that - cos you'd probably get the most out of it ;o)

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Anonymous Coward

Seconded.

I'm in London and would guess there are about 2m Londoners signed up, so pretty much the entire 20-40 population. It's a great, low effort way of keeping in touch with a big social circle and for that I'm grateful.

* Organising a party? No need to email everyone, just put the details up and send it to your friends.

* Been on holiday with your friends? Upload the pictures and tag them. Everyone has a digital camera but no-one can be bothered emailing pics around, so this is a godsend and the reason I originally signed up.

* Keep in touch with people overseas or people you've lost touch with. This isn't always a good thing to be fair - a little more granularity here would go down well.

Sure it has flaws, but if you ignore all the invites to bite people or throw poo and watch out for your privacy settings it's the most useful thing I've seen on the net since google.

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@Nirvana

So social you post as anonymous, but its time you stopped believing your own hype.

There are still all the same methods of socialising there were before FB, so unless you are a social retard without the social skills to deal with people face to face (i.e. without hiding behind the limited privacy of the internet "anonymous coward") then you should be able to make a grown up comment.

I really hope that plastering your info all over FB comes back to bite you in the arse.

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Argueing + Internet = Special Olympics

I'll never get why so many people who choose to use programs like Facebook feel the need to argue with people who don't. I use Facebook and am glad I do.

If people don't want to use Facebook that's fine, I don't care whether it's because they have some better way of doing the things it does, think it's a waste of time or are just to set in their ways to realise a good thing when it comes along. It's their choice so let them make it.

People who does this are just as bad as the people who spend all their time knocking Facebook users, again if their opinions were worth listening to they'd know that different things work for different people and offer more than repetitive slurs as their basis.

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NIrvana? Maybe, just maybe...

I don't use Facebook, but I have plenty of friends. However, I use something called RealWorld 1.0 Try it sometimes. You know, face -to-face encounters (meet at the pub), real-time two way vocal communication (telephone), paper-quality pen-input communication device (a letter).

Also, look up what "Nirvana" actually means to Buddhists. Hint: it isn't heaven....

Stuart

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Oh wow.

This just sums up everything that is wrong with Social Networking crap.

@ Anonymous Coward:

Or maybe, just maybe, they have real friends in the real world, and not 300 "e-friends" who they don't really know at all.

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Anonymous Coward

RealWorld 1.0

Facebook helps you keep in touch with friends in RealWorld 1.0, share photos with them, arrange trips to the pub, etc... have you even tried it? I'm surprised you're favouring the telephone over smoke signals.

The idea that Facebook is full of geeks lacking social skills hiding in their bedrooms is absurd.

Back to the topic, yeah the food fight things are stupid.

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Anonymous Coward

re: N1AK

I don't want to alarm you but your appeal to reason is targeted at a group of people that your own post defines as completely unreasonable. I mean, your heart is obviously in the right place but I don't really think anyone's going to be joining it there any time soon ... Maybe if you started calling everyone n00bs and talking trash about their mothers and/or favourite operating system you could get together a bit of a following but I can't help feeling that that approach would be counter productive. Best just to sit and enjoy the show perhaps?

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Not at all surprised

I'm actually not that surprised that people would be willing to give away personal info like this for free crap (pun not intended).

I seem to recall a study that was published about 18 months ago, where the goal was to see what kind of info people would give away for the chance to be eligible to win something. The results were stunning, personal info, work passwords, shopping habits, etc. etc. people were willing, at a high rate of capture success, to give this valuable info up to possibly win stuff. I think it was the BBC who ran the initial story that twigged my attention to it, but I can't seem to get through to them today.

This isn't exactly new, but really only shows that we really need better education about privacy (not that we need to teach what it is, or why it's important, but how we can lose it) in order to really avoid these kinds of iffy operations.

One major question that I do have, in respect to privacy laws, is that most make a distinction about biometric data (data that can be used to indentify an individual) and what liabilities exist for security failures. Would this kind of Mecca Advertising qualify, and if so, wouldn't that preclude them from selling it? Willing surrender is irrelevant. Anyone know?

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Big Brother is...

...advertising to you?

Imagine if the people who advertised to you knew everything about you and everyone you cared about, great eh?

Ahh, maybe not so much.

"Your best friend died today, why not send the family some flowers from FlowerMaxLink! We are running an extreme funeral special today only! Buy 10 roses get one free!"

Yeah, right.

The solution? Use FaceBook for what it is good for; finding people, short messages and few to few (F2F?) communication. Don't give them your personal information and for crying out loud DON'T BUY THE PRODUCTS! Maybe send an email saying:

'Object to your personalised advertising and find it offensive. I will never buy products or services from your company again unless there is no other option. My money will be going to your competition. Do not attempt to communicate with me in future. Have a nice day.'

Now if there are any FaceBook coders out there wanting to turn that into an easy to use application you have my permission to go wild.

Jack Prichard

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Big Brother is...

...advertising to you?

Imagine if the people who advertised to you knew everything about you and everyone you cared about, great eh?

Ahh, maybe not so much.

"Your best friend died today, why not send the family some flowers from FlowerMaxLink! We are running an extreme funeral special today only! Buy 10 roses get one free!"

Yeah, right.

The solution? Use FaceBook for what it is good for; finding people, short messages and few to few (F2F?) communication. Don't give them your personal information and for crying out loud DON'T BUY THE PRODUCTS! Maybe send an email saying:

'Object to your personalised advertising and find it offensive. I will never buy products or services from your company again unless there is no other option. My money will be going to your competition. Do not attempt to communicate with me in future. Have a nice day.'

Now if there are any FaceBook coders out there wanting to turn that into an easy to use application you have my permission to go wild.

Jack Prichard

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Why I don't use these websites

This sort of thing was inevitable, which is why I simply don't use these social networking sites. At all. I have a perfectly functional email address and conventional forums provide all the social networking I need, without the personal details like real name, birthdate, contacts list etc.

Forums consist of a netnick, email address, and a series of posts about your thoughts, opinions and ideas - and that's all you need reveal. Most forums also include a private messaging facility that allows members to contact you personally if you don't want to give out an email address. Through forums, I have shared information with hundreds of people and even worked on collaborative projects. Why the hell do we need sites that go about collecting every possible piece of personally identifying information? After all, on the Internet, it's what you can do, not who you are, that counts.

I've always maintained these sites existed solely for the purpose of obtaining and exploiting personal information and a large percentage of the online world seems to have fallen for it. This article proves my thesis. Now I have no objection to website-targeted advertising (eg ads for cameras on a photography site), but I take strong exception to ad companies building comprehensive psych profiles on me for the purpose of exploiting my feelings and desires for profit. Any advertising (printed or electronic) that tries to get personal with me gets a curt refusal and an assurance that I will have no further dealings with that company.

I've received countless invites from Facebook, MySpace, Orkut and a raft of others - all of which go straight in the spam bin. I've even set the spam filters on my domain and ISP emails to reject all such invites with a politely worded message:

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"Thank you for inviting me to your social networking site. However, I cannot accept your invitation, as these websites exist primarily for the purpose of collecting personal information for exploitation and targeted advertising. These websites are also a honeypot for identity thieves and fraudsters. For this reason, I do not participate in social networking sites, and I request that you kindly remove any of my personal information you may have provided to send me this invitiation from that website."

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Since this new initiative seems to encourage people to provide third-party information, violating OTHERS' privacy as well as their own, I will now be adding a warning to my invite-rejection email:

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"Further, it has come to my attention that some social networking sites are now exploring initiatives to further induce members into providing detailed personal information about third parties in order to acquire benefits. Please be aware that should evidence arise that you have provided my personal information to any of these initiatives, I will commence legal proceedings against you for Privacy Act violations."

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The advertising industry, being what it is, will not stop short of outright mind control, should it become available, to achieve its aims. And I will not be one of its victims.

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Jobs Halo

All True

I love giving away information for chances to win free stuff or throw crap-

Whatever it takes, people!

What everyone knows and no one is saying here is this:

Not one bit of it is true, no not one bit, not even this bit. Or this!

It DOES give some hilarity to me seeing 'targeted' advertising

hitting my 'demographic'. Yep, it's a cyber heaven out here for us liers!

Next computer show you attend: check all the top boxes for income & decision making status. Free gifts roll in! Love it.

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Not Essential

Its not essential to give away a whole load of information about yourself to use Facebook, nor to use some of its applications.

I've got quite a few on my page and none of them have asked me for any information.

Its also a good rule that you shouldn't put anything on the internet that you dont want the whole world to know. Just in case.

I use Facebook because i've traveled all over the world and i've got friends that dont live anywhere near me and i dont want to stay up until 3am to call them.

For the first time in my life, i'm in touch with Everyone I want to be in touch with, all in the same place. So, for me, it has its uses and worked very well in tandem with Real Life 1.0.

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Boffin

@Spike

Actually, Spike, every application requires you to allow the publisher to have access to certain information. Ok, so the rules/regs (just checked) state this is limited, and does not include contact information, but it does include, and i quote: "(i) any information provided by you and visible to you on the Facebook Site, excluding any of your Contact Information, and (ii) the user ID associated with your Facebook Site profile. "

So unless you lie (recommended) or hide your info using the privacy settings, you're pretty much giving information over to 3rd parties, who, although they enter into an agreement, could quite easily hand over information unscrupulously (and surreptitously). And that's not to mention the fact that even without contact info, they advertise on Facebook itself - irrelevant to me as i use noscript and ABP, but still a potential exploit for advertisers.

And of course there's the small print at the bottom which states: "Facebook reserves the right to modify these Platform Application Terms of Use at any time... Facebook will post a change notice or a new agreement... IF ANY MODIFICATION IS UNACCEPTABLE TO YOU, YOUR ONLY RECOURSE IS TO REVOKE YOUR PERMISSION FOR FACEBOOK TO PROVIDE FACEBOOK SITE INFORMATION TO DEVELOPERS...IF YOU DO NOT REVOKE SUCH PERMISSION PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ANY CHANGE...YOU WILL BE CONCLUSIVELY DEEMED TO HAVE ACCEPTED THE CHANGE."

So they may start handing over more than you bargained for.

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