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back to article Zuck on it, Google: 'Public' Facebook events are dead to you

Facebook is squirrelling away search results about its users' public events that could once be easily found through Google, The Register has learned. The move appears to have followed the unveiling of the social network's Graph Search, a beta version of which has been deployed to its one-billion-strong active userbase. Naturally …

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Joke

That's OK, we can use Facebooks search engine to...

Oh, right. Never mind.

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Anonymous Coward

I've never used FaceAche but I know it's rubbish.

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FAIL

Facebook ...

the electronic garbage can for the brainless.

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Go

Remove all links to Facebook from all engines please

I would be fine and happy if Google, Bing, et al, removed all and any links to Facebook from their engines.

I despise clicking on a link only to be asked "Please sign up for a Facebook account to see this page).....

If FB doesn't want to share what's on it members pages then I am fine with that, but in that case please do not allow the pages to be listed on search engines.

( Dear Pedantards - am I allowed to use the word "but" after the comma ? )

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remove all links to Facebook from all engines please

Yes, but with some conventions. ;)

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404
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Re: Remove all links to Facebook from all engines please

AMEN Brother! +1

;)

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Bronze badge

Re: Remove all links to Facebook from all engines please

You probably can/may use the comma before "but", but, then, "I'd probably place a comma after "but" and after "case" in my case, hehhehe.

Three things I really despise in written English:

-- intransigent, unforgivable failure (especially in news and other media) to place a comma in between the last and next to last clause in a sentence, which would prevent the stupid appearance that an "and" joins two clauses that are really items of a list

(Ministry of Land, Water and Power" to my mind is horribly flawed. It should read "Ministry of Land, Water, and Power" since it is fairly clear/likely that Water and Power are two distinct agencies within a government structure. "The suspects were detained due to possession of illegal narcotics, weapons and unattributable cash and credit cards" should read: "The suspects were detained due to possession of illegal narcotics, weapons, and unattributable cash and credit cards." Even better, to reduce confusion, it shoud read: "The suspects were detained due to possession of weapons, illegal narcotics, and unattributable cash and credit cards." That would remove the danger/risk that the modifier "illegal" in "illegal narcotics" could somehow apply to "weapons", which may or may not be illegal in this instance -- particularly since there would be a difference in suspects being detained while carrying modeling or sculpting knives versus carrying 250-lb force crossbows and 45 poison-tipped arrows...)

-- intransigent, and inexcusable refusal to separate paragraphs with white space or a whole line

(These days, despite "tradition" and "custom", there is really NO excuse to not make it easier for readers to read, and font sizes can be easily reduced to fit text onto a slightly smaller body of paper.

I have so much f*cking trouble trying to correct my Asian (generally Korean) friends who do this. Dunno where they learned it, but is is troublesome and forces a reader to intellectually figure out where a new topic is introduced when a paragraph's last sentence is too close to the end of the block of text, making a string of paragraphs appear as a huge, insurmountable sea of letters.)

-- confusion between "then" and "than"

(Imagine the humor in some cases.

"I'd rather eat a teaspoon of sh*t then do drugs." Oh, so, such a person would rather do BOTH, but not ONE. Nevermind that there is no comma inserted for effect between "sh*t" and "then", hahahaha

"It is faster to run then walk." Oh, really? )

But, who am I? I commit grammar errors, too.

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Re: Remove all links to Facebook from all engines please

I'm sorry dssf but I got to the third paragraph, and just couldn't be bothered any more. I'm sure others read the rest though, it would be a shame to offer up all that information and no one bothered going past the third paragraph. I just have a short attention span and grammar was never something that held my interest.

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FAIL

Re: Remove all links to Facebook from all engines please

But then Zucker would complain that Google is filtering his stuff and file with Washington DC and the EU.

Just a spoiled brat who wants the lot.

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Anonymous Coward

How to do it (Re: Remove all links to Facebook from all engines please)

When I typed the example in the article:

like: dance "January 2013" site:facebook.com/events

I was presented with a list of links.

Under each link, there was the following option:

Block facebook.com

courtesy of the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension.

I clicked on that, and suddenly all the links to Facebook disappeared.

I recommend it, as it is especially useful for permanently removing link farms from search results.

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Silver badge

Re: Remove all links to Facebook from all engines please

Google search would be a better product if links which required a user to be logged in could be ranked lower. As well as sites like Facebook, there are "answers" sites where on the open web you can find that other people have been asking the same question as you, but you have to log in to see the answer in a private silo. And of course, the same goes for newspaper sites where you need to register to see the full article. Hopefully this wouldn't fall foul of any regulations.

<pedantry>You may not add extra spaces between parentheses, question marks and other text but, the comma is Ok by me.</pedantry>

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Coat

Re: Remove all links to Facebook from all engines please

"Who gives a fuck about the Oxford Comma?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_comma

(Disclaimed: I'm a fan of it)

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Conclusion not necessarily supported

There isn't any evidence so far that what is seen by Google is being restricted.

What has changed, is that if you click on a link to see the details, Facebook will not let you see "public" pages, unless you are logged in. This is an interesting definition of "public", and one that may not make much sense. It will certainly be problematic for some people that want to publicize themselves, and people "forced" to sign up won't be as valuable to Facebook as those "encouraged" to do so.

But, regardless, it's still possible for Facebook to present some data to Google web crawlers to allow information to be found, whilst instructing Google not to cache it, and serving pages up to normal browsers behind authentication. And there isn't evidence that this isn't happening.

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Re: Conclusion not necessarily supported

"There isn't any evidence so far that what is seen by Google is being restricted.

What has changed, is that if you click on a link to see the details, Facebook will not let you see "public" pages, unless you are logged in."

Yes, and this is easily verified by visiting the page for a public event within Facebook, copying the URL, and pasting it into the URL bar of another browser, which isn't logged in. Hey presto, the log-in screen, with no search engine involved to get there.

"This is an interesting definition of "public", and one that may not make much sense."

Isn't it just.

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Anonymous Coward

Facebook are doing lots of other things - like claiming to delete accounts and data

I deleted my Facebook account 2 years ago, and requested all data deleted. About 3 months ago I needed a Facebook account because of a braindead company that still assumes everyone has one, so I registered a fake account in a private browsing window (not that it mattered, Cookies went years ago) and gave no personal details whatsoever.

As soon as I logged onto this supposedly anonymous account, it recommended I connect with my mother's facebook.

Quite clearly when I ticked the box to say delete everything, they ignored that, and kept at minimum details of my IP address and my friends lists...

I would complain to the ICO, but it seems they are far too busy pandering to Microsoft at the minute....

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Big Brother

Re: Facebook are doing lots of other things - like claiming to delete accounts and data

It does that even if you never had an account...

I signed up, then immediatly deleted when I realised how sinister it was.

The 'recommended friends' were probably about 90% accurate, even though I'd never had a facebook account and not given it access to any of my address books or personal details.

I gather it works by recommending people who have searched for you (even before you had an account). They keep track of those so that when you do join...POW, look at all your friends.

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Re: Facebook are doing lots of other things - like claiming to delete accounts and data

"so that when you do join...POW"

Prisoner On [their] Website ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Facebook are doing lots of other things - like claiming to delete accounts and data

Nasty! I tried complaining about similar sneaky FB practices to the Irish Data Regulator-- and got absolutely nowhere!

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Re: Facebook are doing lots of other things - like claiming to delete accounts and data

I believe one of Facebook's tricks is to rely on email address. They've been harvesting people's whole address books from their smartphone apps, so they've then got an automatic 'friends' list for you when you sign up (assuming you use the email your friends have anyway).

I've been on there for about 2 years, for family stuff. I think I posted twice in 2012, and I always log out. But I'm getting concerned about all the data they're mining about me from links. And of course I don't control the privacy policies of my 'friends' even if I lock down all my stuff, and assume they actually don't ignore my privacy settings. I have no trust in Facebook to do that...

Once people start tagging me in photos, I don't have any control of that. So I'm wondering if it's time to quit, before it's too late. And to think I used to be worried about Google's sinister data collection habits...

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Re: Facebook are doing lots of other things - like claiming to delete accounts and data

I've found similar when ditching an e-mail address for my main account and using it for a second throwaway one.

I'd used this e-mail address on my main one for a few years then deleted and blocked a load of people and eventually changed my e-mail address. Half a year later I re-use my original address for a new account and started getting friend suggestions for all the people I used to be friends with, even those I'd blocked them when it was on my old account.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Facebook are doing lots of other things - like claiming to delete accounts and data

Google are a drop in the ocean compared to Facebook. Google actually delete your profile if you ask (I tried, it worked), and you can also download all your stuff in handy zip files, if you want to go elsewhere.

https://www.google.com/takeout/

Facebook offer nothing like this...

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Anonymous Coward

Re:Google are a drop in the ocean compared to Facebook

No, they're not. GA is on what, 90% of websites now? If you're talking about popular websites it's probably closer to 99%. Facebook wish they had that sort of coverage. Facebook are obviously serious about locking people in, but that doesn't make Google a tiny inoffensive privacy defender by any stretch...

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Paris Hilton

Re: Facebook are doing lots of other things - like claiming to delete accounts and data

Is "I'm on facebook for family reasons' the new "I get Playboy for the articles"??? If so, what a sad lot we humans are becoming...

<-- Paris, 'cause she understands me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Facebook are doing lots of other things..

The problem is that even if you ask FB to delete your attributed data, they simply seem to strip the header off the records that point at information leading to you personally- like with Google, the web events they tie together via their web snooping (Facebook buttons and "friends") simply remain unallocated until such time as you renew permission, at which point that chain gets re-connected to you as an identity.

An example: if you regularly look at a number of news sites in sequence (say, BBC, then CNN), this is a repeat event which is connected to the ID they tend to lodge in your browser unless you're in the habit of surfing in private mode (no idea if they also use LSOs - I haven't detected that). If you'd follow the sequence again and then LOG IN at another website, there is suddenly an identity associated with the chain. Just keep stacking events (it's a DB query, after all) and eventually these events tie to a name and identity.

The problem is that they are not supposed to have those details, but it's hiding in their database until such time as you create an account - at that point you have given permission and thus that previously unallocated cluster of possibly related events now has an associated identity (note the word "possibly").

This is why these companies are so dangerous - by sniffing everywhere they *will* eventually add your identity to events. However, because you're dealing with matches based on likelihood such associations are not absolute. Now, for serving focused ads this can at best lead to embarrassment, but if you want to see what happens when you provide data to law enforcement who have no training to recognise that such results are not facts but probabilities you only need to look at the cock-ups surrounding the TSA no-fly list.

This is why the known association with 3 letter agencies of both FB and Google is dangerous. They have the means to declare perfectly innocent people guilty because few know how to interpret the results correctly - least of all law enforcement.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Facebook are doing lots of other things - like claiming to delete accounts and data

That was just a coincidence. When I signed up, Facebook recommended I also connect to your mother. Your mother is very popular.

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Flame

Companies and social media

I tried to enter a competition on a magazine website - which you had to have an account for. I won't tell you the name, but suffice to say the title contains a letter and a number and is about gadgets and things.

Only to find "enter the competition on facebook", or tweet to enter our competition.

No I won't you w@nkers!

You have a website that I had to register to use that you lazy B@stards.

I'm refuse to join Tw@ter as to be honest there is no on that I am that interested in that I want to hear what flavour of Pizza you are thinking about eating.

I refuse to join facebook as their privacy changes more often than MS applies patches.

I don't want a web in a web, if I did I would have used AOL!

Now I don't mind some people wanting to do this, it is their right to give all thier private details away, but I don't want to facebook freind my Bogroll, Washing powder, or anything else!

Give me back my WEB you B@stards

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Companies and social media

booo whooo what a bloody moan moan moan I'd rather give my personal details to the 3rd party running a competition for a magazine than sign up with facebook oh my god I am 12 years old this is so not fair

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Re: Companies and social media

At least I have the balls to use my name

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Companies and social media

oooh at least I have the balls to use my name

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Companies and social media

Being anonymous is not about a lack of balls. It's about accepting that on the internet we are each but a worthless crumb, in an infinite pile of crumbs. No one cares about your name. No one respects you for using a name.

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Pirate

Re: this is so not fair

Somewhat hard of thinking are you? I know I shouldn't be feeding the trolls but I'm in a swashbuckling mood. The third party running a competition will not be locating Richard Gray 1 within an actual social network and thus inferring (and possibly allowing others to infer) a great deal of information about him based on this location. He isn't trying to insult anyone from behind a veil of anonymity either.

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Joke

Re: Companies and social media

@Richard Gray...

Thank you for having the balls for not being anon.

I'm now working my way through the 769,000 results to find out which one corresponds to yourself.

Yours,

Mr Smith

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Trollface

Re: this is so not fair

sick of these smug anonymous twats

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FAIL

Re: Companies and social media

To our anonymous friend: Please learn to spell, learn to punctuate, learn some civility and learn to argue. There's a good chap.

Boo Whoo indeed. What are you? An unhappy owl...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Companies and social media

oooh at least I have the name to use my balls.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No one respects you for using a name.

But it's impossible to carry on a sensible conversation between 3 anonymous cowards. So respect doesn't really enter into it, it's about practicality. It's not like you have to use your real name, but a tag that ties posts together is useful.

And if your competition is only open to facebook users that should be clear at the start.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No one respects you for using a name.

At least I post bollocks! Sorry, got to go, Mum says tea's ready! Then I've got to do geography homework... I hate my life!

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Trollface

Re: this is so not fair

El Reg really needs to ban the AC option. nothing of value is lost from such a move anyway, not that AC posted anything useful in the history of this site.

Thumbs down away! lets go for a record.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: this is so not fair

sick of these smug anonymous twats

Sick of these named twats that evidently have such a boring life they *need* their names out there..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ban the AC option

El Reg really needs to ban the AC option. nothing of value is lost from such a move anyway, not that AC posted anything useful in the history of this site.

If you had any idea of who are behind some of the anon tags you would understand that El Reg does the right thing - some of us actually have something to contribute but take a risk in doing so. There is a secondary thing you should have realised by now: you may be anon to the Internet, but you have to log in to post. Ergo, to El Reg you are *not* anonymous (although I don't know if they actually use that information).

In conclusion, derogatory remarks about people choosing to protect their identity only shows how clueless you are yourself. You may even be using Facebook..

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Happy

Re: this is so not fair

I disagree

The comment

"That was just a coincidence. When I signed up, Facebook recommended I also connect to your mother. Your mother is very popular."

was posted AC and was the funniest thing I've seen so far today.

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WTF?

Re: ban the AC option

@AC Tuesday 29th January 2013 23:08 GMT

No, and there is absolutely no need for the AC option, you're probably still thinking about that risk thing, but it's all in your head, only El Reg know who you are anyway, and they also know who you are when posting as AC, don't kid yourself, you have NO PRIVACY if that's your belief.

Also El Reg know nothing of WHO you are, unless you actually use your Real Name for your Reg handle? And no I don't use ShitBook or sorry, I mean DataBook as that's all it's there for to hand info to Suckersberg and co.

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When "public" is not "public"

Agree with Graham above about the not-public "public" setting: Annoying to people looking for some -thing/-one ("Great, an organization in my area that does ... oh wait, I can't see it, crap, *sigh*, OK, next") but presumably more so to those trying to post the info to world + dog and only getting {0 .. Boobface}.

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Coat

Christ-on-a-Bike!

There really are a load of holier than thou sorts on these threads, isn't there?

Don't use Facebook or Twitter, and that means you can claim your FREE golden halo!

Anyway, the general concensus of washing powder, bogroll, breakfast etc etc etc is a complete load of hogwash! Both of these sites can be a thriving community for like-minded souls...but NO....you lot just believe that crap you read in the papers. If you've never signed up for them, how do you know?

And as for "I've never used FaceAche but I know it's rubbish".... what a complete spanner! That's like saying.... I've never driven a BMW, but I know that they are ALL shite!

Mine's the one that's ready for walking out the door and leaving you f**kwits to it....

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Re: thriving community for like-minded souls

I used to be a loner but now I've met hundreds of people who use the same bog roll and washing powder.

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Re: Christ-on-a-Bike! @ SuperHoopMango

And nothing of value was lost.

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Happy

Re: Christ-on-a-Bike!

He had a bike? !!

Blimey, you could make a fortune if you ever found that ... Christ's bike I mean. Probably a chopper I reckon.

I join every social network I can find and you know what? I now have 30,000 friends!! I used to be called Billy-no-mates ... not-no more !!

I'm now Billy-loads-a-mates.

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Re: Christ-on-a-Bike!

Just using that post title places you firmly into FB fanboi category

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christ-on-a-Bike!

Mine's the one that's ready for walking out the door and leaving you f**kwits to it....

Good riddence, you're barred.

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