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back to article Run for your (private) lives! Facebook's creepy Graph Search is upon us

Facebook will roll out its Graph Search in North America more than six months after the free-content ad network debuted the beta feature to a lucky few. The company said everyone who uses the US English website version of Facebook would be able to access Graph Search, which allows people to look up information about friends of …

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Coat

Optional

> Just look at how many kids under the age of 13 are actively using Facebook with or without their parents' permission

Will Graph search tell us this?

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Alert

Re: Optional

Even if it could, it won't.

That would prove that Farceberk were knowingly allowing underage use.......

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Meh

Re: Optional

If you haven't erased your profile then now is the time to do it.

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Re: Optional

I haven't erased my profile, and I'm not going to.

Since I've never had a friendface account, there's no need.

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Ru
Big Brother

Re: Optional

If you haven't erased your profile then now is the time to do it.

What is this 'erase' you speak of? We can offer you a 'temporary unlinking of public profile' but we know you don't really mean it, so we're keeping all your data available and searchable so as to provide a better experience for you when you think better of your foolish actions and rejoin the flock!

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Re: Optional?

At your request, your data has been moved to a non-public directory.

Only the government can access it, not the public. Nor can you.

Thank you for you business.

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Big Brother

Creepy

Just got a whole lot more creepier.

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Big Brother

Re: Creepy

It is the (first) public release of the out-sourced government version to map meta-data into link-graphs. It is time to generate fictional data at a massive scale to blend the data to pulp (-fiction). I guess that there has been enough research already on fake accounts and how you setup such that most probably pass the Turing test.

Come on, create a bigger haystack!

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Headmaster

Re: Creepy

Just got a whole lot more creepier.

No, it didn't. There's no such thing as "more creepier."

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Happy

Re: Creepy

OK. more creepierest

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Anonymous Coward

As far as I'm concerned, any journalist using the word 'pervert' immediately loses any credibility they might have had to comment on situations involving child endangerment.

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Not following, why?

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Anonymous Coward

Can you explain that a bit further, because at the minute i've got no idea why you think that. Am I supposed to guess why you think that way? Because I can't guess. Sorry.

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Silver badge

I assume because he considers the word 'pervert' was chosen for Daily Mail-like scaremongering rather than to inform.

A bit like a politician would talk of 'terrorists' rather than good old-fashioned 'criminals', which are much less scary for some reason, even though terrorists are statistically way less likely to hurt the population.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not following, why?

also cf "loaded adjective".

Whatever the deviation in question, "pervert" isn't a neutral description, and by using it, you can elicit stranger negative reactions than would normally be justifiied. Many might think that incompatible with good journalism (as opposed to e.g. the writing of a provocative columnist)

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Context

The discussion was of adults using the service to stalk school children.

If that doesn't qualify as appropriate use of 'pervert', what do you think does?

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Anonymous Coward

Ratfox is correct. I figured it was obvious, but oh well...

When you use emotionally charged terms to describe people, you lose the ability to judge the situation rationally.

Suppose you'd gone on usenet and downloaded some wacky tentacle anime to have a laugh at with your buddies, or to win a bet about how proverbially-messed-up Japan is, or whatever - would it be reasonable for a journalist to say, "SICK FILTH MOVIES FOUND ON DISGUSTING PERVERT'S HOME COMPUTER"?

That attitude goes hand in hand with the horrifyingly-common "accused as as good as guilty" assumption that I see too much in the US. When you normalize the use of distorted, emotion-laden language as appropriate for the very circumstances under which dispassionate discourse is *required* by a civil society to function well, you run enormous risks - not only of trampling on the rights of other innocents, but the risk of eventually finding yourself hoisted by your own petard in similar circumstances.

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Re: Not following, why?

"Whatever the deviation in question, "pervert" isn't a neutral description, and by using it, you can elicit stranger negative reactions than would normally be justifiied"

This sounds like a Wikipedia version of journalism where having a point of view is not allowed. Presumably such a castrated type of journalist would, in addition to not calling paedophiles "perverts", restrain from describing Hitler as a "tyrant", or David Ike a "conspiracy nut", nor would they attempt to alert the public to "outrages" such as tobacco companies suppressing the details of cancer deaths in their own research etc.

Point of view is perfectly acceptable, even in an encyclopædia, because we're supposed to be adults and understand that there is no such thing as neutrality or objectiveness and that hiding your point of view actually makes your writing less useful than making it clear up front.

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Silver badge

>When you use emotionally charged terms to describe people, you lose the ability to judge the situation rationally.

That assumes a particular timescale. Perhaps the situation has already been judged and the emotional term is the judgment rendered.

This is not the same as reporting on a trial. The accusation is clearly against a totally hypothetical predator. Neither a particular plaintiff, evidence, nor motive is required in this context, as it is an example of something else - the potential for misuse of search capabilities.

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Facepalm

Re: Not following, why?

my favourite is carnage whe a few people are hurt.

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I didn’t read it that way, to me the journalist is talking about parents fear that “perverts” may be stalking their children online. To me this is just reporting the concerns raised in the original article, it’s clear to me that the reporter wasn’t calling anyone a pervert or using the term for sensationalist purposes. If the reporter was discussing folk with Coulrophobia and that they were “afraid of clowns” would you read the term “clowns” as an emotionally charged example of poor journalism? Would the journalist be calling anyone a clown or simply explaining that people have a fear of them?

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Silver badge

emotion-laden title

"When you normalize the use of distorted, emotion-laden language as appropriate for the very circumstances..."

Of course extremely rude or pejorative language is not helpful in discussion, but on the other hand, antiseptic language can falsify the degree of things. For example, in sociology speak, an "abuser" can describe somebody who merely uses bad language, or somebody who commits a drunken assault, or even somebody guilty of kidnap and torture. Even serial-killers are sometimes described as "abusers". An insane confusion arising from a desire to sound scientific.

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Gimp

Ooh creepy

I'm tempted to rejoin FB to have a nosey

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Meh

Re: Ooh creepy

Is it possible to 'rejoin' Facebook? I didn't think you could leave unless you were willing to make a full time job out of slowly erasing yourself post by post.

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Re: Ooh creepy

"Is it possible to 'rejoin' Facebook? I didn't think you could leave unless you were willing to make a full time job out of slowly erasing yourself post by post."

It's been possible to delete a facebook account for many years.

http://deletefacebook.com/

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New FB slogan

"Know stuff about people without knowing them"

Works for the NSA too

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Anonymous Coward

The converse is also true

in that you can find out which of your 'friends' is a FB addict or just a one post wonder.

Or even those in your address book who aren't even FB users.

You show me yours if I will show you mine?

anon for obvious reasons (I'm not on FB any more)

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Anonymous Coward

Already using it for a few months. I must say it is a nice feature, it helps people find stuff and links more easily, and that is also the downside.

It is a great feature to search things, it is less great when you get searched. I use it quite often, and saw I can find much more than the profile of someone shows me. Do that and link a few relations and you end up with so much more info on someone, it's a stalker's dream really.

Overall a useful feature, but not great in the current environment(with the privacy stuff)

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Anonymous Coward

I realise that other probably will find it useful - but I fail to see the purpose, for FB-users at least.

Most of the people I know on FB are people I actually know - anyone who isn't, I don't really care about.

So it'll let me search for friends of my friends who like bananas and whisky? So what? So I can write the a message saying "Oh I like bananas and whisky as well - should we hang out?"

Explain?

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APA
Coffee/keyboard

For example, they can ask "people who like BNP [British National Party] and The Police" and discover that fewer than 100 Facebookers are fans of extreme right wing politics and Sting's band.

New keyboard please.

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Headmaster

For example, they can ask "people who like BNP [British National Party] and The Police" and discover that fewer than 100 Facebookers are fans of extreme right wing politics and Sting's band.

Not that it's massively relevant to the article, but the BNP is a party of the far LEFT, not the right.

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Silver badge

No, the British Nationalist Party (BNP) are a far-right organisation. Far-left is associated with communism, which the BNP most definitely don't support.

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FAIL

No, you're quite wrong. The BNP's policies are primarily left wing. Their policies on housing, protectionism, health etc are considerably to the left of both Labour and the Lib Dems. Yes, they are authoritarian, but that has nothing to do with left/right. Most of their voters are also disaffected ex Labour voters.

By voting me down you've simply shown that you know little about politics.

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Anonymous Coward

Wilseus is entirely correct. The BNP are a party with old fashioned Far Left policies, and are only a force in Labour areas of the country. They basically support authoritarianism, central planning and large government controling people's lives to a high degree, which is equivalent to socialism. Anyone on the right (like myself) will probably disagree with most of their policies.

They are *not* right wing in any way, shape or form.

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Scary

How many FB users realise, or care, their posts are accessible and subject to data harvesting? It's not 1984, but I wonder what George Orwell would have made of it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary

Imagine a lolcat stomping on a human face - forever.

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Devil

Scary?

Like all men on Facebook, I get loads of "Meet hot young women in your area!" adverts. My daughter recently got into the film "Annie" and I mentioned something about it on Facebook, and all those ads were immediately replaced with "Meet hot young men with very tight trousers and leather hats in your area!" Facebook are apparently the world's most successful data-mining and advert-targetting company, and that's the level of sophistication of their algorithms: "Mentioned a musical, therefore must want gay sex with strangers." They have also sent me adverts for a six-wheeled amphibious assault vehicle and a motorcycle hearse. I have no idea why, and bet they don't know either. Am I scared by their in-depth knowledge of every facet of my life? Ahahahahahahaha.

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Re: Scary?

A six-wheeled amphibious assault vehicle and a motorcycle hearse? Sounds like fun, buy them.

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Re: Scary?

Yeah, I know -- which completely undermines my point, of course. A friend of mine suggested that I should get an amhibious assault motorcycle hearse, and I have to say, what could possibly be better?

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Re: Scary?

It almost sounds like it would be worth turning off the ad blocker for a bit just for a ruddy good giggle.

That said, the odd ad has slipped through, most peculiarly for Islamic religious clothing, despite my religious views clearly being "Agnostic". Perhaps they think I'll make my mind up about it when I feel the lovely fabric?

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Anonymous Coward

"...details about the lives of 1.1 billion people..."

Who has verified this claim and how? It is a classic isn't it, how rumors spread: Everyone parrots what everyone else is saying without giving it a thought! This is like that story...what was it called?...ah...something like..."The emperor has no clothes"?

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Devil

Assumptions....

People assume that your FB profile is true but anyone with any amount of sense is going to tweak things or just tell porkies. "It's the internet, it must be true!! Ha!"

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