back to article Oops! Facebook outed its antiterror cops whilst they banned admins

Facebook last year introduced a bug in its content moderation software that exposed the identities of workers who police content on the social network to those being policed, raising the possibility of retribution. "Last year, we learned that the names of certain people who work for Facebook to enforce our policies could have …

Anonymous Coward

What sort of absolute lunatic designs a system where administration is done through your personal account? Rife for abuse from everyone involved.

Peak Silicon Valley.

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It's unbelievable. Another report said that the bloke affected was REQUIRED to use his personal account. Why FFS? Never mind working whether you work for Stalkerbook or anyone else, if work requires you to use FB then you have a work FB account as well as a personal one. You know, a bit like e-mail and phones?

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"Facebook's technical fix, according to the company spokesperson, involves the creation of administrative accounts not associated with personal Facebook accounts, "

Yep, it's amazing. Even AOL worked this out back in the dial up days. Kids today, pah! Will lessons be learned? Maybe, but too late. They should have learned these lessons before they were allowed into the real world (as much as Facebook is in the real world)

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Anonymous Coward

"Even AOL worked this out back in the dial up days"

You sure?

Weren't Guide/Host accounts etc just screen names on an account along with the users other names?

So, while they weren't logged in with their day-to-day account, special accounts were still tied to the users name, viewable by someone somewhere.

I remember receiving an IM from a now friend who worked for AOL in Albuquerque, and to prove his position I asked him to confirm any other names I might used. They followed by IM about 5 seconds later. Even 22 years ago it was obvious no privacy at all existed online!

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Re: to prove his position

There has to be a heirarchy where people higher in the tree can see who you really are. I was a moderator in a forum where moderators had a completely separate identity to their regular profile. In one thread I saw a moderator siding with a user who was clearly in the wrong. On drawing this to the attention of the higher echelons it turned out that the user and the moderator were one and the same person.

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It's a stupid idea for many reasons. How do they deal with separation of work and personal? How do they deal with someone leaving and having to remove admin permissions without breaking their personal FB account? How do they prevent someone using admin permissions outside of work? Besides the potential for deliberate abuse of power, there's a real risk of doing it by mistake. If there's an option to do something in facebook when you're at home, is that a standard option everyone has, or is it something you've only got as admin so you shouldn't really be using it for non-official purposes?

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Holmes

Article quote with my emphasis to extract the Spokesdroid's actual message: "Facebook's technical fix, according to the company spokesperson, involves the creation of administrative accounts not associated with personal Facebook accounts, because personal information represents a security risk."

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"Peak Silicon Valley."

You think it can't get worse?

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Paris Hilton

I thought Facebook have said that you cannot tell who has been looking at your profile. So, how do they know that their profile has been looked at by those people?

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Anonymous Coward

> Facebook have said that you cannot tell who has been looking at your profile.

Absolutely. They never said they can't tell - only you can't

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Coffee/keyboard

Zuck the cold-blooded tightwad.

"Even so, we contacted each of them individually to offer support, answer their questions, and take meaningful steps to ensure their safety."

Oh for pity's sake, Zuck you gawdamned cheapskate. They are now in permanent danger. Give them 1 million dollars, with early retirement; and work with the authorities for them to have a new life, new identity, and possibly new country.

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Re: Zuck the cold-blooded tightwad.

It was reported that the guy mentioned was so frightened he fled Dublin to Poland for some months until his money ran out, but is now back, jobless and broke. Time for action Mr Zuck? They shouldn't even have to ask!

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Trollface

Re: Zuck the cold-blooded tightwad.

oh now THAT deserves a song!

(to the tune of 'puff the magic dragon')

Zuck the cold-blooded tightwad

Lived in Silicon valley

And frolicked with his zillion bucks

In the land of Cali-Fornicate-Ye!!!!

(and so on)

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Coat

Set the Default settings to.........

Maybe the antiterror cops had their security settings set to Facebork Default.

Mines to one with the Dummies Guide to Facebork in the pocket.

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It was good to see FB put more importance on slinging ads at the admins by making them use their personal accounts over their privacy.

This is the reason why I don't use FB

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Joke

That's the automatic warning system...

When you see adverts for re-location and fake passports, you know your profile's been viewed by someone with links to terrorist groups.

When you see adverts for bullet-proof vests, you know they've clicked on the ads for assault rifles and ammunition.

When you see adverts for funeral parlours, well, it's too late.

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"This is the reason why I don't use FB"

The reason I don't use Facebook is because I'm not a 12 year old.

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WTF?

Re: That's the automatic warning system...

In the USSR of the Stalinist era the bereaved widow would automatically get a bill for the bullet with which her husband was executed. No advertisement involved.

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"personal information represents a security risk"

Can that sentence be the first thing anyone sees when going onto FaceBook ? In a big page, white background, dark red letters ? And you have to click on that sentence in order to proceed to the home page ?

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Re: "personal information represents a security risk"

For some reason I'm suddenly reminded of the scramble suits from "A Scanner Darkly"

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wsm

Who, what, when?

"Facebook's technical fix, according to the company spokesperson, involves the creation of administrative accounts not associated with personal Facebook accounts, because personal information represents a security risk."

How long did it take them to figure this out? Make your money first, worry about personal risk to your people later. That must be the Facebook way.

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Dumb And Dumber

It also explains why Facebook is having so much trouble with AI: They don't have access to the real thing to use as a model.

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No surprise there, really.

Facebook's position basically is that all you need (and therefore all you should have) is your FB account, and just the one.

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Just the one

Yes so if you have a separate FB account for work, you are breaking the terms.

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Sounds like a great place to hang-out with terrorists

Think I'll give it a miss

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I'm not surprised that employees do moderation on their personal accounts. I know a few people who work there and I recall that they often do testing/dev using their personal accounts even though there is an "internal Facebook" for that, and sandbox/test accounts available.

Another interesting thing - to visit their offices you have to sign into your Facebook account to get a pass.

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"Our investigation found that only a small fraction of the names were likely viewed, and we never had evidence of any threat to the people impacted or their families as a result of this matter"

What information is Facebook privy to that would make their investigation into possible criminal matters even remotely thorough?

"Well, no one used Messenger to send threats to the admins, guess there's no reason to be concerned here".

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