Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Why People Play Farmville

Good essay here on why people are so addicted to Farmville:

Cultivated Play: Farmville

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Facebook Details Hacked

So some “jerk” for want of a better word has collected and published the personal details of 100 million Facebook users. I’m not even going to mention this guy’s name as I’m certain he’s out for recognition – no different to the idiot that released an iPhone virus just because it could be done (only on jailbroken phones).

Basically this hacker used a piece of code to scan Facebook profiles, collecting data not hidden by the user’s privacy settings. He released it to torrent users worldwide to download.

What. An. Ass.

Facebook have this to say:

“People who use Facebook own their information and have the right to share only what they want, with whom they want, and when they want,” the statement read.

“In this case, information that people have agreed to make public was collected by a single researcher and already exists in Google, Bing, other search engines, as well as on Facebook.

“No private data is available or has been compromised,” the statement added.”

I’m certain my name does not appear in this download as I have only allowed trivial information to be broadcast to the world (name, bio, etc.) but please if you read this and own a Facebook page, go to your privacy settings and customize them so that only your friends can see your personal details.

BBC News have more details here

The Vanishing Act of Facebook Privacy

Very good infographic on Facebook’s privacy settings developed by Matt McKeon, an IBM researcher. In it he shows how the Facebook privacy settings have changed very quickly and quietly in just a few years.

The rings show the groups who can see a given slice of information, if you leave the default settings in place. Here is 2005:

In 2009:

And in April 2010

Of course these are all default settings, and if you’re concerned you can easily change your privacy settings to how to you want them but there is no denying that there has been a massive shift in Facebook’s privacy settings. As FastCompany perfectly sums up on their Infographic of the Day segment: ‘Why would they make those changes? The less privacy there is in general, the more irresistible Facebook becomes, because you can snoop on other people far more. And figure out exactly what to sell them.’

Facebook – F8 for Changes

Recent announcements of changes to Facebook are:

  • Facebook will try to spur members to become fans of more of its site’s Pages, which are profiles that organizations, companies and public figures set up to promote themselves and their brands.
  • Facebook will do this by suggesting specific pages that are related to information people have posted about themselves on their profiles – Alex Li, a Facebook software engineer said that ‘Once you make your choice, any text you’d previously had for the current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests sections of your profile will be replaced by links to these Pages’.
  • The ‘Become a Fan’ button will be replaced by a ‘Like’ button, Facebook adds that Page in the contextually relevant section of their profile ‘Info’ section. Remember that Facebook pages are public and anything posted will be visible by anyone.
  • Facebook has added a new type of profile page to its site called ‘Community’ meant for people to virtually gather around a shared interest or topic, much like a discussion board found on the Groups pages.
  • Facebook has also added a new privacy control that lets members hide their list of friends from their own friends.

These changes will be introduced over the next few days, probably after the annual developer conference, F8 on Wednesday.

Social Internet Etiquette

  • Do not talk about Myspace. Ever.
  • Unless the conversation goes: “Hey, do you remember Myspace?”      “No.”
  • Or you’re checking out how many hits your awesome band has.

  • If it’s one of your Facebook friends’, friends’, friends’, friends’, friends’, friends’ birthday, and you don’t write happy birthday on their wall, then you should reconsider the friendship.
  • “Maybe Attending” is nicer than saying “Not Attending”.
  • It is your responsibility as their Facebook friend to tag them in any photo they appear in, no matter how far in the distance they are or how big a part of their body is shown – unless they look decent. Then the aforementioned responsibility forfeits.
  • You need to join every group that makes you say “oh yeaaahhh” when you read the group title.
  • You must become a lowly farmer on Farmville and rise through the ranks to Master Farmer.

  • If you can say it in less than 140 characters it’s probably not that interesting – just tweet it.
  • You should be followed by at least one Eastern-European female who links to malicious websites. If this isn’t the case you are doing something wrong.
  • You should always aim to have more followers than you are following, as it is this ratio that determines your coolness.
  • You should follow famous people and believe in your heart that the famous person is personally replying to you and not some random douche or aide.

  • Unfortunately the social norms of AOL were lost when the great library in Alexandria was set on fire in 48 B.C. Which, coincidentally, is also around the time you should have stopped using AOL.

  • If you are going to upload videos, vlogging is mandatory.
  • Every video deserves 5 stars – even if you didn’t like it. A lot of work went into these videos, and the maker may return the rating when he/she sees your video uploads.
  • If you upload a video, it is important to post a response to the video a week later.

  • You must be no older than 15
  • Every known application must be added to your page or else no one will bother to look
  • You must receive love on a daily basis from each friend or people will know that you are not popular
  • There are over 10,000 “what kind of a” quizzes available and each must be filled out to determine what kind of a dancer/shoe/cable you are.

Facebook Fail

Facebook is sued – Un-Class[y] Action

Facebook changed it privacy settings last Winter to allow for users to change their security and privacy settings the way they wanted. Unfortunately they also let a certain group of Americans do this, and what do this particular group of Americans like to do…sue! We’ve all seen the “new” Facebook and most people are appalled at the user interface (seriously…it’s changed and get used to it), but I think the new privacy settings are good – I like customization!  The new Facebook settings allows users to set their own privacy settings and make more informed choices on the use of their personal data.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that the changes have reduced privacy protections for Facebook users rather than increasing it, as the company had claimed it would. However, the lawsuit, which was filed by five Facebook users on behalf of all Facebook users, alleged that the company’s modifications have only resulted in more personal data being pushed out to the Internet while making privacy options even harder to exercise.

It’s true that the default security setting is, well, not there – the information that Facebook makes publicly available by default includes user names, photos, friend’s listing, the names of any organizations and products that a user might support, as well as geographic data and other information. But get a grip of your account settings, learn to read if needs be and change your settings – I have very little information made available and do not click on the advertisements down the side of the page. Yes Facebook probably make a lot of money from those advertisements (which are aimed personally at you depending on your information), but you don’t need to click on them (even hitting the X button on the adverts is the equivalent as clicking the advert link itself), in doing so (or not doing so) you won’t be giving out your information to the advertisement companies.

Back to the main point here – these Facebook Five are filing a class action suit (class action means “one plaintiff” representing many, click here for more) on YOUR behalf – are they going to give any money to you or I if they are awarded anything? It’s an unfortunate reminder of the times we live in, where anybody and anything can be sued. Is there a lack of common sense? In the past, common sense prevailed: your child received a nasty sting from a nettle in the grass, you found a “Doc Leaf” and rubbed said leaf on the stung area to relieve pain. Today it seems that the “common” thing to do is to sue the Town Council for allowing nettles to grow.

Of course, employing common sense here would mean clicking on privacy settings and changing some things…but that’s just too much hard work, it’s easier to sue.