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The Hidden Secrets of Online Quizzes

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the i-thought-it-just-cluttered-my-facebook dept.

Privacy 136

LegionKK points out a story on PC World, sending along this excerpt: "Ultimately, deciding whether you should take an online quiz comes down to a question of trust: Are you comfortable putting your information — personal or financial — into the owner's hands? Remember, even if you don't directly input data, it can be passed along. Such is the case with Facebook, where just opening an application automatically grants its developer access to your entire profile. And don't assume that the developer isn't going to use the information within. [...] The ads can follow you long after you click away, too. Just look at RealAge, a detailed quiz that assigns you a 'biological age' based on your family history and health habits. The site, a recent investigation revealed, takes your most sensitive answers — those about sexual difficulties, say, or signs of depression — and sells them to drug companies looking to market medications."

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Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950231)

Real Age tells advertisers "would you like us send an email to someone who has lifestyle X, Y, or Z and who wants to receive emails about it" and then sends the promotional information on behalf of the advertiser.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950353)

How nice of them to offer this service for free, completely without compensation for their efforts.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (3, Informative)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950727)

The point is that Real Age is maintaining control of your information. Advertisers aren't learning anything about you. I'm sure they're getting paid for passing the ads along, though.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951079)

All quizzes on facebook are advertisers harvesting your info to make money with. I don't click the link to any of them.

Have you taken the IQ test?

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (2, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952333)

No, most of the tests are user-generated things created with one of a couple of "quiz generator" applications. The IQ test, AFAIK, is not a Facebook app, though its ads and stylemake it look like one. It's a scam to get people to give them their cell phone numbers.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952365)

How did I lose a space there? *sigh* "Its ads and style make it look like one." Must be too early in the morning.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (5, Funny)

chengiz (998879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27953051)

I just sold the fact that dgatwood has anal retention issues to Ex-lax.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (4, Insightful)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950375)

Personally I don't care if company A sells my information to company B to use in advertising, or if company A just uses my personal information to advertise on behalf of company B. It's still assholes using my information to try to make money. And flood my inbox doing it.

Another good reason not to be on Facebook.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (5, Insightful)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950635)

They are only assholes to idiots. Do we really need someone to tell us that if I type a bunch of personal info into an idiot application. That comes from God knows where. I can be automatically assured that the information will be used for nothing other than producing a number to tell me how old I am acting?

If I truly believe that shouldn't the resulting number be around 4?

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951011)

> If I truly believe that shouldn't the resulting number be around 4?

Based on your sentence structure, I would say that is about right.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (4, Insightful)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951015)

I created a Facebook profile just to see what all the hype was about. I was amazed at how many people sent me quizzes and so forth. It really is a pointless waste of time. Just for fun, I took one just to see...and when it asked for my phone number the mission was aborted.

The people who sent me quizzes are smart people, too. I don't know what it is about finding your IQ, or which Star Wars character you are, or whatever. It obviously gives people some kind of fulfillment that makes it worth surrendering so much personal info. I don't get it.

I guess facebook has to make money somehow, but the quizzes seem more slimy than just using the regular old ads we are all used to.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952161)

I don't know what it is about finding your IQ, or which Star Wars character you are, or whatever. It obviously gives people some kind of fulfillment that makes it worth surrendering so much personal info. I don't get it.

Its because they don't view it as =SUBMITTING= personal info. They view it as a completely local phenomena... like taking a quiz in a magazine. But with the bonus that it tallies up the result for you and clears the form afterward.

They never connect with the fact that the answers are recorded and stored and attached to their online profile... even if you tell them outright. It just doesn't penetrate.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952509)

That's not quite right. The answers to FB quizzes aren't stored as part of your profile. AFAICT, FB developers don't have access to any storage as part of the FB platform. That's one of the things I dislike about the concept of writing FB apps: it's BYOS (bring your own storage).

Thus, if the results are stored at all, they are stored by the application developer. It may be tied to your profile ID, but it is not part of your profile. Only the text that it spits out at the end is stored as part of your profile, and only if you tell it to add that result to your wall or whatever.

I realize I'm being pedantic here and that it makes little difference in practice, but....

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952665)

I realize I'm being pedantic here and that it makes little difference in practice, but....

And after all that, you misunderstood what I meant.

I was really referring to online quizzes in general, not just fb. And by 'your profile' I simply meant 'their profile on you'. I suppose I could have been clearer... but as you said "it makes little difference".

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (1, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952411)

The IQ test is not a Facebook app, and people aren't really sending it to you. That's just an ad styled to look like it is coming from Facebook. Real Facebook apps have access to your phone number from your profile and wouldn't need to ask.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952539)

I don't think most people realize just how much information they're giving away. If you sat there and asked them explicitly, some of them might say no. At least, I'd like to think some of them would...

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (4, Insightful)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951207)

Another good reason not to be on Facebook.

You are aware that these things aren't mandatory parts of Facebook, right? It's not all that difficult to just ignore them.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (1)

Garbad Ropedink (1542973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951627)

Hard to ignore them when everybody know know does them. Since Facebook changed their layout to show what everybody on your list is doing, it's just a list of all the stupid quizzes everybody took. It's not so much social networking as it is half-wits forking over all their personal information to marketing companies.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951801)

The quiz thing is infuriating. Every time I disable one set a new set pops up and 90% of my update stream is retards taking quizzes again. Sadly, this says a lot about my friends.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (3, Informative)

shogun (657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952789)

You might want to give the greasmonkey script Facebook Purity [userscripts.org] a go, it hides all those useless quizes.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (1)

loutr (626763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951433)

Another good reason not to be on Facebook.

Everytime you try to install an application on your profile, a confirmation dialog informs you that by doing so, the application will have access to your profile information, and asks that you confirm installation.

If people are dumb enough to knowningly give away their personal info to know what brand of cereals represents their personality best, then good for them. As for me, I'll keep on using facebook to stay up-to-date on what happens in my hometown on the other side of the planet, and keep on rejecting any invitation to stupid "applications" from my (dumb) friends.

Re: Knowingly (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952489)

(Careful Mods, this is hyperbole, not sarcasm!)
Driver problems aside, Vista is Great for one brand of security. Every time you want to do something, it asks "Cancel or Allow". It's a High School Principal's dream. Or a Bank Vault Manager.

"Person X Requests to remove a document. Cancel or Allow?"

Thing is, people like to believe they left their parents' control, so MAYBE they don't have to be given permission to do everything anymore. That's when the fatigue sets in, and then people get lazy and click "allow allow allow".

Re: Knowingly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27952995)

I'm pretty sure if you created a program that popped up a window saying "Windows wants to delete all your files" [Cancel] [Allow] that some people will click it anyway.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27953073)

Personally I don't care if company A sells my information to company B to use in advertising, or if company A just uses my personal information to advertise on behalf of company B. It's still assholes using my information to try to make money. And flood my inbox doing it.

Seriously? Given a choice between a single source flooding my inbox with a hundred messages and a hundred sources flooding my inbox with a single message each, I'd vastly prefer the former. The difficulty in dealing with a source of mail is independent of mail volume, so it's a hundred times easier to filter their garbage if it all comes from a single source.

Of course ideally, we'd all prefer that there was no flood of messages in the first place. But sometimes shit happens. If the choice is between the two alternatives, having everything routed through company A is vastly preferable for its ease of cleanup.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (4, Insightful)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950941)

Since I use unique e-mails for most everything I do on the 'net, I know when this happens. I've used realage a couple of times and have not received any ads or e-mails to the realage e-mail address.

The method works as I started getting lots of porn advertising to one of my unique addresses. I sent them an e-mail asking them where they got the address and asking them to stop. They didn't so I filter the address.

Same with the occasional forum spam. If I forget to hide my e-mail address (done it once), I start getting spam to that address. I filter the address, changed the e-mail and flipped on "hide e-mail". No further spams from that address.

[John]

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951371)

That just seems like a lot of work versus setting up a spam filter.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952009)

You're right, JackieBrown, and for the most part, I'm lazy enough to rely on the spam filters.

But, Bigbutt is a bit smarter than either of us. Using unique email addies enables him to IDENTIFY where the trash is coming from, and to do something about it. Contacting a forum admin, or confronting MySpace or Facebook, or whatever.

You and me? Because we're lazy, we don't really KNOW where we slipped up, or who is using our personal info, so there's not much we can do - aside from using spam filters. We certainly can't go back and delete accounts and/or personal info in places that we kinda THOUGHT was confidential.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27952061)

I do this too (I whitelist and sort the good ones) so that if one git gives away my eddress it doesn't taint the entire inbox. My RealAge email is getting only a once a month newsletter (which I elected) and no ads.

Re:Real Age doesn't "sell" your details. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27952595)

Another company doing this is Marketing Technology Solutions. They have a website at www.qualityhealth.com, their whole goal is to get people to accept as many 'free' samples from the pharma industry as possible, by any means necessary, including misleading and confusing them.

Facebook (3, Funny)

hachete (473378) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950237)

Are these connected to the Facebook quizzes? a lot of these are infuriatingly ill-spelt.

Re:Facebook (5, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950287)

That is on purpose to filter out those who will be deterred by advertisements with creative spellings (i.e. v1@gr@). The advertising companies are very concerned about not sending unwanted messages to anyone.

Re:Facebook (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950361)

The advertising companies are very concerned about not sending unwanted messages to anyone.

You owe me a new keyboard.

Re:Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951393)

So are a lot of the details in many of the Facebook quizzes.

After taking enough of these quizes. . . (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950239)

After taking enough of these quizes. . .

. . .the spammers better know enough that I don't need their male enhancement .

Re:After taking enough of these quizes. . . (5, Funny)

bwalling (195998) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950403)

After taking enough of these quizes. . .

. . .the spammers better know enough that I don't need their male enhancement .

You're overcompensating to the point that it's obvious you have a problem.

Re:After taking enough of these quizes. . . (3, Funny)

stillnotelf (1476907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950519)

You don't need male enhancement? Did the quizzes show you were female?

Re:After taking enough of these quizes. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27952307)

If you don't pass out due to lack of blood when excited, you still have room for improvement.
 
Ideally your member should have additional functionality as a riding crop. Concerned? Look into the product 'Numb-it.'

Stupid article (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950255)

It's not hard. If you give information, ANY INFORMATION, to anyone for anything you have to check *what* they are going to do with it. This means reading their T&C's, following up all that brings up etc. Or, you can just NOT give out personal information that you don't want spread around.

In the one instance, this means that when you sign up for a website with username, email or password requested, you should *always* check what's going to happen to that information (e.g. using your email for marketing). On the other hand, when you are logged into Facebook and scary warnings pop up about sharing your information... you should think twice before you agree and/or make sure that you NEVER use that account to post anything personal that you wouldn't want shared.

This has never been any different. I've filled in paper surveys which distribute the same personal information to God-knows-who-but-probably-only-the-people-listed-in-the-T&C's.

If you're that worried, don't fill in sexual quizzes on Facebook, or do it under a different identity. To be more honest, given the current state of that site, I'd be more worried that after filling in that kind of quiz, it would blast the results or even my answers to my listed friends and family even if it's just by posting them to my own page. That's a million times worse than having a drug company see a "TRUE" pop up in their advertising database against my Facebook ID. I can ignore the ads...

Re:Stupid article (3, Interesting)

RR (64484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951773)

It's not hard. If you give information, ANY INFORMATION, to anyone for anything you have to check *what* they are going to do with it. This means reading their T&C's, following up all that brings up etc. Or, you can just NOT give out personal information that you don't want spread around.

The problem with this approach is that Facebook just grants access to ALL INFORMATION when you accept an app. Whether the program is one of these silly quizzes or actually does something useful, you have to grant them the same level of access.

Doing the quiz using a fake profile is no good, either. For most of my circle of acquaintances, the quizzes and games are played for the social aspect. Otherwise, do you think you have a personal need to know your alchemical element or Disney princess or whatever? If you’re not careful, your fake profile could become as important as your real profile.

The articles are really obvious, but they’re important for being an authoritative source that I could point to, so I could explain my position to my friends.

CowboyNeal (4, Funny)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950273)

For some reason, online quizzes always seem to ask me about my predilections for some Cowboy guy...

Re:CowboyNeal (1)

rodney dill (631059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950563)

Yippi Ki Yay...

Re:CowboyNeal (2, Funny)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950595)

Yeah, and now I'm getting Cowboy spam. Like wanting me to buy cheap land out west where you can raise your own Viagra.

Re:CowboyNeal (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951105)

... my predilections for some Cowboy guy...

A lot of folk here think that's a /. reference.

That may not be the case. [imdb.com]

A hidden surprise for every player (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950285)

A nice picture of goatse [goatse.fr] , when you least expect it.

I am terrified (5, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950301)

that it will be known that if I were an X-Man, I would be Storm.

Re:I am terrified (0, Troll)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950665)

I would be the Juggernaut, bitch!

I never understood.. (4, Interesting)

DavidChristopher (633902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950313)

... the need for people to take these quizzes - especially on Facebook - What's your favorite cheese? Which celebrity are you? Does he like you? How Sexy Is Your Name? What Does Your Eye Colour Mean?Some of them are rather clever (RealAge) and yet also evil (RealAge). Okay, maybe not 'kill puppies' evil, but all of these are datamining personal information from the poor suckers that need a webpage to tell them if they're happy or that brown eyes means that they're mysterious. I've been warning folks about this kind of thing for years, to no avail. - Not all apps are trojan horses, but why be a market research tool?

It would be interesting to see an audit of companies like zynga ( http://www.zynga.com/ [zynga.com] - zynga is a purveyor of web based games like Vampires, Texas Holdem, Scramble or YoVille on social networking sites such as facebook and myspace) - I'm certain that part of their revenue comes from "market research support". This is the new spam, and it's tricking the gullible into being it's corporate marketing test group.

Re:I never understood.. (4, Funny)

robably (1044462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950415)

Yeah, I swear if there was a quiz called "Are you the type of person who takes quizzes? Find out!!!", six people in my office would take it.

And be genuinely surprised by the answer.

Re:I never understood.. (1, Insightful)

sowth (748135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950735)

They are "get to know you" games. They give people an excuse for social interaction--so you don't get those long blank moments where nobody knows what to say. You can only talk about the weather for so long. They also help you learn the details of your friends, so you can improve your interactions with them. Then again, since this is slashdot, I suppose I shouldn't expect anyone to understand basic social interaction.

It sounds like the social networking sites don't know or don't care about security and privacy. Big shock. If any of them are programmers, they are probably VB programmers. The whole MS / MCSE culture doesn't care about security, and they are often hostile towards it.

Re:I never understood.. (4, Funny)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951757)

MC / MCSE is about more than just VB. There's C++ too. Where friends have access to your privates.

Re:I never understood.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27953177)

That's not always a bad thing. Depends on the friends...

Re:I never understood.. (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27953217)

I do a lot of surveys from legitimate market-research outfits (greenfieldonline, zoompanel, surveyspot, etc.) Just for S&G I tried the realage survey. It was pretty clear from how it's structured that it's compiling marketing demographics, probably for the prescription-drug and insurance industries. You might not notice this if you haven't taken a lot of market research surveys.

They won't get much use from my email addy, tho... I used a throwaway courtesy of spam.la :)

[Block this Application] (4, Interesting)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950363)

If you use Facebook, then this option should be your best friend. Use it with impunity. I use this for every Application invitation I receive, and the amount has dropped dramatically as I cull the available option.

Because, no, I don't want to join your vampire army, zombie army, mob, poker game, I don't care if you are interested in me or now, and I really don't care what kind of sandwich, beer, flower, country, actor, power tool, car, coffee, breakfast cereal, of language I am. And, no, I don't want every lame-ass developer to have access to any and all information I put up on Facebook.

I just wish you could block people's newsfeed posts on a per application basis, rather than only per user.

Re:[Block this Application] (5, Informative)

MikeDX (560598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950435)

You can block the application, just click "HIDE" then the drop down shows "hide (user)" and "hide (application". The second form the list is what you want. I use it all the time!

Doh! Thanks. (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951063)

Thanks for that. They must have just implemented that very recently, because for awhile it wasn't there. Thanks for pointing it out. Still usefull since one quiz will seem to make the rounds with a lot of my friends.

Someone mod parent +1 Informative. :)

Re:[Block this Application] (3, Insightful)

fluffernutter (1411889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950603)

Er, why not just stop using Facebook, as I have? Facebook is a total mess. You've pretty much denounced all that Facebook has come to be about.

So many other functions... (4, Insightful)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950947)

Er, why not just stop using Facebook, as I have? Facebook is a total mess. You've pretty much denounced all that Facebook has come to be about.

Because I use Facebook for many other things: keeping up to date on friends and family around the world, keeping up to date on local events like concerts, good DJs, parties, other gatherings, etc., knowing automatically when and where my favorite bands will be touring, seeing photos of friends and family, keeping in touch with my former students, and generally wasting time in other ways. All in one convenient place, rather than spread out across email addresses, mailing lists, multiple websites, etc.

There is a lot more to FaceBook than all of the annoying applications, and I don't not use any applications. There are a few that I use and like, however, a.) I wasn't invited to them, I found them when looking for a certain functionality, and therefore felt that their use outweighed any issues with accessing my info, and b.) I didn't invite any of my friends to them, because I know how annoying that is.

Some of us actually do find FaceBook to be useful.

Re:So many other functions... (2, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 5 years ago | (#27953191)

Well said .... ...and the old bugbear of "Facebook will steal your personal info" is solved in a similar manner - if you don't tell facebook it cannot tell anyone else

Why put your phone number on Facebook - everyone who needs it has it already, or can ask me for it, *all* my friends and family do not need to know it and neither does Facebook ....

My Facebook profile has just enough for people to tell it's me, and no more.

Re:[Block this Application] (2, Insightful)

Jane_Dozey (759010) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951779)

Some of us have friends who are not quite so technologically savvy and these friends use facebook as their main mode of communication. They organise events, send messages and use it to circulate news. I tried getting along without it but it's just not practical when everyone else you know uses it for so many things.

Re:[Block this Application] (2, Interesting)

Alan Shutko (5101) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950641)

For a while now, you can block applications on your news feed, by going to the hide menu next to the post and selecting "Hide [This Stupid App]." You can't hide it from the iPhone App, or from the list on _their_ profile page, but it's better than nothing.

Unfortunately, almost every quiz shows up as a new app.

Re:[Block this Application] (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950817)

I think you want to check out Facebook Purity:
http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/44459 [userscripts.org]

It's a greasemonkey script that makes Facebook almost bearable to use.

Facebook's been great for finding old friends, but I got so tired of all the insipid quizes and requests.

Re:[Block this Application] (2, Funny)

mx119 (1374607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951029)

I really don't care what kind of sandwich, beer, flower, country, actor, power tool, car, coffee, breakfast cereal, of language I am.

I was following this rule, then it asked what kind of Jedi I was. I could not resist, so I assume one of the application sith's was using a mind trick on me.

Re:[Block this Application] (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952847)

Ha, I tried that. Unfortunately for me, I have a ton of international friends, so I'm getting constantly bombarded with quizzes in Italian, Tagalog, and Hindi, in addition to all the English ones. I could block the people who take quizzes all the time, but just the other day one of them had a very interesting tidbit about a local foreigner who was quarantined for exposure to H1N1.

No kidding (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950427)

I joined Facebook last month and was surprised to see how much control was given to the 'apps' by default.

One of the first notices I got was something like "Your friends X and Y have taken this IQ Test - can you beat their score?" Wanting to be a good sport I started the quiz - only to notice plenty of fine print granting the program access to my personal information/friends list, etc.

Needless to say, there was no longer any need to take the quiz, as the intelligence of my friends is now suspect.

Re:No kidding (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950559)

"Your friends X and Y have taken this IQ Test - can you beat their score?"

Actually, it's not necessarily the case that friends X and Y have taken the quiz.

Either that, or one of my friends really did try to send me a James Blunt song. The bastard !

Re:No kidding (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950981)

Actually, it's not necessarily the case that friends X and Y have taken the quiz

When I first joined FB, it claimed that 2 of my friends had taken that quiz. Problem is, at the time I didn't yet HAVE any FB friends!

Re:No kidding (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951827)

Advertisers lie? Oh no! Stop the press!! :)

Re:No kidding (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952829)

I also see ads for the IQ quiz that say "X of your friends think you're an idiot", but that one seems pretty believable to me.

I think I took the IQ quiz once, worked all the way through and bailed when it wanted a phone number. Most of the quizzes, despite all hyperbole to the contrary, are IMO completely benign. I am willing to share my personal interests and beliefs... that's why I'm on FB: to communicate these kinds of things with people. I don't mind targeted ads because if any ads are targeted properly for me, then that means I won't see all those stupid ads with pictures of pretty girls saying "Who is searching for you?" or whatever the current incarnation of "Punch the monkey" is nowadays. I saw an ad on FB the other day for an architectural firm that specializes in remodeling houses. They had dozens of cool photos on their site showing off their work. I have no interest in remodeling my house, mostly because I'm broke, but I enjoyed looking at the photos and fantasizing for a moment about the cool things I could do. Other times I see ads for Star Trek T-shirts or some other nerdy thing that appeals to me. I'm perfectly happy seeing those. Of course, there are still the stupid annoying or clearly scammy ads, but at least they're not animated (or if there are any, my Firefox extensions hide those from me).

Of course, I might be singing a different tune when brownshirts start rounding me up because I'm a heterosexual, conservative Christian, who supports the military, and capitalism, or as Janet Napolitano would say, a "ticking time-bomb". But frankly, if some marketing company knows I like science fiction, progressive music and "The Simpsons", I just can't get all hot and lathered over that. Maybe somewhere a light will click on over someone's head and they'll start making "Vanilly Crunch" again.

That's false advertising--made up data (4, Informative)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951595)

Your friends have not taken the IQ quiz. What they have done is just taken your friends list and made up scores for them.

I know this because I saw the ad on my wife's page and it said I got a score on a test I had never taken.

Re:No kidding (3, Insightful)

Fractal Dice (696349) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951819)

I joined Facebook last month and was surprised to see how much control was given to the 'apps' by default.

The question you need to ask when signing up for a site is "what's their business model?" Facebook obviously isn't getting its money from its users, so that means the users have to be the product being sold.

I'm still waiting for the... (4, Funny)

rodney dill (631059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950505)

Which Feminine Hygiene Product Are You? quiz....

Re:I'm still waiting for the... (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950593)

I was so very close to providing what I first thought was a witty reply. Then two seconds later, I realized it was your unspoken punchline. Bravo.

Re:I'm still waiting for the... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950893)

Douchebag...

Re:I'm still waiting for the... (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951623)

Douchebag's are the life of the party! You really like to explore new places and confront new people. You are very concerned with cleanliness, and willing to do the dirty work necessary for a healthy work and living environment.

Re:I'm still waiting for the... (5, Funny)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950875)

Which Feminine Hygiene Product Are You? quiz....

I was working on a site called "Is Your Credit Card Number Hot or Not" but this news might taint my target market to think that I'm using the site for the wrong reasons. Oh well, good thing I didn't spend too much time on the companion sites "Your SSN Can Predict Your Future" and "How Your Mother's Maiden Name Affects Impotence"

Re:I'm still waiting for the... (5, Funny)

rodney dill (631059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951101)

--or--

What your passwords say about you...

Of course.... (4, Funny)

rodney dill (631059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950533)

The google ad at the top is RealAge Quiz when I looked at the article.

Re:Of course.... (2, Funny)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952643)

I noticed that too. Oh the irony of Google ads.

The old bait and switch (4, Informative)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950597)

Many online quizzes trick people by not requiring any personal information at the start. Only after a person has spent half an hour considering their responses does the site require an email address or even payment to see the results. Since a person is reluctant to throw away the time they've invested, they are more likely to give in, although they never would have agreed to the terms at the start.

I had this happen to me last year, when trying to take a Myers-Briggs style personality test to see if my scores had changed in the last decade. They gave me only the most basic results, and expected payment for the full results. Now I will never take an online quiz again unless they guarantee to give full results without requiring payment, personal details, "completing one of these offers", etc.

This is why God invented... (1)

Dr La (1342733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950721)

This is why God invented the disposable e-mail address. Gishpuppy is your best friend (alas not with Facebook - they have banned the use of Gishpuppy addresses).

Re:This is why God invented... (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951027)

Also Slopsbox [slopsbox.com] .

Re:This is why God invented... (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951603)

Also mailinator [mailinator.com] .

Re:This is why God invented... (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951045)

Gishpuppy looks useful. I hadn't heard of it. I've always used mailinator.

Unfortunately, the personality test I took wanted actual money from me. It's too bad there isn't a bankinator site!

Re:This is why God invented... (1)

Dr La (1342733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951099)

Well, I am sure there are underground databanks of creditcard numbers... ;-p

Re:This is why God invented... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951131)

10minutemail.com - they periodically change the domain of the email addresses they give out.

Re:This is why God invented... (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951553)

The ones I have seen ask for your cell phone number so they can text it to you.

Link goes to page 2 of the article (4, Informative)

g_adams27 (581237) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950651)

The link in the story goes to page two of the article. Here's Page 1 [pcworld.com] instead.

Finally a reason (2)

itsvishal (1552677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950659)

To sit back and reject all the quiz requests that I've been collecting since signing up. I'd always told my friends that I'd do them later. :) Poor things, waiting so eagerly to find out which English word I represent ("Banana").

Personal versus aggregate (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950763)

In one sense, this is part of the costs of using these sites. For facebook, which is largely used by younger people, articles such as this has some value as younger people are not as sophisticated when dealing with scams such as this and need to be educated. This and the fact that facebook does pose a danger as user put many personal details, and these details can be connected with the real user.

OTOH real age is directed at adults. The only link is an email address, which users can get from yahoo and anonymize if they wish. The question, to me, is then whether real age serves a legitimate entertainment purpose for which users pay through their use by looking at ads and generating data, and if such data is aggregate. It is like people who put movies and pictures on free web sites and then complain that they cannot be deleted.

Most of us have little probem with shopping at stores where we use a card for a discount in exchange for our consent to collect and sell our personal buying habits(inordinate amount of crisco?). It seems to me that facebook goes beyond this, but many other sites do not.

Defense to offenses (1)

UnixUnix (1149659) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951303)

Remarkably, all those miraculous Tibetan tea ads aiming to cleanse my toxins or make my sex drive soar never quite make it out of the throw-away email account I used when responding to Real Age. As for my Facebook account -- whoever guesses the ONE item about me therein contained that is NOT false wins, well... an ampule of essence of a rare African forest flower guaranteed to enliven your ear lobes.

Facebook applications = data mining (4, Insightful)

matt_king (19018) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951357)

There is *no* technical reason why adding a facebook widget requires access to your personal profile. Facebook devs could have easily set it up so this doesn't occur. It is the most shady part about facebook, and I am surprised there isn't more of an uproar about it.

Re:Facebook applications = data mining (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951665)

What do you expect? Look at its user base. Bottom line is there are no internet quizzes, there are only internet surveys. Keep this in mind and you have one less thing to worry about.

What's going on here? (0, Troll)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951565)

This question and the one a couple weeks ago about "I click on 'Remove me from this mailing list' and get even more spam" are the sorts of things I would think we all know about.

Perhaps I should submit an Ask Slashdot about which way I can expect the pointer to move if I move my mouse to the right.

Oh Noes! (2, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952375)

On the FB "Five People I'd Like to Punch in the Face" quiz, I listed GWB, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Rice. If I get waterboarded because of that, my only regret will be that it didn't allow six so I could put in Rove.

Re:Oh Noes! (0, Troll)

mx119 (1374607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952493)

You are fine. Now had you mentioned Pelosi the full force of the Government would descend on you like a pack of wolves. (ie Feherty)

brought to you by, Real Age (3, Funny)

JoelisHere (992325) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952571)

This story brought to you by, Real Age. I find it funny that the Google ad served up for this story was no other than a Real Age ad.

Facebook quizzes (2, Informative)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952713)

Facebook quizzes are indeed highly deceptive and a serious invasion of privacy; the best thing is to kill them with a Greasemonkey script (or not use Facebook at all).

The real deal on RealAge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27952853)

That article on RealAge is incredibly misleading. Technically, they don't sell your information. In other words, Tylenol does NOT, absolutely not! receive anything from RealAge in terms of peoples names, health information, addresses or anything else. What they do sell is the ability to target a specific group of people with campaigns that those people have asked for. They keep all of the information about individuals completely private. So, yes, they *use* the information they have to *target specific groups of people*, but not they don't 'sell your information'.

And even if you did 'opt-in' to receive information, they don't send your information to advertisers. They handle all that in-house. Basically, the advertisers come up with what they want to send to people and then RealAge takes it and sends it out. The only thing that gets sent to the advertiser is demographics such as, "We have 100,000 women over 40 opted in to receive information about diabetes." RealAge is also very careful about how many campaigns are sent to people as they don't want to 'spam' people too much.

Wait a minute... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27952905)

You mean you're expected to give ACCURATE personal information to those quizzes?!? I always put down that I'm a 16-year old blond female with an email address of billg@microsoft.com. I hope Bill enjoys feminine hygiene product spam!
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