Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Facebook ID Probe Shows Things Getting Worse

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-is-a-friend-anyway dept.

Security 174

An anonymous reader writes "According to Sophos, Facebook users are getting sloppier with their personal info, not better. Revisiting a 2007 survey in which a plastic frog got 87 hits out of 200 friend requests, this time a rubber duck and a cat got 87 out of 200 friend requests, plus a bonus 8 friends who decided to trust them anyway. The research also suggests that older Facebook users are sloppier than the young, being keener to build their list of friends. (The older users had more than 4x the friends each, on average, than the young.)"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Possibly because... (4, Interesting)

wirah (707347) | more than 4 years ago | (#30352884)

...the younger members just need more time to make friends!

Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmville, (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353040)

I'm thinking that a lot of people add folks they don't know into their friends' pile for the applications, esp. games. After all, Mafia Wars and the like are rigged to get you more in-game "power" (more defense, offense, etc) with the larger number of friends you add (and then subsequently add into your "Mafia", or "Neighbors", or "Crew").

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (5, Insightful)

spamking (967666) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353072)

That's why I don't use my real contact info for my Mafia Wars account . . . I'm not sure why anyone would.

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (5, Informative)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353408)

I assigned all of my "game friends" into their own group and then used Facebooks group security to limit the personal information that they can see. It took all of five minutes to setup. Someone in that group can see as much information about me as someone who isn't my friend at all, which is to say not much.

Now I'll accept every friend request that comes my way. If I don't recognize the name and the friend doesn't leave a note saying how they know me then I push them into the game friend group. Problem solved.

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (4, Interesting)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353888)

I assigned all of my "game friends" into their own group and then used Facebooks group security to limit the personal information that they can see.

Does that actually work at the moment? A few months ago myself and a friend had a play with those features and no matter what settings he used I kept being able to see everything I could before we started. Admittedly we didn't report the issues nor have we bothered re-testing (so maybe our experience is just a fluke or a temporary issue at the time).

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354060)

Pretty cool idea, personally, I really don't restrict what information I show, but to be honest, always click ignore application on the friend requests for apps... I only see a small number of them anymore.

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (3, Informative)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354098)

Keep in mind that the game itself still has access to all of your information. The Facebook terms of service prohibits the game from using or storing that information for anything not game-related, but there's nothing other than the honor system and Facebook's vague threats to occasionally enforce the rules that prevents it from doing so. The API itself will happily grant access to everything, whether the game needs it or not.

Your best bet, if you must play FB games, is to maintain an entirely separate profile just for that purpose, and put nothing personally identifiable on it.

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354334)

I personally think the information available to a game should be more restricted and better policed.

Lately I have noticed applications asking for information they didn’t feasibly need, plus asking for the ability to post stories on my wall without prompting me each time. If you don’t give them the permissions they ask for, they ask again until you give permission (or uninstall the app).

I don’t install many applications, but it pisses me off when applications pull this sort of crap. I don’t appreciate having to go to my profile and delete all the updates this app made just because I wanted to do the quiz.

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (4, Funny)

Sillygates (967271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354152)

I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmville

Thanks for reminding me. I need to harvest my crops!

KH, DW, SI and TW. Cause real games have TLIs (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354434)

Isn't that what everyone dose? I need lots of freinds to "help" me play whichever game I am into at the moment. Other people do too. I just assume that when someone I don't know and have no connection to, adds me, it's because they need help with some game or other.

If that person drops me a polite note with the application invite, I usually help out.

I also became friends (The kind you break bread with if you are ever in the same town) with several people I met throgh FB games.

I also add every local political leader I see on FB and occasionally a celebrity who has a personal account (as opposed to the PR firm managed "fan page"). Just for the hell of it.

In all this, I have no problem with obvious fakes like "Syler Petrely" or one of the 500+ "Bob Marley"s. I post info to my account that I would feel comfortable putting in a newspaper. I conduct no financial transactions throgh FB or the email address I use for FB (Facebook is that account's only purpose)

So even a complete takeover of my FB account would be just annoying. Not painful. I wonder though. How defective is FB if simply being on your friend list allows someone to do anything to you or your account? Tag you in a dirty picture perhaps?

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30355258)

That's a trust by default rule. You're relying on Facebook to get the security right, or just to be sure that you keep up with any changes they make to their security model. If I don't know somebody, then they don't get to be on my friend list. And if an app needs access to my personal information, then I block it too. This Mafia thing looks like fun, but the expense is too high.

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (1)

JWeinraub (773433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354282)

That's why I use the Privacy settings. The people I add for those stupid Facebook games I put in a special group that sees none of my personal information. Just access to the game and no more. The games own websites provide instructions on doing so usually as a sticky on the very forums where people swap Facebook handles!

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353646)

This is it exactly. I haven't been willing to add strangers yet, but the majority of people on Mafia Wars have the required 500 friends, I mean seriously, 500, nobody actually knows that many people.

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (1)

qwertphobia (825473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353702)

I do now! :-)

Re:Nah - I think you can blame Mafia Wars, Farmvil (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353822)

If I added everyone I ever met, including summer camp, I probably would.

Re:Possibly because... (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353122)

Yes and clearly Facebook isn't about "who do you know now", its about "who have you known through your whole life who can come back to haunt you".

Re:Possibly because... (1)

chacha08 (1695084) | more than 4 years ago | (#30355060)

Can't agree more. Time could change everything. There is no rush.

Self correcting problem (1, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30352890)

Good. Let Facebook go the way of the dodo. It's the equivalent of those "personal home pages" people put up when they first discovered the Web.

Re:Self correcting problem (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30352978)

TROLL... you people suck, just like facebook

Re:Self correcting problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353114)

FLAMEBAIT... you people suck, just like facebook

Re:Self correcting problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353014)

Good. Let Facebook go the way of the dodo. It's the equivalent of those "personal home pages" people put up when they first discovered the Web.

Really? Pretty sure I never slept with anyone after flirting with them on my personal home page. Oh wait... I did. But guestbooks weren't quite as intuitive as Facebook.

Re:Self correcting problem (1)

jocabergs (1688456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353482)

hmmm, yes, I'm sure you slept with someone after putting up your personal homepage.. I can just imagine the guestbook post now....
(from Tripod)

Jan 7th 1997 11:56pm
"ZOMG you are teh <BLINK>1337est </BLINK>, lets hookup!!!"
by Anonymous Cowardette

Re:Self correcting problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353576)

Haha.

You may as well admit you're a virgin, we've all already guessed.

Re:Self correcting problem (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353334)

Good. Let Facebook go the way of the dodo. It's the equivalent of those "personal home pages" people put up when they first discovered the Web.

I wouldn't say it's equivalent but they do share a little bit of similarity. Facebook, unlike personal home pages, is far more intuitive now than "p.h.p."'s where back in the day. Perhaps it's wider exposure to all things web, or perhaps it's better web technologies and tech. adoption (CSS + JS frameworks + "AJAX").

And the biggest difference, I'd say as both a web developer, a Facebook member, and someone who doesn't really like Facebook, I certainly do appreciate it for the easy as which I found I was able to reconnect with old high school friends (and perhaps ones I really wasn't interested in connecting too).

Then again, I put very little info out there. Of course, that doesn't stop my friends from putting stuff out there and tagged to my account. But I am looking it over to try and manage it.

Re:Self correcting problem (1)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353838)

Except you couldn't reconnect with old friends whom you haven't seen for years using personal home pages. And you couldn't share events with your friends and have it automatically send them an email message using personal home pages. And you couldn't have a quick chat with an old friend in another state using personal home pages.

Get off my lawn.

Re:Self correcting problem (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353924)

Except you couldn't reconnect with old friends whom you haven't seen for years using personal home pages.

Really? Let me introduce you to http://www.google.com/ [google.com] and as far as chatting goes, when you email your old pal you say "Hey, are you on AOL instant messenger or MSN Live Messenger or ICQ or Yahoo Messenger or . . . my screen name is foo. Please IM Me I would love to chat. Or better yet, let's be actual humans and talk. my number is 555-555-5555. Call me!"

Of course, if the site was built in frontpage, all bets are off since frontpage is the anti-SEO program.

Re:Self correcting problem (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354134)

When you are in a band and want to let everyone who is a fan of yours what is going on, sometimes "talking like an actual humans" is a little unrealistic. So is trying to personally email or IM everyone - some who you actually don't really know, but still want to come out to your shows. Facebook is very convenient for that.

Re:Self correcting problem (2, Insightful)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354264)

You're being ridiculous. In no way does Google provide the same ability to reconnect to old friends. Before social networking, most people did not have an internet presence. The vast majority of my friends who are on facebook have no other internet presence, and a google search would reveal only their facebook profile.

And if you're hosting an event, you don't want to have to enter 50 numbers in a text message in order to invite people whose participation is only marginally necessary. It's also nice being able to keep track of people with whom you've been acquainted in the past, but aren't close enough to for a phone call to be warranted.

For example, you may not be close enough to Mike to call or text, but with Facebook might cause you to say, "Oh, Mike is getting married. Maybe I should shoot him a note." Or, "Jim is moving. Maybe I'll drop by that going away party our common friend posted." It may not be the ideal tool for communicating with your closest friends and family, but it's great for keeping in touch with your fringe friends and acquaintances.

I will say, though, that if you don't have any real friends, and all of your are internet friends, facebook may not be as useful.

Try finding "John Smith" on google (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354360)

Seriously, have you actaully ever used facebook? Probably half the people I've reconnected with are people I would never have found through online search. Google search won't reveal networks of mutual friends, but it's how a lot of facebook friends find each other.

Re:Self correcting problem (1)

JStegmaier (1051176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354926)

Or better yet, let's be actual humans and talk. my number is 555-555-5555. Call me!"

Am I the only one who finds statements like this funny? Holding up "talking on the telephone" as being "actual human", but writing off instant messengers as if it's in some way inferior?

Don't get me wrong, different forms of communications have their place, but the idea that hearing someone's voice is inherently superior to reading what someone writes makes me imagine luddites in the time when telephones were just becoming wide-spread saying something like "Let's be actual humans and talk face-to-face. Directions to my house are..." and yet people like the parent now hold up the telephone as if it's an "actual" way to communicate.

Maybe for some people a technology isn't "real" or "valid" unless they grew up with it.

Olders users know more people? (4, Funny)

TheSeventh (824276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30352904)

The older users had more than 4x the friends each, on average, than the young.

It's like older users know more people than younger users, and that's just not possible. Kids know everything, just ask them.

Re:Olders users know more people? (4, Funny)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353102)

"When I was 18, I thought my father was the dumbest man on earth. By the time I turned 23, I was amazed what the old man had learned in five years." - Unknown

Re:Olders users know more people? (1)

tkinnun0 (756022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353594)

Hahah, so the young one was fast becoming as stupid as his old man!

Re:Olders users know more people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353728)

mark twain, you dumb ass

Re:Olders users know more people? (5, Informative)

shadwstalkr (111149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353776)

Actually it's "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." -- Mark Twain

Re:Olders users know more people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30354966)

Actually it's "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." -- Mark Twain

Ha, I heard this quote on an old episode of Family Ties last night! That crazy Alex P. Keaton....

Re:Olders users know more people? (4, Interesting)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353542)

Well, this is based on a completely unscientific poll of my brain cells, but it seems older users would be more likely to, at least initially, treat sites like Facebook as something new to just try out, a fun toy more than a serious part of their lives, and thus less likely to care that much about how they expose themselves on such a site.

Re:Olders users know more people? (4, Funny)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354014)

Well, this is based on a completely unscientific poll of my brain cells, but it seems older users would be more likely to, at least initially, treat sites like Facebook as something new to just try out, a fun toy more than a serious part of their lives, and thus less likely to care that much about how they expose themselves on such a site.

Old people exposing themselves on facebook seems like a far larger problem than than this article speaks of.

Re:Olders users know more people? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30354998)

Well, that certainly adds a new wrinkle to the problem...

Manage a Mosaics Craft Forum (2, Interesting)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30352992)

I use Facebook to let members of the forum [mosaicands...dglass.org] know if there's a server problem. Most of my 50 or so friends are from the forum with my Facebook Forum page at something over 100 fans. I set up a filter so I can filter out the forum members and get updates from friends and the sites I'm a fan of.

[John]

Re:Manage a Mosaics Craft Forum (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354834)

How can this get modded Offtopic? This is exactly on the topic.

Useless results (1, Troll)

kdcttg (980465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30352994)

This proves nothing of any use, since the first probe was done in the UK, and the more recent one in Australia.

Re:Useless results (2, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353052)

This proves nothing of any use, since the first probe was done in the UK, and the more recent one in Australia.

Sure it does. It shows a disturbing trend among the people of the Commonwealth.

Uhh... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353028)

From TFS: "The older users had more than 4x the friends each, on average, than the young."

They've also had a lifetime of real life social networking (not the online kind) to boost the level of friends and acquaintances they would like to keep in contact with.

Young people are very cliquey with their behaviour in regards to friends. When I was in school, I could've counted my true friends on my fingers. When I went out into the world and bounced jobs for a couple years, I met many more interesting people that I remained friends with after the jobs had come and gone.

Also, do we really need another article to tell us that the older people in society are less hip to the social network scams?

Re:Uhh... (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353106)

That's not necesarily true. Besides, that study might be right over there, but here in southamerica is directly the opposite. I don't think nowadays kids are as cliquey, not to mention that those cliques are notably bigger in an environment where you can look for those people from a damn list and pick the people you think are part of your clique. Older people are just generally less careful about accepting friend requests. That point really makes that article pretty pointless.

Re:Uhh... (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353218)

You saved me the bother of stating the same thing. All of my friends on Facebook are people I actually know; some I see regularly, others less so. I suspect I still haven't added everyone I used to know and would want to keep up with; I only joined recently.

Unfair Tests (4, Funny)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353042)

Who doesn't want to be friends with a rubber ducky. Anyone raised on that nefarious propaganda brain-washing show, 'Sesame Street' knows to sing "Rubber ducky! You're the one! You make bathtime so much fun! Rubber ducky, you're the only one for me!" I mean who wouldn't want to be friends with a rubber ducky? It's much more meaningful a relationship than anyone you knew from High School.

Re:Unfair Tests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353484)

This is why there should be 2 sets of "friends".
One being Personal friends you know in real life, the other being people you only know as Online "friends".
Default selection being Online group when added, default for data being Personal.

Just ask people to select who are their friends in real life, everyone else gets punted in to the Online group, bham, solved in a day or two.

I'm friends with a Turkey, but it's restricted (2, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353560)

TFA is full of shit- their rubber ducky was probably friended, but put on a restrictive friend list.

I'm friends with a famous turkey (long story), but said turkey is on a restricted friend list that can see barely more than my public info. I guarantee you every kid has a restricted list of one sort or another.

Also, did they bother to track how many people friended it just enough to check it out, and then unfriended it?

Re:Unfair Tests (1)

Hidyman (225308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353672)

Is this the duck [youtube.com] in question?

Re:Unfair Tests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353820)

Well, the rubber ducky HAS probably seen you naked more than anyone in high school.

I always wondered why it kept floating upside down....

Re:Unfair Tests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353850)

Pics or it didn't happen.

Re:Unfair Tests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30355196)

Re:Unfair Tests (4, Funny)

electricbern (1222632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354894)

It is also unlikely the rubber ducky will steal your personal data or use your private information with any evil intentions. The cat on the other hand, likely.

Are they being friended to REAL accounts? (5, Interesting)

djrosen (265939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353062)

I personally have 2 accounts. I use one strictly for games where I will accept any and all takers. I post to lists to increase my numbers and can see from 20 to hundreds of requests per day. That account has no real data.

My other REAL account only has REAL friends and Family. I scrutinize every request and all personal settings are very tight as to only allow friends to see the data. I'd consider myself an 'older' user @ +40. From what I have seen, this is not uncommon.

Re:Are they being friended to REAL accounts? (2, Insightful)

Cyner (267154) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353764)

I don't have time to waste keeping one account up to date. I can't image keeping track of two. When do you find time to code, hack, and generally do geeky stuff?

Re:Are they being friended to REAL accounts? (1)

djrosen (265939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353998)

Its not like I spend my life on there! I check the REAL one once or twice a day and my gaming addiction has rapidly faded. You can only get joy out of clicking buttons for so long. Its a decent time killer when waiting for {something} to happen/finish/etc.

Re:Are they being friended to REAL accounts? (1)

LatencyKills (1213908) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353882)

I'll go you one better - I have a single facebook account with no real information in it at all. I made this account because people were constantly sending me facebook links, and you can't look at them without having an account. More perplexing still is that account, essentially completely inactive from a facebook perspective without posts, pictures, or any meaningful personal data (it lists, for example, the age as 109 because at one time the default birthday was 1/1/1900 and I didn't change it), still gets friend requests, lots and lots of them. Who are these people? Or are they programs that simply send out friend requests in bulk like spam?

Re:Are they being friended to REAL accounts? (1)

djrosen (265939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354018)

The are gamers trying to build their mafia/clan/sorority etc. Some of those people are WAY to serious about button clicking games (I know because my Wife is one of them)

Re:Are they being friended to REAL accounts? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354430)

Your fake profile apparently gets more friend requests than my real one. I got a friend request a couple of days ago, and I really don’t remember the last time I got one before that.

Or are you confusing the group/fan/application requests with friend requests? They aren’t the same.

Re:Are they being friended to REAL accounts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30355264)

He probably named the account AAAAAAAAA or something, hence it's the very first one every bot hits.

Re:Are they being friended to REAL accounts? (1)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354664)

I've been on Facebook for 9 months now, and haven't gotten a single spam friend request. The only request I've gotten from someone I didn't know was from someone whose blog post I had responded to, and he assumed I was someone he knew since only his friends and family knew about his blog (I found it through a google search). I can only assume that you are using some game or other application that is sharing your info or something.

Here is a crazy idea (4, Insightful)

nizo (81281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353064)

How about not putting stuff up on social media sites that you wouldn't want posted on a bulletin board at the local laundromat? Why on earth would I post my DOB, address, phone number there for example??

Re:Here is a crazy idea (1)

Daley_G (1592515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353174)

You're absolutely correct in your thinking, but that's what keeps people like us employed. If society were concerned with their personal information, half the security companies in the world wouldn't exist. Take a look at the internet spam reports: http://www.barracudanetworks.com/ns/?L=en [barracudanetworks.com] If people didn't OPEN that stuff, spammers/phishers wouldn't propagate it. People are ignorant, therefore I am employed.

Re:Here is a crazy idea (2, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353184)

In principle, the information is only visible to a pre-defined list of other users, your "friends". The point of the article is that that list is often composed with only its social function in mind, with a disregard for its security function.

Re:Here is a crazy idea (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353390)

Does the article discuss how much info each user leaked? I wouldn't be real surprised if the older users posted less info and were thus less concerned with privacy (It also wouldn't be shocking if they were simply less aware of it).

Re:Here is a crazy idea (1)

snaz555 (903274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353966)

Does the article discuss how much info each user leaked? I wouldn't be real surprised if the older users posted less info and were thus less concerned with privacy (It also wouldn't be shocking if they were simply less aware of it).

I guess at 45 I qualify as "older" in this context. I don't post personal details, or say things I don't want my business contacts to be aware of. FB serves the same purpose to me as a cocktail party - it's just a simple social function. I don't really care who wants to be my friend (which I view more as a 'live rolodex') - you never know who might be handy to know. I have about 300 friends on FB. My wife, who's a freelance writer and has to network as part of her business, has over 1500. It's just a tool, and like any other becomes what you make of it. I personally like it better than LinkedIn, which is too formal.

Re:Here is a crazy idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353844)

Friends, family/roommates of friends, app maintainers, Facebook employees, Facebook's outsourced storage provider's employees, kazaa users that can see your friend's accidentally shared "My Pictures" directory, Friend's "Computer guy/Geeksquad," etc...

Re:Here is a crazy idea (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354124)

That's what I don't get... though I'm pretty open with my DOB and phone number, my address not nearly as much. Then again, I have a *VERY* common name, with a couple other people that match the same name and DOB. My online persona is pretty open actually. Personally, I just ignore/disallow pretty much all apps on facebook.

Re:Here is a crazy idea (1)

kieran (20691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354174)

Why wouldn't you want to make those details handily available to those friends you trust with them? Especially if it means that if you need to change your phone number, many friends will have the new number synched to their phone automatically before you even get around to telling them that the old one is dead.

Re:Here is a crazy idea (1)

sg7jimr (614458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354526)

I think the whole "you must use your real name" policy of Facebook is at the heart of this free distribution of personal information. The service is telling people it's both safe and desirable for random people to know who you really are. Then people are shocked by stories of people getting robbed while on vacation after posting an "on vacation" Facebook status. Anonymity is the safest for any public forum. Yes I get that they want to sell this idea of your old friends finding you. But they should allow people to obfuscate their identity if that's not what they are on Facebook for. It's not difficult to find a friend using an alias if that friend wants to be found. Instead they will terminate your account if they believe you are not who you say you are, and will only allow you to restore that account if you can prove your online identity is a real one. The fact that Facebook is often used as a game platform and most online games allow you to choose any name you wish just reinforces the appearance that Facebook is out of touch with Internet/web realities.

Re:Here is a crazy idea (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354566)

I tried putting up fake datas, but Facebook kicked me off. :(

Re:Here is a crazy idea (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354850)

You are not required to put up much of anything besides your real name and a valid e-mail address (but even that you don’t have to share with anyone), as far as I can recall.

Pretty sure you could get away with using your last initial instead of the full name, but I could be wrong.

If you put up fake info, then yeah, you deserved to get the boot. Follow the rules.

Re:Here is a crazy idea (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354956)

Well, MySpace, Friendster, etc. didn't boot me off for that.

Re:Here is a crazy idea (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30355046)

No, and MySpace also allowed all sorts of profile mods that turned it into a cancerous seizure-inducing cesspool. Facebook users are held to a slightly higher standard.

I can’t comment on Friendster, as I didn’t use it.

They got me... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353086)

I was sure I knew that duck! Now that little bastard know all about me...

That, or we don't give a shit. (5, Interesting)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353126)

I'd probably accept anyone who cares enough to "friend" me, whether I know them or not. Mark me in the 43.5%, a guy who once accepted a friend request from "Some Pencils" and a random girl in Arizona (thousands of miles from me) just because she was a girl. What are these people going to find out... my hometown? My college? My favorite tv shows? Who cares? I don't think I'm really stalker material, and iIf my favorite movies are that important to some guy writing a corporate spambot, whatever, he can have it. He can't even find my address or my phone number on facebook, two things I consider more personal, and _those_ you can already find in any phonebook site.

Hell, maybe we're _more_ careful about our personal info since facebook doesn't really have anything on it that we value.

Re:That, or we don't give a shit. (5, Funny)

Bottles (1672000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353374)

Daer Friend We rite 2 u as reprazentative of the King Of Pencils who has lately been deposed in horrible sharpening accident may he rest in pease. After grate searchingz we have found u 2 B long lost relative with business sometimes related to requirement of writing and/or shading in. The King has in receipt of great funds to the amount of 750,000 of American Dollars which he wishes to translate to your country of origin in order to pass on to a selection of HB and HB2 illustrative and artistic pencils whom he holds dear in hiz hart. As for helping the King (rest his shavings in pease) to transfer this funds to your country of origen we, as many penicls, are authorized to give you a ten porcent of his great funds, for 75,000 US Funds Dollars. Please do not delay contact immeatedly this pencils or we must find another fine friend and business colleage to do with this business! Contact immedatily! Send by e-mail. Your Respect Friend Some Pencils

Re:That, or we don't give a shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353464)

I kinda agree. Although, I still don’t generally accept friend requests from random people who I don’t know.

But the guy with the same last name as mine who requested to friend me the other day? Sure, why not. I have no idea who he is, but ok. His profile had enough info that it obviously wasn’t somebody creating a new account just to steal info from people with my last name.

Promoters (2, Informative)

boxxa (925862) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353152)

I am also seeing that more and more people are calling them promoters and advertisers by adding 1,000 friends on there and don't realize the information they are disclosing. The biggest example is the Palin email account hacking that most of the answers to security questions was found in her Facebook.

Public Privacy (4, Insightful)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353166)

If this trend is true, it points towards our "habituation" with the notion of the lack of privacy in our society. I think that along with the flood of information in our society comes the feeling that "all information should be freely available". People in general are becoming de-sensitized to this trend more and more, and expect more information about themselves to be available publicly. Not even just online - take a popular show like CSI. I think it's just sort of assumed that everyone is leaving this massive digital fingerprint behind them.

Spammers? (3, Insightful)

pz (113803) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353232)

Could it be that these befriendings are from people who don't care about privacy, or, put a better way, want to use Facebook to send spam messages, and so will befriend EVERYONE?

schemes (0, Flamebait)

ZenDragon (1205104) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353310)

Plastic Frog? Rubber Duck!? Cat?!?! What is this world coming to??? Humanity is doomed!

Im going to have to side with B3ttik on this one... most people dont give a shit. This the nature of social networking, and to be frank I think Facebook wants it that way. The more information that is exposed to the masses the more they can use for their massive data mining schemes. Its just one huge advertising machine.

Not in my experience (2, Interesting)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353346)

FWIW.

Most of the "young" that I see on FB, e.g. my children, their friends, etc., have 200+ "friends."

Some of the !young that I see have 100+. I call them "friend collectors."

I personally only have about 50 (sucks to be me I guess). I don't send friend requests. I only accept friend requests from people I actually know.

Privacy Settings (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353386)

I just set up a group for "limited" access, so if someone friend requests me and I don't feel that I trust them I add them to the limited group right away (upon accepting them) and then they can only see a handful of things. If they turn out to be real people and I become friends with them outside of facebook, at a later point I could always remove them from the limited access group and they'll see what my normal friends see.

So yea, maybe I accepted more friend requests than the average kid (I consider myself an older user btw) but I did so in a safe manner. Practice safe friending!

Skewed results... (4, Funny)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353470)

I was running a similar experiment. And my pet cat Heisenberg befriended the Rubber Duck, a Nigerian prince, a Ukrainian boyband, and various sundry inanimate objects from other similar experiments.

Re:Skewed results... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353502)

The researchers don't have much basis for the conclusion. It could also be the result of more spammers on facebook that will accept any friend request to snoop and deliver more spam.

Mobster (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353566)

Will the rubber ducky help me with my mob? Or farm? Or ?

not for nothing... (4, Insightful)

mp3LM (785954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353580)

not for nothing...but you're doing a study of 200 people on a network of 350 million...kind of small study...

Random Friends (0)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353642)

I have tons of random friends. Why? Because I use Facebook as a gaming site, rather than a friends site. The more 'friends' I have, the more powerful I am in the games. (Which is stupid, but that's the way they are written.) So I've got like 1000 'friends' on facebook about 10 in real life, plus family. Most of my 'friends' on facebook are the same way.

I don't post things on there that I don't want random strangers to see anyhow, so it's no big deal.

So if they didn't eliminate people like me from their survey, it's badly skewed.

Re:Random Friends (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354020)

Same here I have a few hundred friends I don't know because I play a lot of games. I could set up security for them but I don't have anything on my Facebook account that a stranger couldn't see. You don't know me but want to look at pictures of me wakeboarding, hiking or whatever photos I post? Have at it.

Bloody Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30353962)

When are we going to see real, site-agnostic social graph? How about encryption-based login? Any plans for a bank to let me use a third-party tool to view my finances using OFX or another similar protocol, but based on the third-party asking for permission and me granting it on the bank website? What about data portability: when can I have local databases for all this data that will sync securely and automatically with cloud-based databases (and allowing for merges where both the site and I have write permission)?

It seems like most of the Web 2.0 innovation has focused on making Web 1.0 fast and pretty. Where the bloody hell are the data-driven innovations that actually level the playing field and make the web more democratic?

"Fake" accounts? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353964)

How does he know that all that "personal info" is real? I don't do "social networking" but it seems to me some might find it amusing to create an account with plausible but fake "personal info" and then "friend" away.

Re:"Fake" accounts? (1)

CapnStank (1283176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354112)

I have a good friend striving to become a freelance artist. He started selling T-shirts on cafepress.com before they screwed the artists. He created fake social networking profiles on bebo, myspace, facebook etc. to gather random friends and promote his merch. He googled a random female name "Susan" or something, pulled up a random model's image, touched it up to make it look "human" and generated his profile. Its fairly common practice.

Purging my friend's list (4, Insightful)

areusche (1297613) | more than 4 years ago | (#30353986)

I must be in the minority. If I don't know a person I won't add them as a friend. Heck I've gone through my friend's list and purged out people I don't talk to or in other instances strongly dislike from way back in high school. I also don't play Mobwars or Farmville which is just a needless waste of time. I avoid them because I would become engrossed in it.

Re:Purging my friend's list (2, Interesting)

CapnStank (1283176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354066)

Welcome to our minority. My personal filter is that if I wouldn't feel comfortable approaching them randomly to strike up a conversation then they shouldn't be on my list. There's lots of people from high school I denied because I didn't talk to them then, what's changed? Just because we knew 'of' each other it doesn't mean we need to put on a fake smile and pretend we were all buddy buddy.

once again the real issue is being overlooked (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30354032)

Why doesn't facebook offer https to sign in with? Why do we sign in over a insecure web connection?
Everyone is worried about the "privacy" and the most blatant privacy guard is not even implemented.
all smoke and mirrors to cover the real issues..
Facebook sucks and I do not understand why they get such great raves..
Sure I can talk to someone in norway big deal..
My friends don't give a shit what type of toilet paper I wiped with and I don't care what they wiped with.
really it seems like another form of attention whoreism to me

ps: my captcha was construe how ironic..

Moar pals plz (1)

CapnStank (1283176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354034)

"The older users had more than 4x the friends each, on average, than the young."

Breaking news, those who have lived longer have created more social connections than those who have not.

What planet are you sending this article from? (2, Insightful)

xmousex (661995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30354368)

The article seems lost entirely in its own little world and clueless whats going on. Facebook IS farmville, vampire wars, pet society, arena, etc. People join those groups, spam them for invites, and get invites in return to build up their game networks. I know one actual person in my list that doesnt do this, shes in high school and actually uses facebook to talk to her friends and complain about homework. Weirdo.

Now to discuss that people who play facebook shouldn't put too much personal information on their profile is a decent topic. But dont come at it so naive.

I resent the implications of this study! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30354716)

Some of my best friends are rubber ducks and cats!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?