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Facebook Adds Friend Stalker Tool

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the can't-win-for-losing dept.

Facebook 357

nk497 writes "Facebook has added a new tool that brings together conversations and photos between friends onto a single page, but — as usual — has crossed the creepy line. Not only does clicking the See Friendship tool let users view photos, comments and events shared between themselves and their friend, it also offers a search tool to do the same between any two mutual friends, making it easy to see everything any two people have ever said to each other Facebook. As usual, the site should have tested the function out on their users first, with one saying: 'I've always wanted this! And yes, I'm a creepy stalker.' Also, as usual for Facebook, all users are automatically opted in, and there's currently no obvious way to turn it off."

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Put this on the list (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062036)

of reasons not to use Facebook.

As if you needed more.

Re:Put this on the list (3, Insightful)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062116)

No, put this on the growing list of pointless complaints about Facebook. If people didn't post idiocy on the internet, they wouldn't have to be so afraid of people seeing their idiocy.

Re:Put this on the list (4, Insightful)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062322)

But it's not just me i have to make sure that doesn't post idiocy, but everyone that i do anything socially with. Since facebook has no way for me to remove photos of me posted by other users. The best i can do is remove the tag, but not remove me from the photo or my name from the comments, or have the photo taken down entirely.

Re:Put this on the list (1)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062530)

Why not just ask them? I've complied with everyone who has ever asked me to remove a photo of them. If they don't, they're assholes and not worth knowing either on Facebook or in the real world.

100% dead on (2, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062410)

you don't get to post things on the internet, and then complain when people see it on the internet

if you don't want people to see something DON'T POST IT ON THE INTERNET

because the fine level of control you desire: "only this person, at this time, in this context, can see this piece of info" is a nonstarter, because it takes 10x more time and effort to define the context of the info you are sharing than it takes to post the info. there is no better way to completely and utterly destroy the pleasure of a social life than weighing it down with such weighty micromanagement

so just don't post the info! no one is going to micromanage their social lives to the point where no information is leaked in the wrong context, mainly because people aren't machiavellian supergeniuses with omnipotent future sight to know every miniscule fine grain social context in which their information is not being told to someone they didn't want that info told to

the better solution is far simpler: SHUT UP and DON'T POST. or post freely and talk freely, AND GIVE UP YOUR RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT MISUSE. that's really your only choices

the control you seek starts with your mouth, or your keyboard. blaming facebook is just shifting responsibility and personal accountability away from you when things go wrong because you weren't discreet

Re:Put this on the list (2, Informative)

finarfinjge (612748) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062282)

I suspect this thread will become populated with any number of "thereottabealaw" comments. This is not the answer. The purpose of facebook is to provide to marketers as much information about you as legally possible. But it isn't the marketers that will keep facebook policies skewed towards "openness" and away from privacy. Government, by its nature, is in favour of knowing as much about you as they can. Thus, governments like facebook. Many companies, such as insurance companies, like to be able to go to facebook and find out as much about you as they can. They LOVE facebook.

So in addition to stalkers and thieves, who already find facebook to be a treasure trove, there are some big time money interests that will make sure that there never is a law. If you are on facebook, everything your "friends" write and post about you is searchable and can be related back to you and your profile. If you are OK with this, more power to you. One day, there will be something that you don't want shared. If you stay on facebook. . . well tough luck buddy, it's shared.

JE

Re:Put this on the list (1, Interesting)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062490)

Why should there ever be a law? Facebook is doing nothing wrong.

There needs to be user education. There needs to be an instilled sense of distrust, scepticism and paranoia.

If the users weren't that fucking stupid as to trust Facebook, there would be no issue.

Re:Put this on the list (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062298)

That's not a knife.

This [threatpost.com] is a knife!

RAWK (5, Funny)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062052)

Sweet, this will make it much easier to jump to conclusions about which of my friends are secretly bumpin' uglies

Nonissue (3, Insightful)

Schezar (249629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062068)

If this information was already extant, and this functionality is just an aggregation and compilation of said extant data, then there is no problem. No new information is being provided: public information has simply been correlated, something any person could do on their own at any point prior.

Making already legally accessible data more readable is not in any way wrong. Anyone who fears or is angry about this is in for a shock over the next decade or so as technology reveals all sorts of already public things about them, and younger generations simply won't care.

Re:Nonissue (4, Insightful)

ridgecritter (934252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062200)

This seems a bit like saying that because a computer is just a really fast abacus, there's really no difference between them or their effects.

At some point, mere quantitative increase becomes a qualitative difference.

If it now takes 2 seconds to do with Facebook's new tool what used to take 2 days, that's a qualitative difference (degradation of privacy) that people might reasonably be concerned about.

Re:Nonissue (2, Insightful)

Schezar (249629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062248)

Ahh, but our entire society's expectations of privacy have been unreasonable for the better part of the last several decades. This false sense of privacy has existed solely due to the inefficiency of access to public data, much in the same manner that entire localized business models disappeared with the advent of national television and freeways.

It's a nonissue only because the work, both in law and expectations, to actually address the fact that we're finally having to come to terms with the fact that there is a lot of perfectly legally accessible information about all of us in the wild will never be undertaken by our government or our society, and technological workarounds will evolve far faster than any legislation or agreement can. The point is moot. If Facebook didn't do it themselves, someone with a screenscraper and a database would.

If you can see it, you can correlate it. This is a nonissue only because there is no possibility of a solution for anyone who is upset.

Re:Nonissue (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062426)

The point is moot. If Facebook didn't do it themselves, someone with a screenscraper and a database would.

Quite correct. And it would be even simpler than that. It's Web site. At the end of the day, Facebook presents your browser with HTML and JavaScript. A competent individual could write a script to do this in very little time with any modern scripting language -- Python, Perl, Ruby, or [insert your favorite here]. Or they could create a mashup with Google Web Toolkit. In any respect, HTML is, more or less, easily parseable programmatically.

Those griping have no room to do so. You provided the data to Facebook, and explicitly or implicitly, you have Facebook permission to display this data to other users. You have no idea how these users will end up using the data. If you have a problem with this, or any other aspect, you should terminate your Facebook account. Now. No buts. I don't want to hear it.

Re:Nonissue (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062590)

I don't think that our desire for privacy is in any way unreasonable. That something can be done does not mean that it should be done.

That someone could track my vehicle (Via license plate recognition software) to the urologist, then to a specific pharmacy. Perhaps a trip to a specific type of physical therapist, and so on...

All of that is 'public' information. And NONE of it should be automatically assumed to be non-private simply because of the inability to avoid touching the public view. We drafted protections on our medical information because of such problems.

We should not be so eager to make the term public synonymous with anti-privacy.

Re:Nonissue (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062646)

This would be true if it didn't present any new data to any new poeple, but Facebook has a record of totaly fucking up new features. Like the one were you could chat as anyone else, or the one where you could stealth friend people.

Any bet son if you can type in any 2 names and get back more info than the privacy settings would let you see looking at their page.

Re:Nonissue (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062320)

it now takes 2 seconds to do with Facebook's new tool what used to take 2 days

I'm alarmed that you have such detailed knowledge on the time it takes to stalk on Facebook.

Re:Nonissue (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062638)

Exactly. Often times just because something isn't illegal doesn't mean it should be easily doable. In most cases, the main deterrant is the amount of effort required to preform the action, so no law is really needed.

I also wonder what the GP's thoughts are on Firesheep - I mean sidejacking is considered illegal but when you're doing it over an unsecured WiFi its like the information has become public. But you can do a lot of damage by simply logging in under someone else's Facebook. Most teenagers would love to screw around with a friend's facebook - but wouldn't bother because of the work required to get that info. Now an add-on makes it a bit easier.

Reasoning Re:Nonissue (0, Troll)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062210)

And if do or say anything that you are ashamed for(or will be ashamed for in some years), you should not have done it in the first place.

And don't forget advertisers already have this information available to make better targeted ads, so this only equals the balance.

Oh, and don't forget thefacebook really cares about what privacy is.

Re:Reasoning Re:Nonissue (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062420)

I disagree. You should still have done it, just get over your shame. Hatera are jealous because they never get invited to orgies involving transvestite strippers and rottweilers.

Re:Reasoning Re:Nonissue (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062494)

You don't mind if details of your sexual encounters were shared with all your friends and family?

Re:Nonissue (3, Funny)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062272)

Agreed.

Of course, all this information is already available to me. I could click around the site and find everything said between my mutual friends by sifting through their accounts. But that would take ages, and eventually — hopefully — I’d either get bored or ashamed of creeping on my friends. This makes it possible to stalk in seconds.

“Hopefully”? Bored or ashamed? Seriously?

He greatly underestimates the ability of a bored stalker to be creepy...

Re:Nonissue (0, Offtopic)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062310)

wish I could vote this one up!

Re:Nonissue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062378)

It doesn't matter if there are plans out there to compile a highly dangerous chemical weapon either, I mean after all, all the original bits and pieces of information are out there, it just needs someone to be willing to put in half their life to study the necessary chemistry.

Seriously, you can take that viewpoint to the nth degree, the more you do so the easier it is to see that having information agregated can in fact make it far easier for people to find things out they wouldn't otherwise have been able to due to time constraints, or the very human trait of missing a key point in the processing of manually trying to agregate.

There's no doubt that automated agregation can bring a whole new level of understanding about something that people otherwise would not have had unless they were VERY determined. You're right that people could've done this sort of thing manually themselves, but the question is not could they, it's would they? and in many cases the answer would've been a resounding no. When it's done for them, that changes things greatly- as with my example above, would a terrorist spend half his life learning chemistry to make a deadly chemical weapon? the chance is pretty low. If they had all the information they need summarised in easily explained plans they could follow, how many more would give it a go?

It's an issue of risk mitigation- you'll never eliminate the risk when it's already out there and just needs effort to compile it, but you can greatly reduce the risk of that agregation being done for malicious purposes by keeping agregation a more difficult process. Again, I'm not saying keeping it difficult makes you completely safe, but it does at least lower the chance of problems arising so it's certainly not just a simple case of "It can be done anyway so it doesn't matter if it's made easier, it's not a problem".

Personally I could care less, I use Facebook as a convenient way to share photos and that sort of thing, but if it's anything important or confidential I'll phone them or go round to their house, but I can see this causing problems for those naive users who chuck everything and anything about their lives up on Facebook.

Re:Nonissue (3, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062462)

as technology reveals all sorts of already public things about them, and younger generations haven't realized they need to care yet

FTFY

Actually I disagree (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062070)

For first time ever, it is possible to opt.
Click here [bit.ly]

Re:Actually I disagree (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062172)

Fuck!

Correct link [bit.ly]

Re:Actually I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062280)

That's not a link. That's a link to a link. Please label properly next time!

Privacy on the internet (4, Insightful)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062078)

Here's a helpful Venn diagram for people who still aren't sure:
http://graphjam.memebase.com/2010/10/25/funny-graphs-never-forget/ [memebase.com]

Re:Privacy on the internet (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062314)

s/Internet/web/g

Private communications have been possible on the Internet for a long time now: http://www.gnupg.org/ [gnupg.org]

(Not that anyone can deal with the inconvenience of that sort of thing...)

Re:Privacy on the internet (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062526)

It was (somewhat) a joke, but honestly your friends already have access to the conversations on your wall. They're effectively public for your anyone on your friends list. All this does is compile them by participants.

This is just fear mongering. It's the equivalent to an article like, "People you trust to let into your house may be able to compile a list of your valuables to use maliciously!!!" If you have any meth addict/kleptomaniac friends, you don't let them into your house. If you have any creepy/gossipy friends you don't want to see your facebook stuff, don't add them on facebook.

"there's currently no obvious way to turn it off." (2, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062080)

Well duh. If you don't want your friends seeing who you're talking to, either don't friend them, or change your privacy settings so that they can't read your wall posts etc. Otherwise they have exactly the same information already available, just in a slightly less convenient format.

Sure it's a little creepy, but you already see a lot of this stuff on the main updates page anyway, this is just making it more comprehensive.

I think Seinfeld says it best... (5, Funny)

Chameleon Man (1304729) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062254)

To reference an episode of Seinfeld...

GEORGE: Ah you have no idea of the magnitude of this thing. If she is allowed to infiltrate this world, then George Costanza as you know him, Ceases to Exist! You see, right now, I have Relationship George, but there is also Independent George. That’s the George you know, the George you grew up with — Movie George, Coffee shop George, Liar George, Bawdy George.

JERRY: I, I love that George.

GEORGE: Me Too! And he’s Dying Jerry! If Relationship George walks through this door, he will Kill Independent George! A George, divided against itself, Cannot Stand!

Re:I think Seinfeld says it best... (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062498)

As somebody who wears a lot of masks, I defend my internet from my RL and my RL from my internet as best I can. Heck, I try to keep my various internets from each other and my various RLs from each other too. Divisions are important for sanity, to be sure, George was right.

Re:"there's currently no obvious way to turn it of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062274)

That's the whole point. I've tried to turn off some of those features, but there's no way to turn off separate features on facebook. You can't block people from seeing what you comment about on other people's walls without preventing people from commenting on your own wall. I would like to be able to have more control over what I'm sharing and with whom. This takes it to a whole new level. And for all the "don't use facebook then" replies, that's not possible. It's the only option available to be able to communicate with all of my family members on a frequent basis due to some of them being in different countries.

Re:"there's currently no obvious way to turn it of (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062550)

. It's the only option available to be able to communicate with all of my family members on a frequent basis due to some of them being in different countries.

Which is clearly utter bullshit.

Use email. Use online forums. Use the phone. Use a fucking boat, your legs and your physical presence.

There have never in human history been a broader set of options and opportunities to communicate with geographically dispersed people, so pretending you absolutely must use Facebook or you'll be cut off forever (and lose your inheritance) stands out as being the complete tosh it clearly is.

Re:"there's currently no obvious way to turn it of (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062606)

You can't block people from seeing what you comment about on other people's walls without preventing people from commenting on your own wall.

Actually I completely agree about that being annoying. The way the privacy settings are worded is rather poor. I thought I had simply disabled people from seeing my posts to friends' walls (ie the friends that they aren't friends with), but I think it just disabled people from being able to post on my wall.

You could create a private group for only your family and post all your pics etc up there?

Re:"there's currently no obvious way to turn it of (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062474)

Hehe. From the very beginning, I used Facebook only for stalking my friends. I have only the barest minimum of contact information on my profile, and nothing else. And the people I don't want to share my barest minimum of contact information with? I don't friend them, whee!

  I for one, love any new features that let me stalk people easier. People who are concerned about this sort of thing lost all their privacy years ago anyway, because they're dumb.

Re:"there's currently no obvious way to turn it of (1)

hodet (620484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062640)

So, you monitor your mom from her basement?

Well... (1)

contra_mundi (1362297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062082)

What else can you expect from a datamining company.

Blame? (0)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062098)

Stop blaming facebook!

They're merely capitalising on the realities of the relationships that we give them. Blaming them each and every time a new feature is added that is simple common sense and intelligent programming/design/utilisation of the information we permit they use is childish; if we didn't use these tools then they wouldn't feel obliged to innovate and refresh their featureset.

Actuly no opt-out is wrong (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062102)

For first time ever, it is possible to opt out
Click here [bit.ly]

If people seem stalkerish.. (5, Insightful)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062108)

Why the worry about your "friends" doing stalker-ish things to you? Didn't you accept their request (or they yours) based on some level of familiarity and/or trust? It's not strangers watching you. It's people you agreed to let into your little online life.

Re:If people seem stalkerish.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062182)

The reason I don't use Facebook is because of the number of people I know that can't truthfully answer your question with no.

Re:If people seem stalkerish.. (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062428)

You don't use Facebook because of the number of people you've added as friends not based on some level of familiarity and/or trust? Seems to be a PEBKAC to me...

Re:If people seem stalkerish.. (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062242)

That is the #1 problem with Facebook (and almost all other social networking sites): You only get a binary setting.

I have a few close friends, who by all means could see whatever they want to, if they'd ask I would tell them anyways.

But I also have a lot of not-so-close friends, acquaintances, people I'm friendly with. Whatever you want to call it, there are degrees of friendship. And Facebook doesn't recognize that.

Re:If people seem stalkerish.. (5, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062360)

But I also have a lot of not-so-close friends, acquaintances, people I'm friendly with. Whatever you want to call it, there are degrees of friendship. And Facebook doesn't recognize that.

Yeah it does, if you can be bothered with the admin.

You can create groups, and categorise your contacts into them. Then you can specify how much of your profile and your activity can be seen by each group.

I have a "limited profile" group, into which I place people who ask to be a "friend", when I feel it would be rude to ignore them, but don't really want them to see everything.

You can also choose to prevent friends-of-friends from seeing your stuff.

At worst, the defaults are possibly a bit too open.

Re:If people seem stalkerish.. (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062480)

Not to mention, if that all seems like too much hassle (to people who will happily spend hours configuring their own machines just so?), just don't post the more private stuff on Facebook.

I have some friends I'll tell anything to, and do, and others I'd rather not know that sort of thing. Guess what - that sort of stuff doesn't end up in my Facebook status. Duh. Worried about photos? Don't do it in public. (And to fend off the obvious retorts, hell yes I get drunk, and any employer/future partner/etc who would object to that is saving me time and effort by pre-selecting themselves out of the running)

Re:If people seem stalkerish.. (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062466)

Yes it does. It supports groups. I have one set up "NotClose" for people I don't really know. When posting personal updates I set it to "All friends but the people in the group "NotClose"".

I also have all photos default to same.

You can add as many groups as you like and control privacy that way.

(I'm sure you think this is the wrong way round, but I am a closed networker, that is I only add people that pass the "Would I be happy to invite this person to a BBQ". If not I don't add them, if I have to add them they get put NotClose and only see a tiny bit of my profile).

Re:If people seem stalkerish.. (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062374)

Yes, I'm not afraid about this, what I'm afraid that one of my friends uses a silly app like FarmVille or whatever that demands access to "friend info" and then FarmVille will know all my discussions with my friend and by FarmVille I mean the entire world.

Re:If people seem stalkerish.. (1)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062460)

Yeah, and then the people at farmville will know that your child spilled his spaghetti on the floor, that your mom came for a visit, and they will see the picture you posted of your dog eating Doritos from a can. Hard to tell what farmville will do with that information.

Re:If people seem stalkerish.. (2, Informative)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062588)

Advertise carpet cleaning products and offer discounts on Doritos from a specific online retailer.

Who in turn will seek to leverage their relationship, selling your vetinary services and cheap student loans for your child.

Information is valuable.

Re:If people seem stalkerish.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062632)

Violation of privacy doesn't require practical application.

Re:If people seem stalkerish.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062454)

From what I've reads, this thing enables friends-of-friends to aggregate interaction that would have been hidden, or wouldn't have otherwise been presented to them directly. I trust my direct friends on Facebook with any and all of the things I've posted there, but that trust shouldn't implicitly extend to their friends.

Now, of course, if I don't want Friends of Friend to see my interactions I shouldn't have public interactions with Friend. But for Friends of Friend to be able to aggregate all my public interactions, ever, with Friend crosses that creepy line.

Aren't we over Facebook yet? (3, Insightful)

cindyann (1916572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062134)

Personally I think it jumped the shark about two months ago.

I rarely look at it.

I've filtered out about half my "friends" because if I wanted to know what they had on their toast this morning I'd sign up for twitter and follow their stupid tweets.

Re:Aren't we over Facebook yet? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062294)

You don't know what jump the shark means. Stop saying it and looking like a fool.

Re:Aren't we over Facebook yet? (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062412)

For those playing the game, Jumping The Shark is the point at which something has done the best it can ever do and can only go downhill from then on.

I'm not sure Facebook has jumped the shark and if it has, it was way back before all of the recent privacy outcry and probably before it opened its membership to the general public.

Re:Aren't we over Facebook yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062496)

You are way to young. Get off my lawn. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jump_the_shark

Nathan

Re:Aren't we over Facebook yet? (1)

cindyann (1916572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062564)

Mark Zuckerberg, is that you?

Some of us are not on Facebook (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062344)

You could always just not be on Facebook -- that strategy has been working just fine for me. I am still in touch with my family, I am still in touch with my friends, and I still get invited to parties.

Solution (5, Funny)

papasui (567265) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062138)

Delete your Facebook account like I did. Although I'll admit that the first week of not knowing what crops my friends were growing was a little hard on me..

Re:Solution (3, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062276)

Delete your Facebook account like I did.

... or you could keep it, and not post anything you consider private on it.

Re:Solution (2, Insightful)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062364)

That doesn't stop random asshats tagging you in photos.

Re:Solution (2, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062478)

You can disable that if it really bothers you.

Re:Solution (1)

thomthom (832970) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062538)

Doesn't stop them if you' re not on either... only difference is that it doesn't link to a profile but just lists a name. If you do ahve an account, and someone does tag you, you can remove it.

Re:Solution (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062546)

Or random asshat/friends randomly tagging you in random images that aren't even photos of anything, in some sort of mass campaign of sorts.First time I was tagged in one of those I was like Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!?!?

Re:Solution (1, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062368)

Or you could delete it, and stop passively encouraging others to be Facebook users.

The AntiSocial Network (5, Insightful)

NYMeatball (1635689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062144)

I'm as big of a facebook hater as the next guy, but it seems like Slashdot's favourite pastime is getting on a social network for being, well, social.

If their inference is that facebook should become an antisocial network, I think Slashdot honestly has that market segment covered pretty well already.

Re:The AntiSocial Network (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062300)

That is totally correct. By the way, I cannot find the link to 'Browse friendship' anywhere... oh that bitch... thought it would be ok to be 'friends'... eh eh eh... ehheh heh..

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062146)

I normally agree with slashdot... but this article protreys this in WAY to negative of light. FB has screwed up in the past, but just because it releases a new feature does not mean that it instantly violated privacy of its users. As I understand it, you can only view this page if you have permissions any ways.... so basically.... its just moving everything onto one page. Hardly a stalker tool if the info was already there, you just had to look

This existed a long time ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062174)

...doesn't anybody remember the 'See wall-to-wall' feature? It would simply display a mashup of all of the wallposts between two mutual friends.

I believe it was ditched after comments were implemented, as it was initially difficult to go back and forth between friends walls to read a conversation.

Re:This existed a long time ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062238)

'Wall-to-wall' is still there, but it gets disabled if one of the two users has high (proper) privacy settings.

Simple solution: email (3, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062198)

Also, as usual for Facebook, all users are automatically opted in, and there's currently no obvious way to turn it off.

And as usual, Facebook is discussed as if it weren't opt-in. There are plenty of other ways of communicating with people.

Re:Simple solution: email (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062472)

Sadly there are a lot of groups of friends that use Facebook for all of their communication. If you're not on Facebook you can't be in their clique.

"Why didn't you come along? We've been arranging it on Facebook for weeks"

"You looked fantastic in his video. What do you mean, 'What video'?"

I have two lives. One in which I participate, which includes face to face contact, use of online forums, youtube, picasa and email, and one that exists only on Facebook, where I exist but only in a vague form, unsubstantiated, realised only through inference and unable to contribute, respond or even view.

It's hard trying to work out what the ghostly facebook me should know and react to, so that the real-world me can continue to participate.

Jurassic Park (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062214)

To paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldbloom): "Yeah, but your programmers were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

Facebook == Public Website == Public Billboard (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062220)

People need to be aware that Facebook is hardly anything more than a modern version of Geocities without the ability for it's users to violate the Geneva Convention with exceptionally bad Webdesign. It adds in a little tools that enable linking and conecting for total webdev-n00bs and makes it attractive to use your real name and real contact data, as it has amassed users in ways never seen before. Mostly due to the aforementioned n00by-friendlyness.

Whenever I search someone online, their Facebook entiry pops up first, if they have one. That should hint where Facebook is headed.

Bottom line: If it's on Facebook, it's public. In more ways even than it would be if you'd post it on some obscure website that hasn't been scanned by the searchbots yet. If you behave accordingly, you won't be too surprised whenever something like this happens.

Oh, I think I see the problem (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062252)

Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

ws: Facebook Adds Friend Stalker Tool

Gosh, within one line, asking people to join Facebook and then yet the Xth article about how dangerous facebook is for your privacy.

We know this, but we don't care because we care more about our friend count.

Facebook is a nudist colony. Fine if you want to air your tonker but then don't complain people can see it. You can't share all your personal details withour your personal details ending up shared.

I wonder how people who use Facebook and complain about privacy go through life in general:

Omg! I bought this phone with a subscription, but now I do the math I actually end up paying much more for the phone! How can this be?

Oh no, I bought this gadget with monthy payments and now the payments are more then the original price, why!

I borrowed money for my house, now the bank thinks it owns it. Why didn't anyone tell me!

I streaked naked down the high street, now people are claiming they saw me! I didn't know that what I do in public can be seen by others!

I gave a full confession to a cop and now they using it against me in a court of law! Won't someone safe me!

If you do NOT want everyone on facebook to see what you do, don't use facebook. It ain't hard. It is not an essential product. Billions life happy lives without it. You can too. And the first person to claim that it allows them to keep in touch with friends they never bothered to keep in touch with before I will beat until they learn the difference between a friend, a distant aquintance and a stranger.

Re:Oh, I think I see the problem (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062434)

Facebook allows me to keep in touch with the acquiantances I never bothered to keep in touch with before.

Re:Oh, I think I see the problem (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062442)

The choir here approves - Rev. SmallFuryCreature!

BUT .... as someone who explained the privacy issues to someone who was about to sign up with Facebook and did anyway, I can tell you that it makes no difference UNTIL, on their birthday they get a shit load of "Happy Birthday"s from people that they don't know or don't know at all - even though they explicitly chose NOT to have that information made public. THEN they realize what the privacy issues are with Facebook.

Facebook's privacy options are bogus.

Re:Oh, I think I see the problem (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062470)

Facebook is a nudist colony. Fine if you want to air your tonker but then don't complain people can see it. You can't share all your personal details withour your personal details ending up shared.

To use your analogy, the problem is that if you go to a nudist colony you have an expectation that nobody will take your pictures and post them on the first page of the newspapers or send them to your coworkers. Sure, you are naked and you are fine with that, but maybe your boss is not fine with it. I am not troubled by this change since I don't have any secret, what's worrying me is that my friends might have intrusive apps that ask for "friend info" and then my info that was supposed to be in a relatively private circle (the nudist colony) suddenly become much more public than they were supposed to be. Again, I don't post anything on Internet that I wouldn't post in a newspaper, but that still doesn't make me fan of these information sucking applications.

Re:Oh, I think I see the problem (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062612)

what's worrying me is that my friends might have intrusive apps that ask for "friend info" and then my info that was supposed to be in a relatively private circle suddenly become much more public than they were supposed to be.

I seem to be saying this a lot in this discussion - but you can disable that.

There's a privacy setting to control what friends' apps can see about you -- distinct from what friends can see about you.

You might argue that the default is too open. I can sympathise with that -- on the other hand the purpose of the system is to share information with friends, and if everyone had it locked down, it would defeat that purpose.

Re:Oh, I think I see the problem (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062610)

We know this, but we don't care because we care more about our friend count.

I don't give a shit about my friendship count. I do however care about what my friends are doing - those that are overseas (on holiday or permanently), those that I knew from school/college but lost touch with for years, etc.

Seriously, I don't understand the hate that Slashdot pours on social networking sites.

Fearmongering as usual. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062264)

People on Facebook could always see posts between mutual friends (Wall-to-Wall, anyone?). This just expands and cleans up the feature that's always been in place.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Privacy Settings, Anyone? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062278)

Learn to use the privacy settings or go fuck yourself.

Troll? Maybe. Correct? You know I am.

Billions of dollars are being made off your info (2, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062284)

It's a pain to turn off all the default features that facebook conveniently opts-in for you. By WHY should we have to?

Re:Billions of dollars are being made off your inf (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062634)

Billions of dollars are not being made off my info. If they're extremely lucky, just enough money is being made off my info to pay for the service.

Given the aggressive AdblockPlus settings and Greasemonkey scripts I have, they sure as hell aren't making much in advertising.

Guess what? Shit ain't free! Don't like it, stfu and don't use it.

To turn it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062342)

You can turn it off in the registry:
HKEY_FACEBOOK\Erxyngf
Clear bit #7 at byte offset 976 in the REG_BINARY value Ftavggrf.
Reboot your face browser.

Re:To turn it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062522)

Why bother.
Just click here [bit.ly] and it will be turned off permanently.

And again... (0, Troll)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062358)

Again Facebook does something unbelievably stupid and further cements my position that I will never, ever sign up with them.

Diaspora and Appleseeds are going about it the wrong way. We don't need a piece of software to get from them in order to social networking to go public. We need a public spec. A whitepaper that describes the input and output the system should have, so anyone can write their own software that conforms to that specification. And submit it to the W3C.

If they want social networking to be more like email, then that's the way it needs to go.

Quit the whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062370)

If you are still on Facebook, you are there with full knowledge of what you got yourself into. I am so fucking tired of this "wash me but don't make me wet" attitude.

A step forward (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062392)

Im usually critical to facebook, and how "respectful" is to users, and would be screaming because of this one if werent quitted it a year ago. But the trend in something as big as facebook have a potential.. What if facebook and their "bad according with our culture" privacy measures instead of making a mass exodus of users actually do a big change on the global culture around that? I mean, IS already doing changes in our culture, in most countries (maybe except north korea and a few others), but usually taking the way of lesser resistence, but what about harder to do changes?

Internet is a disruptive technology, is making changes in our civilization and culture, some of them facing resistence (i.e. *AA, patents and copyright groups) and some not. And some popular enough sites (from google to 4chan) are doing its share of changing us. But what if they move us to dangerous waters? Things could get worse than mothers killing their kids because don't let them playing Farmville.

Facebook=FBI Honeypot? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062416)

It's starting to look that way.

Time to sign up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062458)

Exactly what I'm been waiting for; more interesting ways to find out about trivial and mildly interesting things that people I barely know are doing and for them to do the same to me. See you on FB, guys.

Signed,

The last man on Earth not (quite yet) on Facebook

Remember Wall to Wall? (4, Insightful)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062484)

Remember when Facebook used to have a Wall to Wall feature? You know, you'd be able to click on someone's post on your wall, and then you'd see every wall post either of you had ever made to each other. I'm pretty sure you could use it on two friends, but this was a while ago and I can't quite remember. I also believe they removed the feature when they added comments on wall posts. If they didn't they sure hid it from me.

Now we have the See Friendship tool. It does... the same thing, pretty much, perhaps a little more extensively. Essentially you're all complaining about Facebook adding a feature they removed earlier out of redundancy. Do you have a right to complain? Yeah, of course you do. However, if you were fine with that feature before, don't you think it's a little hypocritical to criticize Facebook for putting it back in now, just because it's shiny and "new"?

Hasn't anyone at FB ever heard of Beta Testing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062486)

I guess Zuckerberg was sick on the day they taught the software development lifecycle.

Great! (1)

nasalicio (122665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062500)

Sounds great, where can I sign up? Oh wait...

No surprise there (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062536)

Facebook implements a new feature and within seconds is turned into a glaring privacy violation tool. The silence of no one being surprised is positively defeaning.

/. Is A Creeper (1)

piffey (1627145) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062544)

Creepy, creepy /. [imgur.com]

Wall to Wall? (3, Insightful)

edmicman (830206) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062568)

Hasn't this been around the whole time as "Wall to Wall"? I remember there used to be links where you could see a "Wall to Wall" conversation between yourself and your friends, and you could change the PID in the URL to other mutual friends and see conversations between them. I envisioned making an app to basically do the same with an interface....I thought it would help in searching for conversations. There currently is no good search tool for stuff on facebook as far as I know. For example, I'll remember having someone post a link to me, or mentioning something in a comment but I have no way of finding that. If I could view all of the history between them and myself, I could at least ctrl-f for it.

Good to see Facebook making this easier!

By default... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062608)

I think this should be enabled by default on all friends, and then take time to configure it
for those whom you do not want this to be on, I think would be the safest bet.

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062618)

Cool, a facebook bashing thread. I thought I was going to have to go a day on slashdot without one.
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