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Old Facebook Apps Still Plunder Your Privacy

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the never-gonna-give-you-up dept.

Facebook 101

tcd004 writes "If you added the YouTube Facebook app prior to 2009, you've given YouTube free access to nearly all the data in your profile (as well as many of your friends). But if you install the same app today, it gets very limited access. Older versions of Facebook apps, it turns out, still have 'grandfathered' access to data that the social networking service has restricted for new apps. If you're protective of your privacy, it might be a good idea to delete and reinstall any older apps in your profile."

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101 comments

Only one way to fix a problem like that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34678770)

meat-flavored flamingo dildo

FTFY (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678790)

"If you're protective of your privacy, it might be a good idea to delete your profile."

Fixed that for you. No need to thank me.

Re:FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34678824)

Except for the fact that they still keep all your data around to be mined?

Re:FTFY (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678852)

You can't do much about the past; but it should become less valuable as it gets staler(exception, future candidates for political office), and deleted profiles, while visible to Facebook and any of their good buddies, are substantially less likely to show up when joe public goes looking.

Re:FTFY (2)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678832)

Even if you do delete your own profile, your friends will eagerly put up enough data about you that it won't matter.

Re:FTFY (4, Funny)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678900)

The only winning move is not to play.

Re:FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34683756)

Or to not have friends.

Re:FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34685208)

Haha, the joke's on you! I have no friends to begin with!

(Well, in all seriousness, this is only an issue if all or at least most of your friends use facebook; and even then, it won't typically be nearly as much of a problem as people make it out to be. To use an analogy, I'm not shouting the details of my life from my rooftop with a bullhorn for everyone to hear; technically, there's nothing stopping my friends from doing the same, so one might say it doesn't matter whether I'll do it myself, but in reality, the chance that anyone's friends would do this is actually very slim.)

I did (5, Interesting)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678834)

I deleted my profile but not before changing me name and deleting lots of stuff.

One thing you should know is that Facebook never deletes anything. Even if you tell it to. The new visibility is just 'appended' to the end of your account. Bit like a journal. TFA does not surprise me.

So if they really wanted to rewind your profile, they could. I imagine the authorities have this privilege.

Think how much time you'll save yourself from FB if you delete it now. I mean you could spend that time on Slashdot instead!

Re:I did (1)

Carnivorous Vulgaris (1964964) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679080)

But like you said, it's undoubtedly journal-like under the hood, so changing and deleting won't achieve anything.

Re:I did (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680200)

But like you said, it's undoubtedly journal-like under the hood, so changing and deleting won't achieve anything.

Yeah.. it will... if you change it subtly enough over time, it will become increasingly difficult and eventually impossible to sort out the facts from the fantasy without lots of manual labor by humans.

Re:I did (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680822)

But like you said, it's undoubtedly journal-like under the hood, so changing and deleting won't achieve anything.

Yeah.. it will... if you change it subtly enough over time, it will become increasingly difficult and eventually impossible to sort out the facts from the fantasy without lots of manual labor by humans.

In the mean-time, while you're spending time making the change subtle enough to be believed, you're letting actual data leak and confusing your friends/family. "mysidia, Grandma wants to know why you listed her as your ex-lover on Facebook. I've also noticed some unusual postings. Is everything okay?"

Re:I did (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34681888)

In the mean-time, while you're spending time making the change subtle enough to be believed, you're letting actual data leak and confusing your friends/family.

If you linked your profile to friends/family members' profiles, then in a way, you have already lost the war.

"Hm... I wonder what (user)'s mother's maiden name is? No problem.... search for user > Mutual Friends > Mother > Info > Relationship History > Marriage Date > Full Name History > Prior Full name

Hey again... Mr Bank Teller... no problem... my mother's maiden name is (blah); please wire the funds to this overseas account National bank of Nigeria, number (blah blah blah).

Re:I did (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682222)

Do you really have to use your actual mother's maiden name in dealings with a bank?

In my experience, using strong passwords confuses them, so you'd still have to use a bunch of name-like words.

Heck, use a male name, tell them "don't want to talk about it" I'm sure most will shut up and get on with it ;).

Re:I did (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679130)

It amazes me that so many people are online with their real name on Facebook and then add all other personal data.

Re:I did (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679838)

I occasionally use it but I've never used my real name or anything that resembles it and I don't recall ever using for more than general crap rather than talking about myself so I'm not terribly bothered. If I want 'friend' someone I'll ask them for their account and likewise they can do the same.

Re:I did (4, Interesting)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679932)

It amazes me how so many people think that that is automatically bad.

There's nothing in my profile that I wouldn't mind anyone seeing, and I've shared a fair amount of information.

With regard to potential future employers... if they don't want me because of something I put on FB, then they are definitely not the kind of people I would want to work for.

Anything I've posted on FB with respect to my interests, affiliations, friends, etc, is not something you couldn't find elsewhere with a little legwork or at worst hiring a PI for a few hours. I just don't see what the big deal is provided you show a little common sense in what you are making public, and more importantly, make it a point of not doing things you wouldn't want people to know about. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned that way.

Re:I did (1)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680058)

We're at least two people with this view :p

Re:I did (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680084)

I just don't see what the big deal is provided you show a little common sense in what you are making public, and more importantly, make it a point of not doing things you wouldn't want people to know about. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned that way.

Or for those who do not let the court of public opinion limit their activity choices, you can show a little common sense about what you put on facebook at all, and therefore not worry about what your profile says about you because it doesn't tell any part of the story you'd like to keep to yourself.

Trusting facebook's privacy settings is like trusting your government to serve your best interests without representation.

Re:I did (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#34683082)

Trusting facebook's privacy settings is like trusting your government to serve your best interests without representation.

More correctly, there are no privacy settings. Everything posted is best assumed to be "for everyone" even if the setting says "friends only". All it takes is one friend to re-post, re-twit, re-something that news and it'll explode, especially since you can't control their privacy settings.

Especially big things - a death, a birth, a wedding, a divorce, a job offer, a job loss, etc. The number of people who seem to find out about those thing via Facebook will be far larger than your friends list. It's gotten so bad that some places, weddings and the like often have "no facebook, no twitter, ..." policies so the couple getting hitched keeps it nice and quiet rather than let the whole world know. And friends/family have been known to sternly warn other family members that births aren't to be posted at all either, again to preserve their privacy.

Re:I did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34684242)

All it takes is one friend to re-post, re-twit, re-something that news and it'll explode, especially since you can't control their privacy settings.

So what you're saying is that FB has some kind of magical technology which prevents anybody from every posting anything about you unless you have a FB profile under your real name? What the fuck are YOU smoking, and can I have some please?

Seriously. The reason I finally gave in and joined FB is because all my family is already on there, and already posting pictures and information about me. Anytime I did anything, there's someone telling the rest of the family, usually with an unrestricted status update. Now that I've joined, I have my profile locked down to just them, and since they all see my updates directly they don't feel the need to post my info themselves. So I'm actually MORE protected now than I was before.

Everything posted is best assumed to be "for everyone" even if the setting says "friends only".

Ok first of all that's just not true. It defaults to whatever you have the default set to, and it can be over-ridden on a per-post basis as well. You can also add custom groups of friends, and make posts only visible to specific groups or specifically invisible to certain groups.
In addition, you don't have to just pick "everybody, friends of friends, or just friends". There's another option called "custom" that lets you control it specifically by individual or groups, on an inclusive as well as exclusive basis.
So to be blunt, if you have anything which you want kept private set to anything other than "Custom" then you're being a fucking retard.

The number of people who seem to find out about those thing via Facebook will be far larger than your friends list.

Well no shit. Guess what- that happened long before Facebook or the Internet showed up.

It's gotten so bad that some places, weddings and the like often have "no facebook, no twitter, ..." policies so the couple getting hitched keeps it nice and quiet rather than let the whole world know.

Citation needed. Really, I'm calling bullshit.

And friends/family have been known to sternly warn other family members that births aren't to be posted at all either, again to preserve their privacy.

Right, because it's not already published online in the fucking NEWSPAPER. Fuck, you can just do a Google search and you can find that out, anybody who thinks keeping a birth or death posting off FB does ANYTHING is a complete and utter moron.

Anyhow, we get it. You don't like FB. You have a personal axe to grind against the Zucker that started it. Get over yourself already.

Re:I did (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680678)

There's nothing in my profile that I wouldn't mind anyone seeing, and I've shared a fair amount of information.

If you're just thinking about the data in your profile at any given time, like a snapshot, you're missing the bigger picture.

I just don't see what the big deal is provided you show a little common sense in what you are making public, and more importantly, make it a point of not doing things you wouldn't want people to know about.

You're too smart of a guy to be using the "You don't have to worry if you've got nothing to hide" argument.

It's not just about the information you "share", it's everything you've ever shared and the persistence of the details of your behavior. You're thinking about it like Facebook is a person, who only sees what you share in your public info and only has the attention span to retain it for a limited time. But Facebook is a machine that has the time and inclination to put that "public" information together with the "public" information of all your Facebook friends, and the details of everything you've ever done and said on Facebook so it can come to conclusions about you and your behavior and your creditworthiness and you're buying patterns and how often you're on Facebook and who you tend to talk to and thousands of other connections that a person would never bother making. Then, all of that information is persistent. Facebook never forgets. Never overlooks anything as being "too trivial". Maybe some detail of your life that you think is trivial today will not be trivial in 5 years. Maybe you're personal parameters for privacy will change. But then it's too late. Whatever you chose to share in 2007 will still be public in 2015 even if you chose to not make it public in 2011.

Anything I've posted on FB...is not something you couldn't find elsewhere with a little legwork or at worst hiring a PI for a few hours.

But someone with "legwork" or a PI doesn't have the time and inclination to collect every single bit of information from you and everyone you associate with and doesn't have the enormous processing power to cross-reference every bot of data, or the ability to save it forever.

The "aha" moment for a lot of us came the first time an advertisement for estate lawyers came up on your screen a short time after you mentioned on Facebook that your Mom is moving to an assisted living facility. You realize that the danger of persistent information is not in any one bit of data, but when it's collected over a period of time and kept forever, along with every bit of data every one of your friends has shared. Is your judgment and ability to predict so perfect that you're certain that you'll never drop a bit of information that can be used against you somehow, someday?

So it's not just what they collect, but what they're able to do with it, and when. Better just to not feed the beast, IMO.

Re:I did (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34681518)

I understand where you're coming from and don't deny you have a point, but I still don't have a problem with the whole situation.

I guess there's a fine line between discretion and paranoia and I decided long ago that I could not live my life in fear of repercussions from reasonable actions. I know there's a certain level of risk in what I share about myself. First off, as both a Christian and a political conservative, I recognize that a not insignificant number of people will automatically view me as evil. Literally, evil.

The real problem doesn't really hinge on issues of privacy, but on the fact that we live in a society where anonymous people have more and more power over each one of us, especially when you are talking about corporations and the government. To me, the issues of privacy with respect to talking about food or music (or even politics and religion) on Facebook are dwarfed by what the government is doing to me through byzantine regulations and erosion of my liberties, or corporations who are controlling my food and my environment, even my health. In that context, seeing targeted ads holds no fears for me.

And at the same time, for me _not_ to be myself, which means speaking my mind and sharing the ideas I want to share, would be an equal imposition on my sense of liberty as well. Facebook is only the latest incarnation of things I have been doing for many years (/. being another).

I know that that attitude may be asking for trouble, but I'm willing to expect the fallout that may occur (and has occurred) from my unwillingness to just go along to get along and keeping my fool mouth shut.

Re:I did (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34681814)

First off, as both a Christian and a political conservative, I recognize that a not insignificant number of people will automatically view me as evil.

My friend, I've lived long enough and seen enough of the world to understand that just because you are a conservative Christian does not mean that you are necessarily evil. Just that you bear watching. ;)

"Conservative" and "Christian" are words that are very often misused, unfortunately, but I've seen enough of you around here to believe you have a good grasp of their meaning. And enough faith in the ability of men of good will to learn that I believe you won't always have such a misguided view of the value of government (even the "big" variety), or such a charitable view of the intentions large corporations.

Remember, the only time Christ got mad enough to get violent (besides that little adolescent incident with the fig tree) his wrath was directed at businessmen who were practicing "free market" economics.

Re:I did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34684326)

First off, as both a Christian and a political conservative, I recognize that a not insignificant number of people will automatically view me as evil. Literally, evil.

Oh good grief. Spare us the self-imposed martyrdom already. Just because your religion tells you that all people are evil does NOT mean everybody assumes you are evil in return.

Re:I did (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 2 years ago | (#34690158)

My religion doesn't say that. You must have it confused with another.

Re:I did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34684462)

There is a reason why the walls of your house are made of concrete instead of glass and you don't have a camera pointing at you all the time. Even if you don't have nothing to hide.

We live in a rather peaceful world, we are given a few rights too. But in the future political instability and energetic crisis could bring us to a dark age where we are not free to have an opinion anymore. Think about it, in many european country just about 80 years ago being in disappointment with your government was a crime. In many country it is a crime even now. In this first ten years of the new millennium we have seen how it is easy to tighten people's freedom in the name of the self defence of our country, of our children, anything. In this scenario internet stood as some kind of system error, a no man's land or everyone's land with unwritten laws where peoples where aware of what they where doing, until facebook came. People began to give their real name, they began to upload their data loosing the ownership they had on them due to an insane ToS. Practically they sold the social part of their lives, their friends name to have some ads in return. Then politicians, newspapers, the whole society saw that facebook was actually a good pen to keep peoples in and internet became not so scary after all. And then it came the Like button, a way to gather informations about peoples even when they are not on facebook that just a few poeples (0.0005% ?) in the world are able to keep off of their browsers. Mobile devices can even track us in the real world. What's next? Where is the limit? At which point peoples like you, that in a sense are aware of the risks their are willing to take, will stand up and say "No, enough is enough!"?

Re:I did (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 2 years ago | (#34684916)

I think the concern isn't so much that people "have things they want to hide" as they just don't want to be "pre-screened" from jobs, education opportunities, and/or political office because the "wrong" person sees the Facebook photo of them with their arm around a person of the "wrong" gender.

Its not right, and its not fair, but that's life.

I'm on FB to control my company's FB page. But I post nothing--and my pictures are all bland and inoffensive. None of them show me drinking a beer, making out with my girlfriend, or firing an assault-rifle with my shirt-off. None of those things are "immoral" in my opinion, but I live in Indiana, at the northern edge of the "bible belt" and its something I worry about. I also don't advertise my atheism on FB, either. They've also got a fake birthday for me, too. Basically, I use FB "all-wrong." And so should you.

A lot of people simply plunged headlong into "social media" without considering the consequences of leading a "public" private-life. If you did, you need to pull-back as much as you can and do some damage-control ASAP... Once that crap is cached with Google, good luck getting rid of it.

Re:I did (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34679998)

It amazes me that some people would prefer that we live under a rock for 30 years without communicating with a real human being, because that would be safer and it would surely be more likely that no personal information would be leaked that way.

Re:I did (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679184)

Yeah, only on Slashdot can you decide who your friend is without their confirmation needed, my newest slashdot Friend.

Re:I did (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679356)

(goatse image here) Like

Re:I did (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680238)

(X) Hide all posts from application goatse
(X) Hide all posts from vlm (69642)

Re:I did (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679330)

Think how much time you'll save yourself from FB if you delete it now. I mean you could spend that time on Slashdot instead!

Farming trolls? Serverfarm-ville?

Re:I did (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#34685176)

Serverfarm-ville?

Oh crap you just told them how to make a geek farmville...they'd drag all geek-kind into their awful digital opium den with something like that...

Re:FTFY (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678860)

People are terrified of doing that. Seriously, they are terrified of what might happen if they were to not be on Facebook anymore. You would think that Room 101 contains nothing but "delete your profile" buttons...

Re:FTFY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34678916)

Then the solution is simple, Communism. That's right boys and girls Free Market Capitalism got you here and the Xtian Capitalist Fatcats are leading you towards slaughter. This is but one of many designed to keep the poor suppressed. COMMUNISM FTW, CAPITALISM NEEDS TO BE FUCKING DESTROYED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:FTFY (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680166)

"If you're protective of your privacy, it might be a good idea to gradually replace all information in your profile with phony information." (Assuming you already made the mistake of creating a profile)

There, fixed that for you.

Lies (1)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678804)

Almost everything in my profile is either lies (born in 1900), or left intentionally blank (Favorite Hobbies: _______). I give as little information as possible to Facebook and its partners.

Re:Lies (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678892)

Do you browse your friends' profiles? Do you send Facebook messages to them? Do you use Facebook's real-time chat? Facebook records everything you do on the website -- just using Facebook means giving them information. It does not really matter if you lie about your age -- what matters is if you list your friends (not even accurately -- even if you have 1000 "friends," they will just take a look at the profiles you visit most frequently).

Everything about Facebook is designed to extract information from you. The fact that you lied or left things blank on your profile has probably been detected, and used to construct the real profile about you: what sort of a person you are, what sort of advertisements you are most likely to pay attention to.

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34678942)

Facebook records everything you do on the website -- just using Facebook means giving them information.

OH EMM GEE!!! They do things that almost every website does!!! zOMG!!!!1111ELEVENTYONE

Re:Lies (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679038)

Except this website is focused primarily on your social life. So I guess a Anonymous Coward has little to fear.

Re:Lies (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679186)

(sets up "Anonymous Coward" on facebook). Now let's have some fun. ;-)

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34679072)

The fact that you lied or left things blank on your profile has probably been detected, and used to construct the real profile about you: what sort of a person you are, what sort of advertisements you are most likely to pay attention to.

You might be on to something. Facebook obviously figured this out, and as such began blasting 90% pro-homosexual ads at me. Over the course of several months, the majority of my time spent on Facebook.com shifted from chatting with old high school friends to trying to get rid of all the gay. See, I actually hate homosexuals, I think their behavior is disgusting and I find their overall impact on modern society to be detrimental. The easiest way to get me to stop using something is to link it to homosexuals, job well done Facebook.

Though I am a bit curious, with all the "hate" speech I've spewed all over the intarwebs I wonder what an "investigator" would think about my Facebook profile... Clearly I am disgusted by fags, but I was served up an abundance of fag content via Facebook's ad network...

Re:Lies (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679434)

You might be on to something. Facebook obviously figured this out, and as such began blasting 90% pro-homosexual ads at me.

(insert my best serious Dr Phil wakeup call voice here) ... Oh heck, need I even say it, you all know what we are snickering about.

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34681196)

Oh heck, need I even say it, you all know what we are snickering about.

That you are feeding the trolls? Yeah, I snickered at you too.

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34679736)

facebook collects information based on your web activity. If you use the word homosexual or gay alot online you we see a lot of ads about that regardless of whether you feelings on the subject are positive or negative. Just like that guy who treats his customers poorly so all the negative advertising done on the web actually drives up his position on Google search results.

Re:Lies (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680110)

I suspect it's probably the gays doing that, trying to make you gay with ads alone.

<spooky voice>GaaaaaaaAAAAaaaaaAAAAaaay. Become gaaaaAAAAaaay.</spooky voice>

Don't fall for it.

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34684120)

Err, yes, clearly you are disgusted by homosexuals. Please continue researching this phenomena where web services push gay content to you without you asking for it. It is important to understand how this technical problem occurred, even if the research is disgusting. We all thank you for doing that. :)

Re:Lies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34679936)

The Facebook hysteria has gotten well out of control, but seriously...

Everything about Facebook is designed to extract information from you.

Facebook is an information sharing service. That's what it has always been for. They advertise it precisely as such. Everyone goes there and uses it for exactly that, voluntarily, and without being duped. That's why people use it.

I understand there are fringe bits of information collected that you didn't explicitly supply, like your IP, useragent, who you view, etc. But everything comes from either what you give up intentionally or from information derived from the simple act of visiting their site. My grandmother assumes they know who you look at using their service. It's a bit of a, "duh".

I know Facebook is the 500lb gorilla, but some people just take Xanax and chill.

Re:Lies (2)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34681642)

just using Facebook means giving them information.

It's even worse than that. If you previously logged on/off on Facebook, and fail to clear your browser cache and cookies, then Facebook will track every other website you visit afterward that uses some scripts of theirs (such as the Like buttons). And unlike normal cookie tracking, they know exactly who you are from your profile data.

Re:Lies (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 2 years ago | (#34684934)

OMG, +1 Pants-Peeing Hysterical man...

Re:Lies (1)

Carnivorous Vulgaris (1964964) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679106)

Incongruently, the junk from your profile is exactly what financial institutions, and other important accounts demand as security questions.

Re:Lies (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680040)

That assumes, of course, that the information that you use for security questions is accurate.

Who rules America? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34678830)

THERE IS NO GREATER POWER in the world today than that wielded by the manipulators of public opinion in America. No king or pope of old, no conquering general or high priest ever disposed of a power even remotely approach- ing that of the few dozen men who control America’s mass media of news and entertainment.Their power is not distant and impersonal; it reaches into every home in America, and it works its will during nearly every waking hour. It is the power that shapes and molds the mind of virtually every citizen, young or old, rich or poor, simple or sophisticated.

The mass media form for us our image of the world and then tell us what to think about that image. Essentially ev- erything we know—or think we know—about events out- side our own neighborhood or circle of acquaintances comes to us via our daily newspaper, our weekly news magazine, our radio, or our television.

It is not just the heavy-handed suppression of certain news stories from our newspapers or the blatant propagan- dizing of history-distorting TV “docudramas” that charac- terizes the opinion-manipulating techniques of the media masters. They exercise both subtlety and thoroughness in their management of the news and the entertainment that they present to us.

For example, the way in which the news is covered: which items are emphasized and which are played down; the reporter’s choice of words, tone of voice, and facial ex- pressions; the wording of headlines; the choice of illustra- tions—all of these things subliminally and yet profoundly affect the way in which we interpret what we see or hear.

On top of this, of course, the columnists and editors remove any remaining doubt from our minds as to just what we are to think about it all. Employing carefully developed psychological techniques, they guide our thought and opinion so that we can be in tune with the “in” crowd, the “beautiful people,” the “smart money.” They let us know exactly what our attitudes should be toward various types of people and behavior by placing those people or that behavior in the context of a TV drama or situation comedy and having the other TV characters react in the Politically Correct way.

Read more [natvan.com]

Keep multiple profiles (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678856)

I recommend people keep multiple profiles:

One profile is what they show to prospective employers that is sanitized and easy for people to see.

One profile that is either under a nickname, or a slight misspelling of the normal name, and private. This is for friends only, and for the usual socializing. Make sure to use group permissions so you can friend someone, but they don't have to see all your postings unless you give them access.

Neither of the above have platform apps turned on.

Then, one profile, not connected in any to the above two, using a nickname or alias, and using a different E-mail address (preferably different domain), perhaps in a separate Web browser and sandbox. This profile is for fertilizing your donkey in Farmville and playing all the FB games. Since this has no friends attached, an app slurping up all the gory details to hand over to the advertising companies isn't going to obtain much.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34678934)

Or simpler still:

* Don't have facebook account at all. Maybe a completely blank one registered to your email address to lock that email out.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679070)

That is true. However, when interviewing for jobs, HR people will question your ability to deal with IT technology if you don't have a MySpace/FB/Twitter presence, claiming it is as behind the times to not be on FB as it is not to have a cellphone or computer. Most companies, the HR people will have the say over the IT people, so whatever they think goes when it comes to offers being extended.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679528)

HR people will question your ability to deal with IT technology if you don't have a MySpace/FB/Twitter presence, claiming it is as behind the times to not be on FB as it is not to have a cellphone or computer.

I love the smell of astroturf in the morning, or at least I just work up, anyway.

Also there is a lot of self delusion going on, in general, in social media.

Everyone looking for a date knows they have to post on facebook, because like two people on Oprah were interviewed and supposedly got a date.

Everyone unemployed knows the best place to get a job is linkedin because everyone knows Oprah interviewed a guy whom heard of another guy whom got a job off linkedin.

The funny part is FB is full of unhappy single people and LI is full of unemployed people. It just doesn't work, and until "everyone knows it doesn't work" they can roll in some cash. Once its well known, it'll turn into a ghost town, or devolve into something mindless like prime time TV, there will still be people logging in to fertilize their fertile donkeys or whatever in farmville.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (2)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679762)

No. HR could not care less, just like when you complain on their demand for "5 years of experience on Windows Vista and 7." Even your specific target department (assuming IT) actually asking to see your presence doesn't care about it --they're only snooping for whether you'll be a problem to avoid. Anyone serious already keeps a non-Myspace/non-FB/non-Twitter website dedicated to their REAL technology presence, completely under their control, or sometimes a leased account on a blog.

We're all IT people, and anyone interviewing for a company 10 years ago didn't have to provide social networking details to be hired. I've been to plenty interviews the past 3 years, and none have even asked me for Myspace/FB/twitter on their paper applications. Not even on the interviews. E-mail and personal phone numbers is as far as they go, because that has 20+ years presence and is less likely to be an empty datafield in their HR database.

Regardless, people asked for FB presence as a requirement do so by their pick of non-IT career, and not every plain secretary job benefits from a FB presence. It makes sense only for Television, radio, sales, sales research or marketting presence job were you're supposed to be a well-known entity outside of your 9to5pm hours, like salesmen, presidents, actors and reality TV people like those Jersey Shore guys. Those are good candidates for a presence mostly because it's free 24/7 self-press, away from cameras and sky-high fees that come with them.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679898)

I only got a facebook account a couple months ago when I broke of with my crazy ex and realized that I didn't have a practical way of communicating with all my old friends who I had been missing due to crazy ex and moving 2 states away.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (3, Informative)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679100)

Then, one profile, not connected in any to the above two, using a nickname or alias, and using a different E-mail address (preferably different domain), perhaps in a separate Web browser and sandbox. This profile is for fertilizing your donkey in Farmville and playing all the FB games

No, no, no, no, NO!

You must play Farmville on the account with all your friends who play Farmville, otherwise you won't do very well at all and they won't be able to know how awesome at Farmville you are and how committed you are that you set multiple alarms at night to go and "[fertilize] your donkey". That is the whole point of these games, if it wasn't for that you may as well be playing something like Crysis. Do you know anything about Farmville?

Re:Keep multiple profiles (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679476)

>>>playing something like Crysis

I prefer Yoshi's Happy Technicolor Dreamland of Psychedelic Colors (2D platformer). But yeah you're right, Farmland's a waste. As pointless as that Cow Clicker app

Re:Keep multiple profiles (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679486)

...This profile is for fertilizing your donkey in Farmville and playing all the FB games

No, no, no, no, NO!

You must play Farmville on the account with all your friends who play Farmville...Do you know anything about Farmville?

Clearly not, he thinks "fertilizing your donkey" is part of the game.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34685106)

You can't breed donkeys in Farmville?

Re:Keep multiple profiles (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679154)

In other words, you recommend that people directly violate facebooks terms of service:

Section 4:

# You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
# You will not create more than one personal profile. ...
# You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date. ....

Oh, and by recommending people create multiple profiles with false information you are also in violation of Facebook's terms of service yourself:

Section 3:
# You will not facilitate or encourage any violations of this Statement.

This is one of MANY reasons I recommend people not use facebook. I don't think their ToS are at all reasonable. If you have to blatantly violate them to make the site palatable, then don't use the site. Doing what you advocate just rewards them for being assholes, and if you ever have any sort of dispute with them they have you over a barrel because you are blatantly violating their ToS.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680390)

You must be one of the two people in the world who read that.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34681058)

I guess we know where you work. Thanks for adding that to your profile.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 2 years ago | (#34683654)

I think using real information is pretty reasonable. I don't put much on Facebook (I don't even visit it often), but I do follow these terms for what I do put.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 2 years ago | (#34683786)

Not to mention that even if what the OP suggests was allowed, I would consider it as a workaround only, as it is not really authentic.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34684380)

If you have to blatantly violate them to make the site palatable, then don't use the site

You don't have to do so. In fact, FB is the only site that I have ever given real info to- if I don't want to give them info I simply don't give them anything.

- I don't let people not on my friends list see my profile to start with, so no job hunting worries.
- I use 'custom' settings to fine-tune who sees what, and one of my 'groups' is called "BadTouch" and members of that group can see NOTHING about my profile.
- Apps are similarly restricted, or simply not added. In the case of Farmville and other popular, spammy apps they are specifically blocked.

I don't think their ToS are at all reasonable.

Most sites have the same ToS conditions if you bother to read them. No bullshit, one account per person. And just like with most sites, FB really doesn't care much about it (even if they cared, they wouldn't be able to really do much except delete your profile, and they don't want to do that in the first place).

The only people I know who ever bothered to maintain multiple FB profiles are people who really get into those Flash games. They make a couple dozen BS accounts and friend them all into a gropu so they can get the extra bonuses the games give you for selling out your friendslist.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#34684766)

Most sites have the same ToS conditions if you bother to read them.

I do read them. I rarely have an issue with them. I have also never been advised that one should need to create multiple accounts with falsified information in them in order to make use of a service other than facebook and its social networking ilk.

No bullshit, one account per person.

Yes and no. Its hard to compare "most sites" to facebook. Most sites don't collect anywhere near the same amount of information as facebook does. Most sites don't require much more than a valid email address, a username/alias, and a password to register and use the site.

Social networking sites are collecting more data from you, and I'll even agree that the one account / no bullshit rule is legitimate.. but then your inability to control the distribution of that information to the point that you are induced to violate the ToS to regain control you should have had all along... well... like I said, there is something wrong with facebook. I've never felt the need to create multiple falsified profiles on any other website I've used in order to do something legitimate.

Re:Keep multiple profiles (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679306)

fertilizing your donkey

I can definitely understand why you’d want to use a fake profile for that sort of thing.

keep your business to yourself (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678954)

Just don't put anything up there that you don't want somebody else's lawyer holding up in court.

Also, if you're worried about FB apps getting access to your schitt don't use them, any of them.

Are FB apps just PHP webapps? (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679016)

Are FB apps just an external web page in an internal frame? If they are, surely they're vulnerable to the same attacks as any webapp.

My point being I certainly would not cry if a vigilante blackhat dropped some databases...

Re:Are FB apps just PHP webapps? (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679636)

Are FB apps just an external web page in an internal frame? If they are, surely they're vulnerable to the same attacks as any webapp.

My point being I certainly would not cry if a vigilante blackhat dropped some databases...

Meh, so that happens, not a big deal either.

But I'm certainly not putting my email password into that, or any other social networking site.

I have 'grandfathered' oblivion. I don't exist. (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679116)

I have 'grandfathered' oblivion. I don't exist. I don't have a Facebook account. Zapped future. Amen Ho Tep.

Re:I have 'grandfathered' oblivion. I don't exist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34679230)

Your writings intrigue me, I must immediately subscribe to your newsletter and re-tweet-update your ideas on my fb wall

Re:I have 'grandfathered' oblivion. I don't exist. (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680140)

I think you misunderstood the man. He clearly said he doesn't exist.

Everyone, mod grandparent -1: Doesn't exist

Standard Internet Rules Apply (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679136)

I guess the standard internet rules still apply. Once you put something on the internet, it's out there forever. The big problem with Facebook is that now that info is likely linked to your real name which makes it easier for script kiddie level "hackers" to make trouble for you. With that in mind, I think the best advice is to make sure that there's a lot more good stuff that comes up about you than bad! Facebook is too pervasive right now to just ignore, so you just have to engage in more aggressive information management to protect and enhance your image.

Re:Standard Internet Rules Apply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34679392)

Yeah. Just the other day I saw a tripfag on (RULES 1 AND 2. inb4 rules 1 and 2 only apply to raids. inb4 only newfags think rules 1 and 2 only apply to raids.)

I replied with "Hi Hayley from Holland who's into bestiality". I later pointed out that everything she'd ever posted under that trip could potentially be cross-referenced which meant that it is probably a rather spectacularly bad idea to use it (especially if anyone ever happened to backtrace her... she probably doesn't want her family knowing that the cute stray they rescued a few years back has been getting its RDA of peanut butter off her muff). Her response was a rather mild "You're right". That was the last post I saw from her, though I suspect she continued to post anonymously.

inb4 cool story bro.

Posting this anonymously... if the reasons aren't yet obvious, you weren't paying attention.

Re:Standard Internet Rules Apply (1)

turbotroll (1378271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682372)

(especially if anyone ever happened to backtrace her... she probably doesn't want her family knowing that the cute stray they rescued a few years back has been getting its RDA of peanut butter off her muff)

Very interesting and funny cautionary tale. ;) Too bad some schmuck modded you down...

Idiots (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679172)

Who, other than bored housewives and tweens, use facebook apps anyway?

Re:Idiots (0)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679268)

Who, other than bored housewives and tweens, use facebook apps anyway?

The /.ers that use Facebook to get sex with bored housewives and the AC pedos going after the tweens.

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34679538)

Grandmothers.
That means the teens and twens will run like hell once they discover that Meemaw can see them.

On the other hand... (4, Interesting)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679226)

While "delete your apps periodically and re-add them as needed" is probably very good advice most of the time, are there any cases where apps are getting worse with respect to privacy, and so having a newer version of an app is worse than having the older version?

It seems likely that someone out there, having gotten a whiff of the money that might be made, is actually getting worse about this...

Re:On the other hand... (2)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680748)

While "delete your apps periodically and re-add them as needed" is probably very good advice most of the time, are there any cases where apps are getting worse with respect to privacy, and so having a newer version of an app is worse than having the older version?

In a way.

Lately I've been bombarded with more Zynga game requests; some *Ville thing, I don't remember exactly.

If you want to install their game, Facebook presents you with a list of many items that the game requires access to. One of the prerequisites is even your email address. Several months ago, they couldn't get that.

Re:On the other hand... (1)

Sparrow1492 (1962256) | more than 2 years ago | (#34685116)

Yep. And the Zynga apps have gotten even worse now. To do many of the new in game functions you have to give them even more rights, including the right to automatically stream all of your posts and info. At that point you can't even choose not to share your donkey activities.

Don't use the apps in the first place (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679686)

I always felt that using third party apps in Facebook was a little like playing flash games on random websites -- you're giving alien code full access to whatever information you have on Facebook, and may even be opening attack vectors on your local computer.

The friends and family in my close circle range from promoting social networks for a living, to distrusting them entirely and refusing to participate even under an assumed name. I'm somewhere in the middle -- I have a small circle of friends whom I actually know, I have security locked down appropriately with periodic reviews, and I never play the games or use any of the apps. No interest in virtual organized crime, virtual farms, virtual restaurants, or today's fortune, and I don't care that someone has answered a question about me that I need to click to unlock. And I have absolutely no interest in revealing my Netflix queue to my mom. Like any tool, you can use it properly or poke your eye out, your choice.

For the facebook user swamped with lonely little cows and pillow fights in their news feed, do this: Mouse over the little "x" in the upper corner of the item. Observe a popup allowing you to "block user-name" or "block application-name". Choose the latter, and that particular app will never be seen again. Do this consistently for a week or so and you find that your news feed has been reduced from a firehose of banality to a trickle of genuine social interaction. In the rare cases where your nephew finds new crap to plaster on your wall faster than you can update your blacklist, you can always "block user-name" and ban him from your news feed. He'll never know.

Stop using Facebook? It's a little like saying "Why don't you avoid the spam and 419 scams and viruses -- just stop using email!" If you said that in 1995 you might get a few people nodding their heads. In 2010 it's a ridiculous statement.

Re:Don't use the apps in the first place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34679864)

It's much easier if you just don't start using Facebook.

Hell, I don't even bother signing into my Slashdot account. It was 6-digit anyway (200k range). Screw it.

Re:Don't use the apps in the first place (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680122)

Indeed using fb apps is an invitation to ownage, but AFAIK it hasn't (yet?) happened through a mainstream app, just through little bullshit apps of the type prone to be taken over and abused.

Re:Don't use the apps in the first place (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 2 years ago | (#34685338)

Like any tool, you can use it properly or poke your eye out, your choice.

So you're saying after two failures, we can do anything?

One or the other (2, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34679818)

Facebook and privacy are mutually exclusive. You can have one or the other but not both. Personally, I think all the worry about "privacy" is extremely exaggerated and overblown. What are they going to do? Show me targeted ads? That's what AdBlock is for.

Unless you're actually stupid enough to put all sorts of personal info on Facebook, like your real name, address, etc. In that case you're a moron who deserves to be ass-raped by every script kiddie hacker wannabe.. The bottom line is very simple. If you really care about privacy, you don't have a Facebook account in the first place.

Re:One or the other (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 2 years ago | (#34683642)

Unless you're actually stupid enough to put all sorts of personal info on Facebook, like your real name, address, etc.

Wouldn't use these as examples.

privacy (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680156)

If you're protective of your privacy,

...then what the hell are you doing on Facebook???

yuo f4il 1t! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34681142)

RaYmond i-n his [goat.cx]

I don't get it (1)

ProfessorKaos64 (1772382) | more than 3 years ago | (#34681764)

I use facebook to just converse with friends I used to go to school with, relatives. Do I ever feel like I'm being "data mined"? No...? I really honestly don't get this whole "omgz 10010011 you don't care about privacy, they hackorz youuu"...well um its 2010...get used to it. You can't escape this stuff, its the digital age, nothing is private nor should you expect it to. I log on to facebook, check some things out leave. I dont cringe and have a heart attack at what is on my profile, as long as you keep it clean, do I bleed out my eyes if I see an add? No. Do I add stupid apps? No. Use it for what facebook was when it first started out, to keep in touch. If you do that and stop shitting your pants over this bullshit, then you'll be just fine. Grow up paranoids.

FACEBOOK IS GAY UP the Arse! (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 2 years ago | (#34684214)

Sorry could not resist. Sue me! Look if you need to join a social networking site, you need a "Reality Check". Buy your own domain name and get hosted or host yourself if you know apache. It is not that hard. Start you own blog etc and people will find you. Not fake "E" friends, then you might make some true friends.

If you value your privacy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34684942)

"If you're protective of your privacy", you will avoid Facebook altogether. Facebook's privacy protections are nonexistant until somebody complains about a particular violation, then fixed only piecemeal and under protest and only as much as necessary to satisfy the current complaint. And no data already gathered is ever deleted.

If you have failed to avoid FB at any time in the past, too late. Your privacy is gone. You will never get it back. Welcome to the brave new world.

Forget Big Sis--it turns out Big Brother is some pimple-faced kid who snookered his friends into giving up their real data for virtual tokens, while he sold their real data for real money.

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