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Your Ex-CoWorkers Will Kill Facebook

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-be-glad-they're-not-after-you dept.

Social Networks 267

Random BedHead Ed writes "Cory Doctorow writes about the downside of social networking on the Information Week site, with a focus on Facebook. While he starts with some minor but insightful quibbles, he quickly moves to a critique of the core of social networking: 'Imagine how creepy it would be to wander into a co-worker's cubicle and discover the wall covered with tiny photos of everyone in the office, ranked by 'friend' and 'foe,' with the top eight friends elevated to a small shrine decorated with Post-It roses and hearts.' Do you really want to add your boss and coworkers to your friends list? (And more to the point, do you really have a choice?)"

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267 comments

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this is old news... (-1, Offtopic)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521659)

Facebook has already got this figured out... they're testing a new feature that lets you create alternate personalities [pttbt.ca] to keep your various personalities away from each other...

Re:this is old news... (4, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521765)

Facebook has already got this figured out... they're testing a new feature that lets you create alternate personalities to keep your various personalities away from each other...

Schizophrenia is a perfectly reasonable response to modern society, if you've accepted that you can't change it and you want to live at any cost, I suppose...

Re:this is old news... (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521863)

Wait 'till they find out about Fuckbook... [yadogg.com]

END MODERATOR ABUSE (1, Offtopic)

Taco Meat (1104291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522591)

I have again been the victim of moderator abuse http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=366293&cid=21424075 [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] MOD me up to correct this injustice.

Too many moderators use Insightful as "I agree". Too many moderators fall for unoriginal groupthink and mod it up. People complain about trolls, but the REAL line noise on slashdot comes from the posts modded +4 or +5 that contribute NOTHING to an intelligent discussion. You can't filter that out, and even if you have your thresholds set high, you still see all the stupid stuff that you've already seen. That's why digg sucks and will never be anything but a place for 1338 high-skool haxx0rs. And it's happening here. So I used this account to call shenanigans on sucky posts. I getted modded into oblivion for pointing out truth. I guess that's how it goes. Most of you are a bunch of mindless sheeple.

One way to fix this: I think Slashdot should give IQ tests to all would-be moderators. That would ensure most of the ramshackle pseudo-intellectuals who get mod points would be replaced by people who can actually read the moderator guidelines and adhere to them.

Re:this is old news... (5, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521983)

George: 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 love that George.

George: Me too, and he's dying. If Relationship George walks through this door, he will kill Independent George. A George divided against itself cannot stand!

Re:this is old news... (1)

slonkak (648358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522291)

You have no idea how much I laughed after reading that. The voices and everything were perfect in my head!

Re:this is old news... (1, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522673)

JERRY: Hello?

VALERIE: Who's this?

JERRY: It's Jerry. Who's this?

VALERIE: Uh, it's Valerie.

JERRY: Oh, hi Valerie. What's up?

VALERIE: I'll tell you what's up. My stepmother is violently ill, so I hit the
button for poison control and I get you!

JERRY: Wow, poison control? That's even higher than number one!

Valerie hangs up the phone.

JERRY: Hello?

[END]

Re:this is old news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522105)

I can't be the only person whose sick of these pttbt.ca plugs. I get it, and your site is even funny from time to time, but I don't need to reminded about it on every /. post.

Re:this is old news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522383)

I take your point, but in our defence, they're not plugs in the traditional sense, I think... we take a few good stories out of the "mysterious future" and try to write parodies of them before they go live. It's a fun exercise, not meant to annoy anyone. We'll look at changing our approach over the next few days, and if it still bugs you, let us know.

Re:this is old news... (4, Insightful)

MC Negro (780194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522517)

Jesus Christ, dude. Would you knock it off with the faux-Onion link whoring? The first couple were alright, but it's just getting lame now. We get it - you've got an Onion-style satire site with a tech slant. Please quit spamming every article with disguised links to your site - it confuses trigger-happy moderators into thinking your posting something, you know, relevant or informative.

Mods - the parent post is just a link to his own satire site. His post is sitting at +5 Interesting right now and doesn't address the issue raised in the original article in any way whatsoever. Please don't reward affiliate linkwhoring with Interesting or Insightful mods.

Re:this is old news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522701)

Roger that. My apologies. No ill will intended.

Already killed LinkedIn (2, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521663)

Guys I DON'T want following me - temp's from startups, etc!

Facebook will Adapt (3, Insightful)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521693)

The people who run Facebook aren't stupid - there's so much money involved here that I am sure they will find a solution to this. As for me, I'd just block my old co-workers when I leave, unless I strongly trust them on a personal level.

Re:Facebook will Adapt (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522285)

Unless they're friends IRL, I remove them as "friends" on facebook the minute I walk out that door.

People are stupid? (4, Insightful)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521707)

How many people thought about this 12 years ago and have maintained separate online identities for Work and Recreation?
I did.

Re:People are stupid? (2, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521747)

That's what I call social Notworking.

My employer might frown on the extensive online tribute work I created in homage to Huey P. Newton.

Re:People are stupid? (3, Funny)

cybermage (112274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521787)

I Hurt People For Fun

Does your sig represent work or recreation? ;)

Re:People are stupid? (1)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521975)

Since it's fun it must be recreation!
Anyone curious about the hurting people for fun can check my bloggage at kintanon.blogspot.com for more info. There will be a new post tonight.

Your Ex-CoWorkers Will Kill Facebook (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522269)

Will they hurry the f*ck up already?!

Re:People are stupid? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521819)

How many people thought about this 12 years ago and have maintained separate online identities for Work and Recreation?

Same here, and I'm very glad I did it. Captain Splendid is completely unconnected to any mention of the real me online.

Re:People are stupid? (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522121)

Doug? Is that you?

Re:People are stupid? (5, Interesting)

solar_blitz (1088029) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521835)

I use LinkedIn for professional networking, and I use Facebook for personal networking. If I know a guy from my work I like well enough to be considered a buddy, I'll add him/her to Facebook. If I know a person on Facebook to be very good at what they do, I'll add them to LinkedIn. It's that simple. It's Structuralism, man - just maintain separate spaces and let them overlap on exceptions only. I'm not going to add everybody I meet at a Conference to facebook, I'll add them to LinkedIn.

I'm amazed there are people who don't do this.

Re:People are stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522271)

> I use LinkedIn for professional networking, and I use Facebook for personal networking.

And in XYZ months, when one of these companies buys the other, or when the two companies decide to merge their userbases for a more seamless experience...

Re:People are stupid? (2, Interesting)

CFTM (513264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521849)

I never maintained separate identities but I was always aware that anything I posted online could be found by any one looking for it; if I don't want something to be "public domain" I don't put it online, doesn't matter how 'secure' the data is.

Re:People are stupid? (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521889)

Yo!

To me, it always seemed like a no-brainer. I keep a webmail account for all personal communication, and don't give it to work clients. The only people outside work that have my work email address are my immediate family...

Otherwise, I get clients trying to get me to do work on the side after-hours, and I have to explain Uncle Bubba's "Illustrated Ode to Hooters" email to my boss...

No thanks!

Re:People are stupid? (1)

s!lat (975103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521917)

I just kind of thought that would be common sense. I would expect that to be much more common as more and more people are using the social networking sites

Re:People are stupid? (-1, Troll)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522073)

At least in Americans under the age of about 40, common sense is practically nonexistent...still surprised?

-uso.

Re:People are stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522321)

The only social networking site I'm familiar with is slashdot. Facebook, youtube, myspace, and all those other doohickeys are as foreign to me as the ladies gossiping over at the water cooler. That being said, my best friend lives in Korea - TerranWang over on the #Starcraft channel.

Re:People are stupid? (1)

Rogue974 (657982) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522011)

You, are one of the social and intellectual elite having thought about and done this. Before you think me sarcastic, I did the same thing. I have a couple of email addresses and give the appropriate address to the appropriate person. Work people that are not friends are never given my non-work email email address, nice and simple.

I also can't understand why some people would, like the artical says, put your boss on your friends list if you are using Facebook for friends stuff. If they want to be added, like you said, make a new facebook account if you only have one and keep work and friends seperate.

People are so silly sometimes, that also leads to what some others have said, never post something on facebook etc that you don't want everyone to see and knwo about you.

Re:People are stupid? (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522333)

I wish I had. Lately I've had to start a disinfomation "campaign" to try and reclaim one of my (very unique) aliases that has become dirtied...

Re:People are stupid? (3, Interesting)

myvirtualid (851756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522349)

maintain... separate online identities for Work and Recreation

You'll notice from my /. nickname that I did this...

...and now sort of regret it, now that I'm consulting and wish I could tie together the various sites at which I lurk, as part of an effort at building a coherent brand...

...something which I would surely regret 5 years from now, when I move on to project X.

Wanna know what's really funny? I chose "myvirtualid" as a quasi-ironic meaningless handle and decided to use it as a throwaway at all the sites I "really didn't care about", the sites I figured would generate the most spam, etc.

Then, when I got tired of the spam, I would tank myvirtualid and move on....

Except it didn't work out that way - over time, the one email ID that got the least spam was myvirtualid, and the sites that I've maintained the {l|str}ongest association with are those sites where myvirtualid is myHandleOfChoice.

And the only reason I don't get more spam at pwwnow@TheGreat2GBSearchEngineEmailPalace.com is decent spam filtering. I won't even mention pww@MyCorporateConsultingIdentity.com, which just shows how bad the spam filtering is in Evolution (after months of training).

Let's face it: Identity is fluid. Friendships are fluid. And our understanding of them is fluid as well, at least from the perspective of different generations.

There was a good story reprinted in the Gardner Dozois annual a few years ago about a furture virtual world where identity and skins were completely user selectable, and where, after a few years or decades in one place and one skin, it was socially acceptable to "burn down" one's "house" and move on, no forwarding address.

And all that prevented anyone from following and learning the new ID or new location was the simple desire to one day move along one's self. And that was enough.

Let's face it. As wise as the Red Caped Ballooning Blogger may be, none of us really yet understands the implications of the new networking. It's far more pervasive and far more sinister and far more powerful and far more enabling than we yet realize.

And generation ++(++(++(++(++(++X))))) will work within it with an ease lost on them's of us still around trying to puzzle it all out.

Prognosticate all you will, Jack, you don't know jack 'bout what's next.

Re:People are stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522657)

Unfortunately i didn't have your foresight.

So i've changed my real name by Deed Poll and this time i'm going to do things right.

Easy solution (3, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521731)

Hide all your data. Add only the friends you want to be able to see your facebook page.

Or just not use Facebook in the first place.

uh, dont use it? (5, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521739)

Maybe just don't use it. What is your company going to do, fire you for not wasting work time creating a virtual soap opera?

Re:uh, dont use it? (4, Interesting)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522199)

I agree that if one is concerned about a service, they should consider not using it. But for me, not only has Facebook allowed me to keep in touch with friends and family, it's done something greater - it's how I found the love of my life.

My Fiancee and I went to the same high school but were in different grades. Despite being in a musical together, we only talked on perhaps two occasions. One day she wondered what I had been up to (people at my old high school still talked about me after I left due to my NASA work) and sent me a message. Less than a week later, I visited her at her school and discovered someone absolutely amazing.

So, despite all I might disagree with, I owe much of my current happiness to both NASA and Facebook. May they both live long and prosper :)

Re:uh, dont use it? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522385)

I can't believe I'm defending anything that quotes a person pretending to be named "danah boyd" but -- the submitter completely missed the topic of the article. He connected two random bits of it to conclude that it's about workplace issues, which isn't at all the real point.

In Soviet Russia (0, Redundant)

RHSC (1019802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521753)

Facebook will kill your ex-coworkers

Re:In Soviet Russia (0, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521795)

And Job will find You!

Social Networking Sites in General (5, Insightful)

CFTM (513264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521791)

It's beyond me why people are so quick to spill their most personal secrets on a social networking site; it just seems to me that people have no idea that anything that they say, type or post is often available for the world to see. Sorry but I don't like that kind of invasion of privacy and I never have...I can remember being 13 years, being on AOL and being wary to give any personal information out that I would want to be in public domain, but I seem to be very alone in this idea in my peer group (26 now).

Heck, I've even had people I used to work attempt to add me to their friends list and I rejected them. Then again I'm one of those people who only accepts invitations from people I know in the flesh, don't allow myself to be searched for and never post anything on the profile anyways.

Re:Social Networking Sites in General (5, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521943)

It's beyond me why people are so quick to spill their most personal secrets on a social networking site

It's because they're hoping to score with Hot Internet Chicks. Why is this hard to understand?

If playing every Mario game ever made has taught me anything it's that guys will do anything, even eating strange mushrooms and jumping head first into sewer pipes, for the vague possibility of impressing women.

Re:Social Networking Sites in General (1)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522223)

You know that this is slashdot - and here everyone also have lists of friends and foes ?

You are allready assimilated... restistance is futil!

Facebook: getting to know you before the first dat (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522555)

It's beyond me why people are so quick to spill their most personal secrets on a social networking site

It's because they're hoping to score with Hot Internet Chicks.
Seriously, I met this girl at a bar a few weeks back, and when I asked her for her email she said she'd find me on facebook instead.

Re:Social Networking Sites in General (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522081)

What's so secret? I get drunk and on a saturday night? Hold the phone.. major world secret there.

I mean, from TFA.. maintaining lists and 'top friends' (which personally I don't do, since I don't rate my friends against each other) is fine because it's the accepted way of behaving in modern society. Why does the AP say it's 'creepy?' - because they don't like facebook? Because they're afraid of what their friends think of them?

I'd seriously consider not employing someone with that attitude because it's antisocial.. and antisocial people can seriously harm a workplace.

Re:Social Networking Sites in General (1)

theantipop (803016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522299)

Not everyone I meet in this world is my friend. I'm sorry if this offends you, but it isn't antisocial. I don't use any social networking site, but I can't see how rejecting someone as a virtual friend would have any bearing on the workplace.

Re:Social Networking Sites in General (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522431)

You prove my point in face. If you distrust someone so much then reject them.

It's still not an invasion of privacy or anything else. You simply choose not to tell them about stuff.

OTOH someone who posted crap like that about facebook is probably the kind of person who doesn't like socialising in meatspace either, and not a good co worker.

Re:Social Networking Sites in General (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522561)

What is the basis for this claim? To me it seems completely off base but if you can construct a cogent argument around your premise I'd love to read it.

Minimalist on the web. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522187)

As an example, I (anon cow..) do not participate on the social networking sites, or post myself on the web, period.

Yes, I have logged into Facebook once, just to create the account. However I have not logged into it since. That was over a year ago. As far as MySpace is concerned, only reason I exist there is because of my band Myspace page. Outside of that, I'm listed on my work website, which is google indexed. I'm also listed under archive.org, since the band puts the live shows up for download for free. And I'll show up for a one time bug I posted to bugs.gentoo.org.

In all, thats my public existence on the web. That is it. As I work in IT, I spend around 8+ hours a day on the computer and internet. Every other presence I have on the net exists under obscure usernames. Sometimes consistent across domains and forums, sometimes not.

Why so limited exposure on the net? Why not. I see no need to broadcast my life onto the web. Granted I'm socially inept and probably undiagnosed manic depressive, schizophrenic, or bipolar, but I still don't see the need to have my 'life' outside of work, revolve around my internet connection.

Re:Social Networking Sites in General (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522195)

They do it for the same reason you made that post - self expression. We're all special snowflakes remember?

Combine that with social pressure - "are you on myspace, facebook, AIM, etc..?" and you see the trend.

We all find different avenues to express ourselves. It can be a bit overwhelming, being bombarded with all this expression, personal information, emotions. Best taken in small doses.

Re:Social Networking Sites in General (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522225)

It's beyond me why people are so quick to spill their most personal secrets on a social networking site;

Probably the same reason we pick our noses in our cars, despite everyone being able to see us. It feels more private and anonymous than it really is.

Re:Social Networking Sites in General (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522425)

Better than that (im the same age, for what it matters), I just dont use the popular social networks.

I'm available on Usenet. That right there cuts down on the stupidity of social networking sites.

Re:Social Networking Sites in General (1)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522469)

I agree. I do (and have done) my best to avoid being trivially findable. I don't understand why anyone would willingly give out personal information... After all, that's the first step on the road to being seen [youtube.com] by someone.

In all seriousness though, these sorts of services make finding people trivially easy. That's great if only your friends are looking for you. Not so great otherwise.

Hmm. I don't seem to care. (2, Interesting)

Trillan (597339) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521801)

I can't imagine why, but I don't seem to care what my coworkers think, what my boss thinks, or what my ex-coworkers think. Perhaps that's why I was willing to add them.

I do recognize that some people have the kind of boss that demand to be added to my profile. I'd simply have ignored him. If I was really pushed, I'd either let him fire me (fun times ahead!) or give him access to the limited profile.

Again, though, my boss isn't an ankle-dragging technical cretin.

Re:Hmm. I don't seem to care. (2, Insightful)

CFTM (513264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521901)

Yeah, my boss would never make a request like that, not to mention I think it'd probably be an HR no-no. Although if I ever had a manager who did, I'd probably laugh at them for a really long time, hopefully long enough to get fired :) And as the parent said, being fired for that = some serious fun times ahead! :)

Re:Hmm. I don't seem to care. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522325)

yeah..except in some career paths it will follow you and hurt your career at other companies.

And of course you won't be fired for THAT; However the economy is in a down turn could be reasons they, regrettably, have to let you go.

Re:Hmm. I don't seem to care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522371)

i hope that works for you. honestly, i don't see it as a problem...yet. however, it seems kinda like cell phones to me. i don't have one. my company will not provide me with one. however, my co-workers have personal cell phones. they communicate with them all of the time since we tend to not be at our desks alot. i sometimes feel like i'm being left out of the loop. while no one wants to get rid of me for not having a cell phone, if this trend continues, i will find myself turning in work based on wrong information. or if someone needs information or service from me, they can't get ahold of me but they get ahold of my co-workers. pretty soon the attitude becomes, what does that guy do, anyway? i will begin to seem like dead-weight to my team. eventually, i may find myself voted off the island.

Madness? THIS IS LINKEDIN! (2, Insightful)

Zigurd (3528) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521813)

'Imagine how creepy it would be to wander into a co-worker's cubicle and discover the wall covered with tiny photos of everyone in the office, ranked by 'friend' and 'foe,' with the top eight friends elevated to a small shrine decorated with Post-It roses and hearts.'


That would be LinkedIn.

Re:Madness? THIS IS LINKEDIN! (4, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522339)

LinkedIn doesn't do ranking, and it certainly doesn't let you throw random goofy nonsense into your profile. Most peoples facebook connections look like a merge of the user's local area of the org chart of every company they've worked at.

If I ever go onto facebook, I don't think I'd go "ranking" my friends. Talk about an unfeature.

Re:Madness? THIS IS LINKEDIN! (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522367)

sorry, that should read "most peoples LinkedIn connections". I get these ridiculistic "Websurf too-period-oh" gizmotronic contrapulations confused all the time.

Finally (5, Funny)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521823)

Your Ex-CoWorkers Will Kill Facebook

At least those idiots will do something right before they die.

Coworkers? (1)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521825)

I thought Face Book was largely a college-age thing. Why would you and your coworkers be using it?

Re:Coworkers? (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522007)

The college students that have used it for most of their time in college are now graduating. They are taking it with them to keep in touch.

You are now meeting other people of the same age in the workplace that also are in a similar situation.

Link points to printable version of article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21521841)

Because the printable version contains no ads. I am appalled. As long as Slashdot condones stealing money out of the pockets of InformationWeek and the like, no one is going to care enough about Web 3.0 to create it.

Your network does not mean your trusted network. (1)

h4w6af6oitsbn7pc (1183557) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521847)

LinkedIn has interesting phrases such as "only people you trust". In theory this is to prevent such abuse, but in reality it is socially unacceptable in many situations (like the workplace) to not add people to your network if you know them in person. What are you supposed to do when you see these people everyday? Even a polite turning away might turn them into an enemy. But most people know this problem with LinkedIn, so if you have a large network, the network does not serve to reflect those you trust, but how many people want to be in your network. They want to be in your network for a reason, so it becomes a positive reflection on your worth. Just treat recommendations as the real measure of trust.

Re:Your network does not mean your trusted network (1)

usrcpp (1184447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522443)

They want to be in your network for a reason, so it becomes a positive reflection on your worth.

And that's why I've stayed away from social networks. Why oh why would a person want to tell the whole world who they went to school with, who they went to college with, who they work with and who they hang out with other than to make some kind of a claim about their worth? I've got enough things to worry about in my life; I don't need people to start prejudging me because of who they see associated with my name.

Why just your office? (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521851)

Seriously, the whole thing is creepy.

Someone say "creepy"? (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521907)

'Imagine how creepy it would be to wander into a co-worker's cubicle and discover the wall covered with tiny photos of everyone in the office, ranked by 'friend' and 'foe,' with the top eight friends elevated to a small shrine decorated with Post-It roses and hearts.'
Sounds perfectly normal to me.

Re:Someone say "creepy"? (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522375)

I had a boss like that. When he gave me "his way or the highway" speech, I had a clear idea which side of the friend/foe list I was on.

John Dvorak, is that you? (4, Insightful)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521935)

Do you really want to add your boss and coworkers to your friends list?
That's like saying, you really want to eat? Yes? Here's some sulfur. Some people you work with might actually be friends. Some are just coworkers.

(And more to the point, do you really have a choice?)
Yes.

You might say, well if I'm friendly outside of work with one coworker and add that one person to a friends list, but then that person adds every one in the office, including the big boss, to his/her list, can't those people then link back to my page?

Well, yeah, welcome to society. This is not news. This is not technology related. Folks interact. Something you share with one person may in turn be shared by that person with others. It's called discretion, get some.

I think you missed the bigger picture (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522253)

In many corporations politics are critical to your success. This permeates through the corporation.

Now what do you do if your boss says they want to be your 'friend'?
This could be politically damaging no matter how you answer it.
  What if he isn't in political favor and you want a promotion to another department?

Yes, politics is stupid shit, It's wasteful, harmful, and hurts organization. It is real, and in some career tracks, inescapable. Fortunately IT workers are buffered away from it more then other workers.

The technology part is that what is on your facebook/blog/whatever last a lot longer and come and bite you in the ass.

misunderstood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522609)

"This is not news. This is not technology related."

It is a shift in "acceptable" social norms spurred by technology. There have always been situations, things analogous in non-technical matters to social networking sites. The technology is the change; the dumbing down of relationships and relaxing of natural real-world boundaries that were previously there. Guess where "technology" lets this flow? It sinks to the lowest common denominator.

Previously, if you walked up to someone you knew slightly and stated "make me your friend, tell me who your other friends are, let me read your journal.", you'd be looked at as a creepy idiot.

Now, it's "normal" to do this because of things like Facebook, etc. It's "expected". You are supposed to "tell all about you" because everyone else does.

"It's called discretion, get some."

Discretion is great until it precludes you from something because you won't "play along" with what someone else is doing. If you don't care about your career, then go right ahead. Problem solved for me, I never use the things and never will; over-hyped bullshit it is.

Yes you have a choice (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521973)

Just hit ignore. I do that all the time to friends, family, coworkers etc. They really don't need to see the photos I have posted, nothing horrible that would get me into trouble mind you. just simply a none of their business scenario.

in the real world... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21521987)

The problem with social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace; et all, is not in regards to their intended use. Rather, it is in the fact that often times in our "new" professional working environment, we have the view that being professional, is the same as being social. So, as a manager, my employees actually feel hurt when I deny them access to my private, closed access Myspace page. When asked I reply with "company policy, sorry" but the reality is, the old rules of there being a division between work and home is dead. If I try to separate my personal life from my professional life, my employees feel an emotional detachment from me, which hinders professional development. However, if I were to include them into my social networking, they would quickly confuse my personal choices with their professional behavior. For example my peers have received feedback during coaching conversations to employees "how can you try to coach me on appropriate topics of conversation while at work when last night your status was 'i need a blunt and some cock tonight'". Details aside, yes it is the case that the difference is at work vs not at work, but people confuse that happens in our personal lives with what happens in our professional lives. My father worked at IBM for nearly 40 years, and the rules he lived by in the office were the complete and total opposite to what I experience at another Fortune 500 company. It is unfortunate that my 17-25 year old employees simply do not see the difference between work and play. More worrisome is my 25-40 year old peers who cave to the pressures to involve the employees in their social networking sites, and have serious professional consequences when something goes awry, or someone decides to create drama. A possible solution posed by some companies is to create internal professional networking sites. Managed by company employees and governed by existing policy, these sites work to enable managers to have professional relationships with employees, while maintaining work-life balance. However, Myspace is compelling, as is sex, and lurid details about interesting people's lives (or uninteresting lives as the case may be). Simply stated, bad bosses use Myspace as a way to monitor or snoop on employees personal lives. As such, everyone, Managers and Employees alike should view it with a healthy dose of skepticism and distrust.

Re:in the real world... (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522613)

Ever heard of a paragraph? Whatever you had to say, I didn't read it.

What is Facebook? (3, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522021)

Seriously? I thought real people grew out of social networking when they got out of college...

Here were are at the obvious end conclusion. Social networking sites are not bad just for children, they are bad, period. Diary books normally come with a lock and key, social network sites come with an invitation for you to share your personal diary with the rest of the world, whether the rest of the world has any desire to read it or not. Social networking is to the Internet what reality tv is to video based entertainment. If we could get the pages judged by American Idol judges, perhaps it would be a bit better, but as long as bright neon spandex clothing continues to be sold in XXXL sizes, social networking sites will continue to plague society.

I personally think it is a bonus feature for my next job interview that I don't have a social networking account.

Re:What is Facebook? (1)

Bloodoflethe (1058166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522411)

I really think that perhaps people don't understand that social networking sites should really be used just for that - social networking. Personal blogging has its place, I suppose, but it really just feels like an orgy of narcissism to me.

Just remember: social networking sites are fine for that purpose, PLEASE don't tell me about the time when your kid blew snot on your cat and you pet the cat and wiped your face with that hand right before your mistress kissed you and got a mouthful of baby snot! I don't want to know!

Speaking of Social Networking, check out my brother's band "At the Stars [myspace.com] " on myspace.com. This, in my opinion, is one of the better uses of a social networking site, and the only reason I joined up (to promote my brother's band)

Re:What is Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522489)

By college, you mean junior high right?

I think the reality is overstated (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522035)

While it can be hurtful to be removed from a friend list, usually there's a reason behind it. Two popular reasons are interaction has slowed to a halt for quite a time between you and someone else, or something has been done to offend one party. In the first case, I hope many will accept the fact that people sometimes move on. There are plenty of people I know from high school or college that I talked to routinely while in attendance, but we never shared a truly meaningful relationship. In the case that you have done something to offend another person, many times this is spawned from a misunderstanding the person who removes you as a friend without thinking it through is generally a more non-confrontational person. Sometimes you being removed as a friend may be the only way you have to know you've pissed them off so in that way it can be a tool.

Additionally and as for the top friends application seen on facebook, it is just that... an application. You can choose to add this if you want to which I have opted out of. In many ways it seems the target use for such an ap is either to add almost everyone to it, or to selectively use it to spawn jealousy. [penny-arcade.com] Because I choose to take part in neither of those activities, that component can be entirely avoided. On most social networking sites such a feature is also optional, and while some people opt-in, if jealousy is to be avoided - so should the application.

Serves them right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522039)

Anybody stupid enough to actually have those myspace-esque applications deserves all the s*** they get!
Seriously - how many of us slashdottians actually have installed apps like TopFriends? Or am I the only one who hates them?

I have a choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522055)

Do you really want to add your boss and coworkers to your friends list? (And more to the point, do you really have a choice?)

No, I don't, and I haven't. I've had people at work friend me on Facebook, I've ignored every one. My boss recently said she got a Facebook account, and I told her not to bother friending me because I would just ignore her request anyway. Thankfully most people I work with are adult enough to understand why (separating professional from personal).

My Co-workers Won't Kill Facebook (3, Funny)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522107)

They don't have a clue what Facebook is, and even if they did, they wouldn't use it because the UI is too confusing for them.

That's what happens when you code PL/SQL for ten-plus years in a 4-GL IDE - your brain turns to mashed turnips.

Insensitive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522113)

clod. Atleast you get a cubicle.

Limited Profile (1)

omnipresentbob (858376) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522149)

Regarding Facebook: Why not just give them your limited profile? Most people wouldn't even know.

In-Cubicle Ranking of Coworkes (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522165)

Right...

That would be so unprofessional, not to mention risky. Feelings would be hurt. It's one thing to selectively lunch or dine or smoke with or chat with a core group of co-workers. It's obvious, and natural.

However, ranking the entire company or division or building/site would risk incurring strange or dangerous reactions. Imagine the spurned one-time fling or would-be lover spurned by company policy or by a new, hot competing love interest in our outside the company.

I think LISTING friends for all to see is risky in and of itself. That's why it's good that Facebook allows/permits/enables disclosure by levels. But, unless an electronic tool or bored person or group daily or hourly looks people up, they may not know ALL friends, nor be able to strike up a "friendship add" to deepen the queries. But, ranking employees on paper and hanging the hierarchy for all passers to peruses could alienate or distract co-workers.

It could worsen if B2B rankings happen. Imagine a competitor's partner who might by necessity be your company's partner getting hold of the company or B2B listing just by taking it and not being caught.

Companies need to institute policies on this.

What I really want... (1)

dzurn (62738) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522171)

is a networking site for anti-social people.

Oh, right. Where did I post this? Duh.

Re:What I really want... (1)

22_9_3_11_25 (645799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522513)

IRC

Obligatory, I'm afraid... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522179)

Your Ex-CoWorkers Will Kill Facebook

In former-Soviet Russia, your ex-coworkers kill you [guardian.co.uk] !

Your Ex-CoWorkers Will Kill Facebook (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522197)

Your Ex-CoWorkers Will Kill Facebook

No, no, no. That's not right at all.

Bill's Ex-CoWorkers Will Fucking Kill Facebook

Or buy it.

web applications have a purpose (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522205)

The columnist is freaking out because he/she has to go to Facebook to get their Facebook messages ... huh? This article is some kind of weird rant.

fix it! (2, Insightful)

hey (83763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522215)

Corey makes some good points. Facebook is better than MySpace. Maybe we can take his suggestions and make something better than Facebook. Different types of relationships (ie not just bidirectional friends) would be a start.

Misperceptions (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522233)

It's socially awkward to refuse to add someone to your friends list

No, it's not. Nor does clicking the easily found "deny" button automatically make somebody "a foe." Actually, come to think of it, this here Slashdot place is one of the only ones I've come across that allows both friend and foe designations.

-- but removing someone from your friend-list is practically a declaration of war.

No, it's not. Well, maybe if you're so unable to deny the initial friend request then this is a problem, but neither of these seem to me to be problems with the sites themselves. They sound like user problems to me.

Re:Misperceptions (1)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522621)

Of course they're user problems! All social problems are user problems. While it's nice that you disagree with these assertions, many, many people would not. People can take offense for the slightest reasons, real or imaginary, IRL. A site like facebook just removes some of the in-person social context and customs around the "won't you be my friend?" request which are responsible for the dearth of such RL requests above the 4th grade level as Doctorow pointed out. So the problem with the social networking sites is that they reenable a behavior that the vast majority of people have grown out of, and that they have a publicizing effect on these behaviors.

new technology (1)

zoftie (195518) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522309)

These pundits get paid to talk about technology in terms of way it would've been done in the past and how ridiculous it looks now to do that, relating to the past.

Its new technology, its here, just use it or loose it.

As with telephone, way in back times, you didn't have to see the person you're talking to. That must've been pretty weird experience, when to talk to someone you really had to go over and see them.

Revolutionary technology is always weird, you don't have to walk then miles and think ten days to figure it out. It even more pathetic, trying to bend yourself out of shape, trying to imagine weirdness of said technology. Its been said too, that people never really accept new ideas, rather they die and newborn get to understand that the world way it is, is just normal.

This would be so easy to fix (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522379)

and in a cool way as well (I thought about coding something like this in my spare time, otoh at the moment I have very little of that).

------------
First of all every account is allowed as many profiles as they want, every profile can be completely different, and tagged with a descriptive name so you know what it's about ('work profile', 'ex's profile', etc.)

Every profile also has a 'trust value', the higher the trust value, the more you need to trust people to show this profile.

Every user has a trust value as well, if the user is in multiple groups they will be presented with the profile they have the most trust for (say, if you have a coworker whom you also play poker with every now and then, but that you don't really trust as much as others, you could have them in both groups BUT they'd still see your 'work' profile)

Your admin interface is a big field divided in sections/shapes based on how many profiles you have. Every 'friend' in your network is a little square with their picture, you can drag your friends to different 'groups' on your 'profile desk'. If your friend is in multiple groups, you can right-click-move them where you get a windows-like 'move here or create shortcut here'
-------------

this would let you solve all privacy issues in a very user friendly way, and I also bet people would get really into rearranging their friends, creating groups and shuffling people around, and so on. If a user had thousands of friends, the interface also would create 'stacks' (which would be easier to move) etc. etc.

Cory - Fun guy who censors those who disagree (1, Troll)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522399)

A fellow without much credibility in my book since the dustup with Ursala LeGuin over his posting her entire one paragraph story and then not allowing comments on his fake apology to her. Putting up a comment board to comment on his stories and articles from around the web and then not allowing comments, what a concept. Also if you mention that fact on his site you get the dreaded 'removal of your vowels' censorship. Funny how the most avowed 'liberal' folks turn into little Nazis when given a tiny bit of power.

Re:Cory - Fun guy who censors those who disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522725)

Funny how the most avowed 'liberal' folks turn into little Nazis when given a tiny bit of power.

Uh-huh. Given the above sentence, something tells me that you've never once in your fucking life ever gave Doctorow "credit" for anything. So just quit with your pathetic, transparent muckraking, you conservative twat.

Well, (1)

reddeno (155457) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522507)

There isn't a top eight on Facebook... so I guess problem solved.

Automatic De-list (4, Insightful)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522511)

It's socially awkward to refuse to add someone to your friends list -- but removing someone from your friend-list is practically a declaration of war.

So, these services should just automatically de-list people after a year or two, unless you consciously refresh them.

Done.

Helloooo aliases anyone? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522703)

This is why I keep around 4 or 5 independent personalities online, each for a distinct forum/social network site.

This is only one of them.

Have a choice? Hell yeah - it's simple.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21522733)

...claim you've never heard of and put on a plausible expression of puzzlement about the subject. This has been great fun for me in many public situations when someone mentions Myspace as if it's some uber playground to meet people.

Random Person: "Hey, you should check out my MySpace page."
Me: "WTF is MySpace?"
Random Person: "You've never heard of MySpace?"
Me: "Nope. I spend too much time face to face with people in the real world, hang out with people I know, meet new clients at random, work in the field - you know, I have a LIFE."

Inevitably the reaction of the "Random Person" is all too funny. Especially when I manage to keep a straight face and convince them I've never heard of MySpace, even when I hear too damn much about it. Social networking sites are largely in the realm of an adolescent dick waving contest - a whole bunch of dicking around for nothing.

As for me, I'll stick to the real world, especially when it comes to meeting anyone new.

10 types of people (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21522735)

Those who spend all their time 'networking' and those who have friends. If you the later, then I don't know if facebook the like are even a big issue. One will use it communiicate with the larger group of friends, but how many of those will be at work? Most people pretty quickly learn not to contaminate the place one has to be at everyday with excessive personal relationships.

For the former, it is not an issue either. Everyone is their friend, and everyone is included. It is all about earning opportunities.

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