Facebook has been in the news quite a bit lately (stay tuned for our upcoming story on the woman who was arrested for poking someone on Facebook!), and there is increasing awareness over just how intrusive and invading of their users’ privacy many of their money-making practices are, such as using their users (you and your Facebook friends) in their Facebook advertising. Here’s a real-life example of someone being used in Facebook ads, and information on how to opt out and stop Facebook from doing it to you.
A 19-year-old New York man has been released from New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail after a court agreed with his Facebook alibi that he couldn’t have been robbing two people at gunpoint while at the same time posting a status update to Facebook from his father’s house, twelve miles away from the scene of the crime.
Facebook has announced a policy of allowing the profiles of deceased users to remain up, as a sort of “memorialization” or tribute to the user.
Sometime in the past week somebody created and posted a poll on Facebook asking whether President Obama should be assassinated. The poll asked “Should Obama be killed?” The answer choices were “yes”, “no”, “maybe”, and “if he cuts my health care.”
Microsoft isn’t the only company to be stealing things from rivals this week. And it appears that the data from your Facebook inbox isn’t the only thing that Facebook is mining. This week we discovered that Facebook has apparently cribbed Twitter’s famous @username protocol for getting someone’s attention.
While this was announced last month, nobody really noticed it until this week. Facebook has created new features that allow developers to mine your Facebook inbox for data. In addition to the content of your email, it allows applications to make note of who are the recipients of a mail thread, and the time and date of the emails.
Facebook announced earlier this week that they had passed the 300million user mark, and that they are making money or, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg put it this week, they are cash flow positive. Put another way, Facebook is raking in the revenue.
A plague of rogue Facebook applications that are stealing user credentials – such as usernames and passwords – has been sweeping Facebook in the past week. The phishing Facebook apps work the same way that many other applications do – including sending an email to your Facebook friends, with links to click on, and when you type in your username and password, BAM! Your login credentials have been stolen.
By now you may have read about how Tracy Turkish Brooks and her “other pussy” had an embarrassing Facebook moment when she – supposedly – posted a very steamy note to “Michael”, and accidentally published it for the world to see instead of sending it via private Facebook email. The post, which was real enough, read “Thank you too, Micheal, I had a great time as well.I’m glad you enjoyed my OTHER pussy ;). I must admit, I haven’t had sex in a while, so getting mounted by such a strong and powerful man was a pleasant surprise after so many long months of …abstinence. I hope this message doesn’t scare you off, I just wanted you to know what a wonderful time I had with you.You are permanently invited to “the love cave between my legs”” However, while the post was real, by all accounts, the person who posted it was not Tracy Turkish Brooks – rather, her Facebook account was hacked.
A group of Facebook users has sued Facebook for violation of their privacy, and privacy law in general. The group, which includes two children under the age of thirteen, an actress, and a professional photographer, have sued Facebook in California Superior Court, alleging that Facebook’s practices violate California online privacy laws which make it illegal to reveal users’ private data for commercial gain.
While the Internet is all abuzz about how Facebook and Friendfeed have just announced that Facebook is acquiring FriendFeed, the bigger coup may be in that in the doing, Facebook has effectively acquired FriendFeed founders Bret Taylor and Paul Buchheit, and Jim Norris and Sanjeev Singh.
Hey, it happens. There are any number of reasons why you may want to “unfriend” someone from Facebook – that is, remove them from your friends list. It isn’t necessarily personal, in fact it usually isn’t. Perhaps you don’t really know the person that well; perhaps you or they use Facebook primarily for business and your uses of Facebook don’t jive. Or perhaps they overuse the Facebook invitation process or the sending-you-cute-non-existent-items-via-Facebook process. Whatever the reason, it’s perfectly acceptable to remove somebody from your Facebook friends. But how do you unfriend someone on Facebook? It’s actually pretty simple, once you know how.
If you use Gmail, and also use Facebook, it can be very easy for someone to password crack and access your Gmail account using Gmail’s recover password retrieval feature. This is because Gmail’s access password recovery feature allows anybody to guess the answer to your “forgot password” reset security question. And if the answer to your forgotten password reset security question happens to be information easily gleaned from your Facebook account (or some other social network information), then password hacking your Gmail account is as easy as typing in that password protection answer. (And we use the term “password protection” loosely.)
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Facebook, alleging that Facebook is charging advertisers for more clicks than their ads actually receive, and also that Facebook is not doing enough to curtail click fraud which is resulting, the lawsuit says, from competitors clicking on an advertiser’s Facebook advertisment in order to use up their allotted clicks and run up the advertiser’s Facebook advertising bill.
As online society becomes ever more social, and cares ever less about personal security, the phrase “social security” seems more than ever an oxymoron. Perhaps nowhere is this more clearly brought home than in this week’s announcement by researchers at Carnegie Mellon that they have cracked the social security code, and were able to predict with frightening accuracy many social sercurity numbers (SSN). In many cases, their hack was aided by information gleaned from such social networking sites as Facebook.