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Why I left Facebook - Dan the Serene
May 6th, 2010
09:16 pm

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Why I left Facebook
I never had much going on there, but then two things happened today that pushed me over the edge.
the first was reading this article from EFF. Facebook changes the rules constantly, and they get worse every time.

The second was an email I received from an old coworker via facebookmail. It was addressed to my primary personal email, not the one I have tied to Facebook, because that is the address he has had for me for years.
The email also listed all of the people who have tried to get me to join Facebook via my primary email (four).
Here's the part that creeps me out. The last part of the email is called "Other people you may know on Facebook", and contained nine names and photos. Though I've only interacted with one of them via Facebook under any name, I KNOW ALL NINE TO ONE DEGREE OR ANOTHER.
1. A photographer I've followed via her website, LJ when she had one, Flickr, and have met in person a couple times. I don't have an email address or phone number for her.
2. partywhipple, who I know via LJ and IRL and have full contact information.
3. a current coworker who was one of my dozen friends on Facebook. I have full contact info for him also.
4. egbubba, who I only know through LJ.
5. a longtime friend of a longtime friend who I have met IRL a couple times. I have no contact info for her.
6. daddygod an LJ friend who despite living a few timezones away I have met IRL, spoken to on the phone (along with his wife), and he has sent me CDs.
7. a former coworker who I saw through the professional organization ISSA periodically for a few years after we stopped working together. I have email and phone info on her, but haven't used it in at least 1-2 years.
8. an LJ friend who I also know through Flickr and have corresponded with but never met. I have her real name and email address.
9. The owner of the gym I train in once a week. I have email and phone info on her and have seen her socially.

How the HELL does Facebook know that I know these people?

(20 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:jasmineandme
Date:May 7th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
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Usually if you have them on you're email, than it will show that you know her... Or if you have mutual friend's than that may be what has done that.

FB has done this to people I have never met, which i find rather weird also.
[User Picture]
From:skreidle
Date:May 7th, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)
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Ayup. Anyone you've emailed, or who's emailed you, could show up in People You May Know (on either side.) Not as nefarious as all that--in this specific example.
[User Picture]
From:dantheserene
Date:May 7th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
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And you don't think that would be jacked up? I've never communicated with most of those folks via Facebook OR the email I had tied to Facebook. Is it reading my address book? Also, in one case I've only ever communicated with the person via LJ and have no email address for him or mutual friends that I know of. There must be an LJ tie in somewhere or I can't even guess.

In another case I don't have any contact info at all, so the only way I can think of there is through our mutal friend who I suspect had both of us friended on FB.

UPDATE: I have no contact info for three of the nine.

Edited at 2010-05-07 02:54 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:skreidle
Date:May 7th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC)
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I often have FB suggest friends-of-friends that are only known by one or two mutual friends--out of my friends list of 600+ friends--which is pretty statistically insignificant.

Stranger is when they suggest people with whom I have nothing whatsoever in common--friends, location, schools, interests, nothin'.
[User Picture]
From:dantheserene
Date:May 7th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
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And who might you be?
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From:skreidle
Date:May 7th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
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Someone who fails to use "your/you're" correctly, and uses "'s" for pluralization?
[User Picture]
From:dantheserene
Date:May 7th, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
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Be nice. She appears to be Russian and doesn't use English as her first language.
[User Picture]
From:skreidle
Date:May 7th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
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Ohh okay. Sorry, kneejerk reaction. :)
[User Picture]
From:pisceandreamer
Date:May 7th, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
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In my case, it seems that Facebook thinks I know everyone that ever went to GMU.
[User Picture]
From:dantheserene
Date:May 7th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
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At least it didn't do that to me. It's a real shame because it is a very useful site, run by evil people who do not give a damn about their users' best interests.
[User Picture]
From:skreidle
Date:May 7th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
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It looks like they used to, but succumbed to the siren call of the commercialization of data.
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From:evelynne
Date:May 7th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
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I always tell Facebook NO to everything, so my impression is that if ANOTHER PERSON has allowed Facebook access to their contact information and I'm one of those contacts, Facebook then knows everything that person knows about me.

I'm pretty close to deleting my account there, except I really love using it to keep in touch with my family (which is the sole reason I'm on there). Although I don't know what good it'll do to delete my account because apparently they'll still have my info saved on their servers. The way they sneak this stuff in his awful. I've always operated with the consideration that my stuff is in public view, but the way they go digging makes me ill.
[User Picture]
From:dantheserene
Date:May 7th, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
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The article I linked is enough to make anyone ill. I've already deactivated and am preparing to delete to the extent possible.
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From:9thmoon
Date:May 7th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
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I'm receiving simiar solicitations from Linked In that are pretty freaky.
[User Picture]
From:dantheserene
Date:May 8th, 2010 12:02 pm (UTC)
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I haven't tried that one. I've been told it is very effective for networking and I've been invited a couple times, but I didn't really get the concept so I never joined.
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From:egbubba
Date:May 7th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
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Wow. I popped up?
Facebook does have a way of creeping me out like that. I have two accounts there. Personal (egbubba) and professional (real name) linked to seperate email accounts. But FB keeps trying to mix the two together, often suggesting I add friends from one group to the other, despite many attempts to keep the personal and professional seperate. Creepier still, once my partner openned an account, FB kept suggesting he add people I know but he doesn't any connection to. Weird.
How does facebook do this. A lot of it, I'm sure, has to do with whether you allow facebook to upload your contacts from Outlook, Yahoo! or wherever. FB also loves to recommend the friends of friends--especially if you have a few friends in common. The rest...pure witch craft. And data mining.
[User Picture]
From:dantheserene
Date:May 8th, 2010 11:59 am (UTC)
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Not only did you pop up, it was the one with your real full name that I didn't even know until then.
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From:visgoth
Date:May 7th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
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Facebook's terms of use are pretty explicit that they will mine all available data in attempts to draw connections. That means anything it can get its greedy little algorithms on. Blogs, social networking sites, newsgroups, Twitter feeds, forums, posted results of chess tournaments... Anything that is publicly available, they search trying to draw connections, and you told them it was okay for them to do so.

They got major start-up funding from In-Q-Tel, CIA's venture capital branch. I can't help but think it was because CIA thought Facebook was going to develop something that would be useful for one of the various data mining projects that have crossed the drawing boards.

Note: I do not think Facebook is compiling information for the CIA, but I do think Facebook is testing out methods and algorithms that the CIA either buys from them or would like to. I'm not sure FB still consider any CIA connection to be worth their time, because there is much bigger money out there, but FB got their start being nosy and underhanded and it doesn't seem to me they've ever changed course. There is considerable question if the "creator" of FB didn't actually steal at least part of the idea from people who had hired him to develop a website for them. They strike me as a thoroughly sleazy company, and aside from laying claim to my name, I will have nothing to do with them.
[User Picture]
From:dantheserene
Date:May 8th, 2010 12:00 pm (UTC)
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They are pretty explicit now. It started out a little less malicious but has only gone one way since then.
[User Picture]
From:partywhipple
Date:May 8th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
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I think it was because I have YOU in my email so when they searched mine for people who already had facebook it remembered for when you signed up. Just a guess.
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