Need Facebook Advice

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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Richard Serkes
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Need Facebook Advice

Post by Richard Serkes » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:18 pm

I avoid social networks like the plague. I don't want to LIKE anybody or anything and I've read horror stories about the invasion of privacy that can happen on a social network. Granted, it seems as if some of the privacy and security issues are being dealt with but it still seems like a way to have unwanted people getting involved in your private business.

My problem is everyone seems to be on Facebook and slowly but surely businesses and organizations are using it too. In fact, just this week a group I'm active with has moved from website availability to Facebook exclusivity. If I want to continue to interact with the people and organization I must have a Facebook account.

So here's my question. Is it possible to have a "stealth" account on Facebook? By that I mean can I set up an account that will let me interact with these organizations and businesses without everyone and his dog knowing I have an account and getting access to it? Have I even asked the right question? I plead total ignorance about how Facebook works so feel free to rework my question if that makes a discussion easier.

If you've had good or bad experiences on Facebook please post your comments here. I want to hear from users before I do anything rash like open an account.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Need Facebook Advice

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:51 pm

Remember Facebook's business plan:

* get free "content" (That's what you're giving them every time you post something.)
* boost apparent numbers of users by forcing anyone viewing Facebook "content" to join*
* collect data about everyone who joins and sell that data
* convince people that it's too "hard" to do anything on the web without Facebook (disempowerment)
* convince people that they're so ten minutes ago if they're not "on" Facebook
* convince people that they'll be hip and have "friends" by being "on" Facebook (perhaps the ultimate social disempowerment)

Note that MySpace tried the same thing. Then LinkedIn.
To my mind, social networks are actually antisocial networks.


Fight Disempowerment. The Mac has always been about empowering people to do things with computers.
Putting up a web site is not too hard. Putting images and video on the web is not hard.

Quit any organization that forces you to give personal data to a for-profit business, or at least protest.

*I've heard it's possible to view some things on Facebook without joining, but I've never run across a Facebook link that doesn't just take me to the join page. And I think Facebook has an algorithm that recognizes any name typed into Google, so Google's utility for finding legitimate web pages for individuals is damaged. (I'm thinking of professors, for example.)

[Wipes foam from lips.] (We need an emoticon for that.)
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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Jay Cline
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Re: Need Facebook Advice

Post by Jay Cline » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:14 pm

You can set up a Facebook account and not put any information on it if you want to or you can simply choose to not allow anyone but friends or family view what you post. I'm guessing that Facebook can and will use anything you post in some manner. The Sequim Gazette set up a Facebook account about a year ago and has gained 2,061 fans, passing the Peninsula Daily News just last week. http://www.facebook.com/sequimgazette?v=wall We use it to post breaking stories linked to our website and to have fun with our fans.

To admin the Gazette FB page I had to have a FB page. See what you can find out about me:
http://www.facebook.com/jayrcline?sk=wall
Most of the information I post is only available to friends of friends and family.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Need Facebook Advice

Post by Stephen Hart » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:05 am

Like I said:
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"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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Richard Serkes
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Re: Need Facebook Advice

Post by Richard Serkes » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:51 am

It would be nice if there were a way for "outsiders" to view a page for a business or organization but not be able to post anything. But I understand why Facebook wouldn't want that. For that matter I can understand why members wouldn't want outsiders looking at their pages without permission.

I'm still hesitant to sign up and sacrifice any privacy to these social network sites.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Need Facebook Advice

Post by Stephen Hart » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:02 pm

Two related experiences make me even more uneasy about all this "joining."

Google just changed its privacy policy. You can set your own privacy preferences. You know how? By giving them even more personal information. When I got to phone number, I balked. From phone number, you can gain all kinds of information. If I want to limit what Google does with the personal information they already have from me, I have to give them more personal information.

I wanted to contribute a photo to a non-profit entity called the Encyclopedia of Life, which the famed E.O. Wilson is involved in. To do that I apparently need to join Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo!, and that requires that I give personal information to Yahoo! It would be an afternoon's work to understand what Yahoo! reserves the right to do with my personal information--assuming I could understand the legal writing.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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Jay Cline
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Re: Need Facebook Advice

Post by Jay Cline » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:33 am

This forum is not private by any means. Anyone can read posts and find basic information about users. I don't think anything is private anymore unless you isolate yourself in a remote cabin with no outside contact. If you don't want others to view content, don't post it.
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Richard Serkes
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Re: Need Facebook Advice

Post by Richard Serkes » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:54 am

Jay Cline wrote:This forum is not private by any means. Anyone can read posts and find basic information about users. I don't think anything is private anymore unless you isolate yourself in a remote cabin with no outside contact. If you don't want others to view content, don't post it.
True, but any information I post here I don't mind being public. I didn't have to give my real name, address, phone number, etc. to register. All I had to do or anyone else has to do is make up a username (fictitious if need be) and a password.

The webmaster will have the user's email address but I know for a fact he doesn't sell those addresses to anyone.

It seems to me that there's a world of difference between the information I'm required to surrender to join a forum such as this and a social network.
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Jay Cline
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Re: Need Facebook Advice

Post by Jay Cline » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:31 am

Richard Serkes wrote: True, but any information I post here I don't mind being public. I didn't have to give my real name, address, phone number, etc. to register. All I had to do or anyone else has to do is make up a username (fictitious if need be) and a password.
Same thing with Facebook.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Need Facebook Advice

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:45 am

Jay Cline wrote:
Richard Serkes wrote: True, but any information I post here I don't mind being public. I didn't have to give my real name, address, phone number, etc. to register. All I had to do or anyone else has to do is make up a username (fictitious if need be) and a password.
Same thing with Facebook.

While you could, I suppose, set up a fake Facebook account, it might have to be internally consistent. They can probably detect if you put inconsistent information, and might honestly think you're a spammer and give you the boot.

The difference is that when I use real information to register for the SMUG forum, SMUG is not selling that information to advertisers, nor is SMUG boosting its stock price by claiming me as a member. SMUG is also, as an organization, a public service group, not a for-profit company making a very few people very rich. And it's not trying to convince members or the Mac public that they can't get Mac advice elsewhere, that they can't post images elsewhere, that that they're social losers if they don't join SMUG.

I'm not saying that everyone should avoid Facebook like the plague. I am saying that everyone who does join Facebook should understand how they make their billions. The same thing goes for Google's various services. You're not the customer, you're the product.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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