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How Facebook leads people to forget all the different sorts of people they are giving their information to.
This is not to mention Facebook itself, a perpetual lurker whose presence is dangerous to overlook.
How Facebook Teams Up With Data Brokers.
It is very important for you personally to refuse to use Facebook, especially if some of your friends do (or might), because that's how you influence them, for good or for ill.
Facebook is not your friend. Its "real name" policy is enough reason to refuse to use it, but there is so much more nastiness in Facebook. I don't use it, and you shouldn't either.
Some impostor created a Faceook account using my name. The page is not mine.
Facebook makes a practice of telling users to rat on their friends who use aliases.
I think we can formulate the principle that any social network that asks its members for information about other people is abusive.
Facebook is experimenting with a system to ask people to rat on friends who have not given their real names.
Facebook pressures users to report on their friends' disobedience to Facebook rules.
Unfriend Facebook now — you are its product, not its customer.
Facebook says that a user can't have Facebook's data about him, because it's a trade secret.
Many things can be determined about a Facebook user, with pretty good accuracy, from the user's published list of "likes".
If you do as I do, and reject Facebook, you are safe from this form of snooping.
How can we get the news items that interest us, without telling a server what criterion to use? Simple: download lists of items, and have software on our own machine decide which articles to show. This software can fetch additional articles (which it doesn't actually show us) just to create a false trail.
Pages that contain Facebook "like" buttons enable Facebook to track visitors to those pages. Facebook tracks the users that see "like" buttons, even users who never visited facebook.com and never click on those buttons.
The ACLU has a way of enabling users to click a Facebook "like" button, which avoids this problem. Its pages have a link called "like us on Facebook" that leads to a Facebook page where it is possible to push a "like" button for the ACLU. But if you don't follow that link, Facebook gets no information about your visit to the ACLU page.
Here's an example of the practice.
Did the vegetarian Facebook user really "like" McDonalds, or did Facebook make it up? In fact, Facebook invents phony "likes", and worse, falsely suggests people liked specific text that they had never even seen.
Facebook exploits its users by conscripting them for ads.
Facebook settled a lawsuit by promising users will be able to "limit" this use of their names and photos in ads shown to other users. However, since this is "opt-out", by default users will still be exploited. What's more, it may not even be a complete opt-out.
As the article points out, abuse of what people post is the heart and soul of Facebook.
Instagram, now under Facebook control, demands use of people's photos for sale and advertising.
Instagram later tried to reassure users that this didn't mean it would "own" their photos.
That is a red herring — the issue is that photos in Instagram will be used in advertisements whether the user likes it or not.
Don't depend on Facebook to store any data that you might miss if Facebook takes it away from you.
A German regulator says that Facebook's face recognition is illegal.
Social networks, for lonely people, may only show them how lonely they are.
Facebook blocked links to the humor site lamebook which Facebook is trying to crush.
This shows how it is a bad thing that so many people use Facebook pages instead of setting up their own sites using many different providers.
Facebook messaging further threatens user privacy.
Don't use Facebook. Facebook permanently records everything you do, even what you look at, even items that are "deleted". And presumably gives them to the CIA. A timeline shows how Facebook has increasingly shown contempt for privacy.
EFF says that "the answer" is to complain to Facebook. I suggest another answer: don't put your personal information in Facebook. If you use Facebook at all, just tell people how to contact you in other ways.
The Senate weakened video rental privacy law to cater to Facebook and Netflix.
User rejection pressured Instagram to reverse this change, but it will surely try something else nasty.
A convicted blackmailer who helped Putin crush independent media in Russia now owns a large stake in Facebook.
Facebook wants to present itself as a virtual town square … a censored one.
Facebook deleted a statement by a human rights group, then said that was a mistake.
That Facebook invited the group to post the statement again — instead of undoing the deletion — demonstrates arrogance.
However, the problem here goes deeper. It is not good for human rights groups (or anyone's) statements to be posted using a platform where statements are censored.
Facebook censorship guidelines have been leaked. They include political censorship catering to various countries that do not respect freedom of speech.
Facebook has censored political satire aimed at the UK unemployment agency and its associated organizations, apparantly at the request of a target of the satire.
Facebook deleted a photo of two men kissing, which was used to support a kiss-in in a pub that had shown bias against gays.
The person who posted it thinks that Facebook is not anti-gay, but rather than it is quick to censor whatever someone complains about.
While it might seem that the former would be worse, I think the latter makes Facebook really dangerous. Don't use Facebook as a substitute for your own web site!
Facebook has mysteriously closed several pages of anti-budget-cut activists in the UK.
Facebook has turned on automatic face recognition on photos.
Facebook says that it only suggests identifications for faces in photos for people who are the user's friends. However, it might run the algorithm over every photo posted and not publicly announce the results.
I ask people not to post photos of me on Facebook.
Now Facebook tells your "friends" everything that you do using a large collection of other network services.
This will at least give people an idea of how much information those services tell Big Brother about all their users.
Facebook's graph search puts many users in danger.
Keep in mind that Facebook has access to this information regardless of privacy settings, and (thanks to the PAT RIOT Act) Big Brother has access to all of it too.
Facebook graph search is an ideal tool for sophisticated, targeted phishing.
Facebook's new search interface enables users to poke at other users' data in new ways. The ethical import is that it shows how Facebook itself, and the US government (which can get Facebook's entire collection of personal data without a court order), have always been able to poke around in it.
Facebook asks its users to provide their entire list of other people's email addresses.
This by itself is surveillance of those other people, but Facebook uses it to go further and try to guess the relationships of people who are not Facebook users.
That information must be worth some money to companies. It is surely worth money to the secret police of any country that isn't democratic enough.
However, principal wrong here is not that Facebook can guess which non-users know you or me. It is that Facebook collects information from its users about whether they know you or me.
I think we can formulate the principle that any social network that asks its members for information about other people is abusive.
Facebook apps have access to that user's information — and the users' ffiends' information, too. Thus, if you make the mistake of using Facebook, even if you let a company access your data, any of your ffiends can give the company access to your data.
(Although Facebook uses the term "friends", that is an abuse of language; a user's "friends" are often not really friends, and being "friends" on Facebook is not the way to treat a friend anyway. Therefore I propose the replacement term "ffiends", replacing the "r" with the "f" of Facebook.)
Facebook uses several tricks to distract people from recognizing how much access to their personal data they are giving to apps.
"Logging out" of Facebook does little to stop its surveillance.
In particular, every page with a "like" button still knows who you are.
Facebook made changes in response to this article, to delete one cookie that identified the users. It seems there are two other cookies which also identify the user, but Facebook says users should not object to them because they are made for benign purposes.
If that is true, so what? They still track you, unless you stop using Facebook, and delete all its cookies for good and all.
But Facebook can track you through your IP address too, if you don't use TOR to disguise that. To avoid being tracked by Facebook "like" buttons, you need to block your browser from showing them or accessing the Facebook page that generates them. This is necessary if you ever used Facebook from that IP address, even if you stop using Facebook, and delete all its cookies for good and all.
This page gives details about
how much Facebook tracks
which applies even to users that don't have Facebook accounts.
Facebook tries to discourage users from visiting other web sites.
(This article uses the word "content" to refer to published works. I think that is a bad practice since that term disparages the works. See.)
More on how much Facebook tracks users.
The US Federal Trade Commission ruled that Facebook's violation of its stated privacy policies was illegal.
It is proper to make Facebook keep its promises, but this does not go far enough to make Facebook acceptable to use. It does not limit Facebook's data collection — for instance, it doesn't stop Facebook from collecting of data about browsing through "Like" buttons. It only limits what Facebook can do with that data, and certainly does not stop Facebook from handing it over to Big Brother under the U SAP AT RIOT act.
Facebook cooperates with store purchaser identification cards to track users' purchases.
You can confuse them using someone else's discount card or number.
Facebook in Europe may be required to discard some user data after a time, without sending it to the US.
This may reduce the harm that Facebook does, but is not even close to enough to make it ethically acceptable. Most of the criticisms reported in this site remain valid.
Anyone can get a Facebook user's personal information by buying ads on Facebook.
It appears Facebook spontaneously sends phone messages to people in India who have had no connection with Facebook. This user is trying to find out why.
Facebook is not just surveillance. It also does censorship of photos based on prudish criteria.
Number of friends on Facebook measures narcissism.
Facebook has put an outrageous trademark claim on the word "book" into its terms of service.
To be dependent on Facebook, or any other specific company you could not replace with another, is to make yourself vulnerable to unbounded legal aggression. Don't be a fool — unfriend Facebook today rather than accept these terms.
Facebook "apps" that some persons run get access to everything their "friends" make visible to them, and may hand all that info to a company.
While this article shows that there is currently a way to turn that off, I expect that Facebook will take any necessary steps to ensure that most users don't do so. The purpose of those apps is to get access to that data, and I'm pretty sure that benefit figures, to Facebook's advantage, into the financial arrangements between the app developer and Facebook. Facebook will make sure it does not lose that advantage.
Facebook sends political messages as coming from people who have clicked Like buttons.
Facebook recently settled a lawsuit, promising to stop a very similar practice involving ads, but these political messages are not considered "ads" and Facebook continues to send them.
A credit agency in Germany plans to evaluate people's creditworthiness by who their “friends” are on Facebook.
The lesson is that we should make sure that no activities collect information about lots of people's social networks.
Innocent-seeming text posted on Facebook could cause you lots of trouble, due to development of systems to deduce things about you.
Facebook has started working with a purchase-tracking company to cross-reference Facebook's data about users with data about their purchases.
This can't affect you if you do as I do: refuse to use Facebook, block its surveillance of non-users (done via Like buttons), and pay cash. But it is nasty nonetheless.
Facebook is sneakily leading users to send email to other users via Facebook.
Facebook has automatically pushed users' @facebook.com email addresses (which they never asked for) into the contact lists in other people's phones.
The lesson here is that it is a fundamental mistake to trust a company such as Facebook to give anyone data about you. It will give them the data it wants them to have, not the data you want to give them.
Facebook: the most congenitally dishonest company in America.
Facebook is attempting to gouge companies and web sites that use it to keep in touch with their companies.
The attitude of this criticism is too narrowly commercial for me to sympathize fully with it, and I expect that Facebook will reduce this charge so as to avoid driving these customers away. I am also repelled by the shallowness that leads to thinking that Facebook in April 2012 was good merely because it aided their commercial goals.
Nonetheless, this demonstrates the arrogant way Facebook treats anyone that deals with it, which is a reason not to be one of them.
Copyright 2011-2012 Richard Stallman released under Creative Commons Attribution Noderivs 3.0 unported