Category: be careful what you put on the internet

Something Scary About Facebook…

At least I think this is scary, especially the part about who I’ve “friended” and “unfriended.” Although, come to think of it, I don’t think I have anything to be ashamed of. I’d probably “unfriend” the same people in person, and politely explain why I did it. It’s almost always been because they posted too much about either politics or religion. In one case, and one case alone, it’s because another author dissed me on a comment thread. (I’d be happy to tell her to her face, too 🙂

I’ve seen a lot of people getting excited about facebook changes. And don’t get me wrong, because I do enjoy social media, I can’t complain too much. I’m usually right there in the middle of it. But I also think social media leaves a lot to be desired. You. Can’t. Be. Too. Careful.

And it’s why I’m always telling people to watch out what they put on facebook…and all social media…because once it’s out there on the interwebs it’s there forever!! When you read the part below about private messages and chats, you’ll see what I mean. Once again, I’ve always been careful in this regard. I turned off private chats years ago, and I’d be happy to show my personal messages to the Pope. I know the power of the written word and I know the meaning of the word privacy.

I just wonder if everyone understands the magnitude of this. I’ve seen a few things on social networks I wouldn’t have put out there in public.

A List of Creepy Things Facebook Will Remember Forever

Delete all you want, but Facebook never forgets. At least when it comes to your defriendings, pokes, and RSVPS, it doesn’t. And it also has a keen memory for what computers you’ve used, and who you were sharing those computers with. Your Facebook dossier can easily run to hundreds of pages, as some European citizens have learned.
Across the pond, where regulators have teeth and where corporations don’t get to rewrite the legal definition of “privacy,” citizens can force Facebook to send them a dossier of everything it knows about them. Two anonymous Europeans have shared their database dumps publicly, Forbes reports. One of them ran to 880 pages.

For a user who joined the site in 2007, dubbed “LB” by Forbes, Facebook’s data included the following:

Records of all friend requests LB rejected.
Records of the 12+ friends LB has unfriended over the years.
A list of devices from which LB logged in to Facebook, plus a list of other users on those machines. Meaning Facebook knows who spent the night at your place last night.
Records of more than 50 incoming “pokes” since 2008, including most often by a friend named “T.V.”
Some 75 event invites, along with 38 RSVPs.
A history of messages and chats.
Facebook really does have us all by the nuts. Which is why it’s comforting that the company routinely acts in the best interest of its users and their privacy, even when it means sacrificing revenue. Yay Facebook!