Facebook tells me you`re stalking me
Russell Degnan

Having finally succumbed to the realisation that the only way to know what is happening anymore is to read people's facebook pages, it is expected therefore, that, as a blogger, I will immediately talk about facebook here.

No doubt I am not the first to note this, but as a latecomer to the facebook phenomenon, and as someone with an unusual, if not perfectly unique name, I probably notice it more than most, and as someone who takes privacy seriously, I find it objectionable. Facebook is almost certainly recording searches.

Consider: the original list of friends I added was very short, almost exclusively people I see regularly, all of whom were culled from other friends lists. Yet, somehow, while recommending people, even before I'd added a single friend, facebook was able to identify a former housemate, five bloggers I know in real life, three people I know from university, a former workmate, and a former student, without them being friends with (or even knowing) anybody on my friends list. And did so with uncanny accuracy - much more accurately than identifying mutual friendship networks.

In all cases, it would be no great surprise if they'd searched for me, but it is a questionable practice to tell me, effectively, that this is happening.

Not least because: who have I been stalking?

Passing Fancy 14th January, 2010 21:00:38   [#] 

Comments

Facebook tells me you`re stalking me
A lot of people find friends on Facebook by letting Facebook import their email address book, and there's a post here saying that Facebook is probably storing the names for future recommendations.
David Barry  15th January, 2010 11:40:00  

Facebook tells me you`re stalking me
David, interesting, but some of those people have never emailed me either (and certainly not at the address I gave).
Russ  15th January, 2010 16:38:11  

Facebook tells me you`re stalking me
Given that Andy N from uni has a Facebook account, and that he is notoriously suspicious of such things, I'm surprised it took you all this time to sign up and hand over your privacy.
Tom  16th January, 2010 10:09:30