Sunday, 16 February 2014

Facebook Fraud

First, a confession. I've never been a fan of Facebook. The first time I went on was simply out of curiosity. What was all the fuss about? I "friended" a single adolescent relative. Within days I was inundated by a horde of pimple-faced strangers who, it turned out, all went to the same high school. Most of those had 1,000 "friends" or more. In their 15 years or so of human interaction, they had not only met a thousand people, but they had become "friends" with them all.
     I was tempted to dismiss the lot as bullshit artists, but this was an experiment, so instead I embraced them with a reciprocal, if insincere, amity. Then my timeline filled up with a flood of ... stuff. I discovered what these people had for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and what they considered an appropriate snack. I read of their projections as to what they might watch on TV tonight. Worse, I was approached with demands that I support their opinion as to what constituted the greatest TV show/movie/song of all time.
     I think I lasted a month before I deleted it all and closed the account.
     A few years later, having started the Adelaide Screenwriter blog and wanting it to show up on Google, I accepted the received wisdom that one needed a presence on Facebook. So I returned.
     This time I planned to avoid the "friends" debacle. I would be the only person on Facebook with zero friends.
     Boy, does Zuckerberg and co. hate that idea.
     I was blocked and harassed and herded at every turn, but I remained adamant. No friends. Eventually I got through the process and had my friend-free Facebook account. Then one day I visited the Facebook page of a friend (which is to say, a genuine friend who had a web series I liked) and I clicked the LIKE button. A day later I received a Friend acceptance e-mail from the person in question. I had not requested that they "friend" me, but they had miraculously received such a request purportedly from me.
     And that was the end of my friend-free Facebook page.
     Now all of that was to say, I don't trust Facebook. At least, I didn't, then I saw this video...


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2 comments:

Kathy Smart said...

This presenter is very brave, taking on Facebook, one of the most influential corporations in the world.

Anne Flournoy said...

If only I had the time to write out my own experiences parallel to what this guy is talking about in the video. Thanks for posting it Henry. You were the canary in this coal mine way back!