Freaky Facebook Friends

This weekend Jeb convinced me to sign up with Facebook again. I had done this before for a couple of weeks before I just got spooked by the excessive connectiveness and lack of privacy. Then I got an ad saying Mom had recommended some kind of dating service, when she says she didn’t do that. So then it seemed to be all about me sharing tons of private information which was being used against me dishonestly.

When I signed back up, they hadn’t really deleted any of the old information or my friends from the last time. Even my password was the same. So the first thing I did was set my privacy settings so only friends could see what I am doing, then I got rid of most of my old friends who were mostly people from high school that I don’t keep up with and some of them I didn’t even know.

So I had things a little more under control. And I like being able to see what’s going on with the family. So maybe I’ll stick with it. But Facebook continues to freak me out. I got some friend recommendations like Facebook does. Usually they seem to be people who are friends with my friends, like Bob. But somehow there were two people with whom I didn’t have any common friends. One was the person who found the dog I fostered this year, and the other was a guy in California that I bought some flashlight parts from. What? I sent these people e-mails, so can Facebook read my e-mails that had nothing to do with Facebook and were sent after I left Facebook? Who knows? Maybe Yahoo is sharing my e-mails with Facebook. Or it could be these people are sharing their e-mails or contacts with Facebook, so Facebook knows I know them.

So Facebook is still awful, but I think I’ll stay with it for another day or two anyway.

4 thoughts on “Freaky Facebook Friends

  1. The interconnectedness stuff is amazing, but it is all automated robotic and nothing really comes of it… generally. Even our “event” this year had no Facebook ties we could track. You should join (lead) the ranks of Facebook privacy tips. I’ll send you a script that blocks all ads. Tawdry ads were what bothered me. They’re gone!

  2. I agree with you, the whole thing is freaky, especially how you can’t ever escape it for good. It’s like a cowlick, you just have to learn how to deal with it.

  3. There’s not much magic in the way Facebook linked you to those two people. You sent them emails, and they would have saved your email address in their contact list. Later, they would have tried Facebook’s Friend Finder feature, which encourages users to submit their email contact list to Facebook to find friends that they only know by email. Facebook would have seen that these people had an email matching your Facebook login in their email contacts, and recorded this fact, so it could later suggest those users to you as friends.

    Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do to prevent other people submitting their own contact lists (that contain your email) to Facebook. The only way to completely escape this kind of scrutiny is to create an email address exclusively for Facebook use, never give it to anyone else, and never let Facebook see any of your other email addresses. For you however, it’s too late.

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