Search This Blog

Follow by Email

20 Sep 2015

The Real Hunted: Facebook finds spikes and hurls them my way

I have been watching the Channel four programme Hunted, a remarkable piece of enjoyable television showing people actually on-the-run.   I do not feel particularly worried about what the State are up to in my direction: as long as they are not employing temps to print out my case file by accident. I am much more concerned about private companies gathering information about me.

And now Facebook has already started growing spikes in a previously warm welcoming environment.  The tale begins with this family historian contacting people, legitimately I trust, but using the Bookface site as a medium.  To and fro go the messages. Mostly to, but occasionally fro. I have had some lovely messages on Facebook recently. After contacting people out of the blue to discuss their family history, I have received quality, warm, responses. This is comparable with the responses I have had by letter down the years.  (As discussed, maybe those days are gone, with the modern generation not inculcated into the ways of letter-writing.)

So far, so heart-warming.  Here is an exemplar quote 'Thank you for reaching out to us.' Did I know these people? No-yes. Do I know them now? Yes. Was it possible to have physically, or heaven forfend via email, have known these people in advance of the message - er, no, which is why I used social media for that purpose. One bloke replied to my random message with 'I'll tell my Dad he's got a new project apart from gardening'.

Today came a stark message from Facebook.  "You have been friending (Facebook term) people on our site who afterwards stated (in a licensed interrogation) that you did not truly know them." Apparently I should have Followed them (these are people educated pre-Harry Potter, they are Follower-free).

A sinister run of television adverts, purportedly showing people having friendly fun, with plenty of slow-motion purple woolly jumper running hugs and chortling kids in yellow wellies stamping in rainy puddles, ends with a Be the Best style message 'THAT is what friending means, you terrible users!'

The site thanked me for participating in the exchange, after questioning my motives, and giving me no choice but to remove some Friend requests from their list.   There was no Skip button or link.  At least Google has or had 'don't be evil'. Facebook like all self-righteous organisations and individuals, will end up limiting freedoms as part of their drive for personal freedom.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting on my blog! Your comment will be live once moderated. You don't need to log in - just select 'anonymous' from the dropdown menu.