Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Big Scam: Facebook

Update Below!

Here's your classic curmudgeon crying in the wilderness.  I'm aghast at the so-called Social Media success.  The people who invented such intrusive mechanisms like Facebook, Connect.In and Twitter have found a need which people weren't even aware they had until they were told so.  Now that's brilliant marketing! I suspect that Facebook will become a case study at HBS if it hasn't already, especially since its inventor and founder is one of their own. 

It continues to amaze me how gullible people can be.  Facebook is a giant scam offering opportunities to "Friend"(yet another noun cannibalized and made into a verb) all kinds of people, most of whom  you wouldn't allow into your home if they knocked on your door.  

It's of coursel about making huge bucks by accumulating all kinds of information which you wouldn't be likely to share with strangers (Guess what folks, the Internet is a humongous gang of strangers).  This information is sold to organizations which are dying to know as much as they can about you so that they can bombard you with their ads whenever you log on to Facebook and who knows how many other Internet sites. 

BTW, Google does the same thing.  Ever wonder why you see ads for companies whose web addresses you recently visited when you log onto sites like TPM, Truthout, Truthdig, and Alternet, to name only a few that come to mind right now.   

What got me ranting about this tonight?   I wanted to leave a comment on Mat Taibbi's piece on Truthdig about CNN's beating the war drums for bombing  Iran. (That's Mat Taibbi of Rolling Stone.) Problem is that you can only leave a comment if you use Facebook to log on to the comments option. This is a first, at least for me.

Facebook is a danger to our privacy just as surely as are Patriot Act wiretaps.

It's recent multi billion dollar IPO has gotten a lot of people drooling and dreaming of making big bucks, counting on this being the 21st Century's IBM.  They may be right for all I know.  Somehow I have to think that I should approve of the product a company I invest in is selling.( That naivete' is probably why I'm not living on Easy Street.)  Facebook has been forced to change any number of its rules, policies and procedures which have been found to violate personal privacy. Yet people still can't wait to sign up.  It's truly phenomenal how deep into our culture the tentacles of this invasive species have penetrated.  "Find us on Facebook" has become a ubiquitous phrase found in virtually all advertising today.  Even US Government agencies implore you to find them on Facebook. 

I am a Facebook dropout, having tried it for a couple of weeks at the request of my grandchildren.  I was being asked to be friends with perfect strangers, and I couldn't care less about knowing that one of my grandchildren had to stay late after school for some reason.  I'm still not sure I was able to wipe the Facebook slate clean of the few details I was required to provide when signing up.  Fortunately I hadn't revealed anything of real importance to my privacy.

For more awareness try Googling "Facebook Social Media". One of the listings is about Facebook Social Media Marketing, and one such source out there is Social Media Marketing for Dummies. Now there's a truly accurate title for a book.  

Be careful out there folks.  It's been said that TV is a vast wasteland.  Social Media is a vast scamland.

Update:  Here's a link to a site which my son tells me provides instructions for removing your account from Facebook, thereby breaking all ties to it.  I just received this tonight, and haven't checked it out yet.

I am skeptical though that Facebook would actually show you how to do this without  retaining some vestige of your past usage. For example when my granddaughter updated her Facebook page and I mistakenly clicked on the Facebook no-reply email sent to inform me of that fact Facebook wrote "Welcome back Lee".

Yes, I'm paranoid, and perhaps you should be too.  


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