Monday, December 10, 2007

How to survive Facebook, Beacon, and avoid Facebook spam

In a blog specialized in nothing but spam, how come there was no entry for Facebook yet?
Well... it was a nice and tolerable website first, allowing one to keep in contact with the friends that are not in Linkedin or anywhere else that you'd actually care to join.

But it keeps getting worse and worse, so it's time for a cumulative How to survive Facebook-post.

I have over 100 hundred invitations to add applications in my profile. Each one is generating an email, and they are by friends, not by random spammers out there. Everyone finds something fun and wants their friends to add it, but ... well, friends don't always find it fun when you have hundreds of applications in there sending you uninvited spams.
If you want to offer me a beer, please do it in a bar in real life, not in Facebook.
And please keep superwall, sith and jedi, vampires, compare people, x-me and make a baby out of my email inbox, thank you...

First, let's jump to a solution. Block Facebook Spam is a group that helps with links to how to block the most offending applications.

After the solution, a quick 3 step how to survive Facebook:

1. Add only people you consider to be your friends.
2. When you don't like to receive a notification from an application, block it, or block them all (or remove them, from the same link).
3. Disable Beacon (below).

That's it - 3 steps. I could make it proper Web 2.0 style and lengthen it to 10 points but why bother? Here below rather how to block individual applications.

Facebook itself does not send spam, but with one of the relatively recent changes in the platform it allowed all sorts of little applications that you can add to your profile to spam everyone in your contacts list. How nice... that added to the fact that 90 % of these applications in Facebook are pointless (want to add vampires? Want to add vampires? How about pirates, yarr? Join quizes and spam everyone on your friendslist now? Join superwall? Someone sent you a gift or a message, click here and thisandthat to see it).

Facebook also added Beacon a month ago. A neutral name for an application that tracks what you do on external websites, and that you are supposed to opt out and not in, in case you would not like your friends to see what you purchased in Amazon etc.

To disable Beacon in Facebook: Set your privacy settings to remove Beacon -
1. go to privacy
2. go to external sites (bottom of list)
3. check - "Don't allow any websites to send stories to my profile."

To disable individual offending applications from sending you spam from your friends - more e.g. here.
* My personality:
* Hatching eggs:
* Friend wheel:
* Instant messaging:
* Boozemail:
* My questions:
* How Sexy Is Your Name Calculator:
* Name Analyzer:
* My Heritage:
* Jedi vs. Sith:
* Sticky Notes
* Naughty Gifts
* Free Condoms
* Are YOU Interested? (Yes in News Feeds):
* Entourage:
* Compare People:
* Superlatives:
* X-Me:
* Super Wall:
* Hot or Not:
* Likeness:
* Top Friends:
* Pirates:
* Vampires:
* Zombies:
* Werewolves:
* Slayers:
* Flixter/Movies:
* Funwall:

Stop sending me invitations to add shit applications - Another interesting Facebook group with a lot of links.
Facebook: Do not sell my private pictures! Change your terms of use, NOW!
Facebook Is Always Watching You
How to sniff out private information on Facebook
Facebook CEO Apologizes, Lets Users Turn Off Beacon
15 reasons Facebook may be worth $15bn
Facebook opens profiles to public
Your boss could own your Facebook profile

From Terms of Use - regarding user data, incl. e.g who owns the photos or any materials users have posted.

When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

From a Facebook group:

1. It's not your friends fault (except a few) - the application are constructed in a way that rewards invites etc.
2. It's facebooks fault - what was a really nice contact management/news system - is becoming spambook.
3. Where is the "ignore ALL invites" button? - shame on facebook.
4. Everyone using facebook has put effort and time into creating and maintaining a profile - in good faith that facebook wouldn't screw up the basic premise of the system - that is being ignored by facebook. Saying "if you don't like it leave it" - is stupid - if you don't like - tell them - if they ignore it... you won't be the only one leaving.

5. - 50,000 users get facebook to change Beacon.

Block the worst applications: - Block Facebook Spam

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