Weekly Roundup – September 12, 2010

Facebook has been pretty prominent on the media this week with some news touching on light topics and yet some touching on the more serious aspects of social media.


friends similar to youFacebook Launches Page Discovery “Browser”: for one, Facebook seems to be experimenting on yet another innovation designed to strengthen the popularity of its Facebook pages. For now this feature can be only be accessed through the following url: http://www.facebook.com/pages/browser.php. The main difference of this new feature from the standard Facebook page directory however is the fact that your network’s page preferences come into play – showing the most popular pages of your particular network [which are hopefully less spam-ridden as those found in the basic directory]. As can be expected, the Facebook users are once again divided into those lambasting the new feature for making it much easier for scams to spread to those who are fairly happy with the way they can now easily find interesting pages on the network. One thing is for sure though, as soon as Facebook determines that this new innovation has enough users, we can be sure that it will find a way to introduce this feature into the mainstream [eg. Our newsfeed].


Facebook Like Box Now Telling Users “F U”: on the lighter side, a mischievous soul on Facebook’s staff or perhaps a hacker apparently thought it would be hilarious if the text on company like boxes is changed from f [facebook logo] ‘you like this’ to f u like this. No one knows if this glitch was done intentionally or not [Facebook is mum about the issue]. Someone pointed out however that the issue can be resolved simply by clicking the refresh button. Intentionally or not, this little glitch must be earning its share of chuckles from Facebook users all over the world.


A Warning to Parents — Facebook Sex Game: Alas, not a week passes by without someone bringing into light yet another evil of using Facebook. For this week, it’s the ‘smash or pass’ fanpage which is apparently becoming very popular with Dallas teens. Smash or pass, as the article describes, is actually a voting system wherein students vote if they would want to have sex or not with the boy or girl in the picture. ‘Smash’ votes, the article says, usually comes with vivid descriptions of what the voters would want to do with the subject. For the comments that go along with ‘pass’ votes on the other hand, well one can only imagine what these can do to someone’s self esteem [remember that the subjects here are people going through puberty and all the emotional baggage that go along with it]. As of time of writing, the fanpage is already more than 7,000 fans strong. All the more reason to stop exposing our children to TV reality shows of similar nature on TV like the bachelor, paradise island, who wants to marry a millionaire, who wants to marry a midget, etc.


Creditors Using Facebook to Track Down Debts: Debtors watch out! There are wolves in sheep’s clothing on Facebook – or to be more specific, creditors who are hunting down delinquent debtors on Facebook using profiles of beautiful and handsome people as bait. Once approved as ‘friends’, these creditors will then mine your profile for information that can be used to extract payment – eg. Phone number, address, work place, status updates of where you like to hang out and even pictures of you smiling while holding that new gadget you brought on credit but never did plan to pay for. More surprising yet is that this strategy is apparently not illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act last amended back in 2006.


Facebook closes hole that let spammers auto-post to walls, friends: On an interesting note, Facebook announced that it has resolved the glitch that let spammers auto post photos on user walls and profiles. Instead of breathing a sigh of relief though, many users are asking why Facebook hasn’t noticed the security glitch before and what other security loopholes there are in its system. A question that is justified in many experts’ opinion because of a related report that was also released this week -Which was:


Kaspersky Lab: Facebook facing increased phishing attacks: According to the report, next to PayPal, Facebook gained second place [overtaking eBay] as the favorite site of phishing attacks. This maybe because of Facebook’s recent announcement of breaking the 500 million members mark and the wealth of information this social network has that is useful for cybercriminals who are into identity theft, Nigerian scams, clickfraud, etc. Along with the recent rise in Facebook scams and spam, more and more people are thinking.. is this another MySpace fiasco in the making?


With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: A Facebook Bill Of Rights: then again, with 500 million members and growing, Facebook has already surpassed the population count of a good number of countries. Its only a matter of time before some people come up with the idea of demanding a bill of rights for Facebook ‘citizens’- some of which are the Freedom of Data Export, The Right to Permanently Delete accounts and the Right to Data Security. As expected, Facebook gave no official comment on this call for action. Hmm.. maybe Zuckerberg is busy drafting a Facebook taxation system to counter the proposed bill of rights.


Zuckerberg: Evil Genius Or Brilliant Classmate?: Which brings me to the last piece of interesting news of the past week – The impending rollout of the Facebook Movie titled “The Social Network” which will be about how Facebook started, Zuckerberg’s life as a college student, how Facebook gained popularity, greed, passion, betrayal and all the usual stuff mixed in. It like the Facebook version of ‘Pirates of Silicon Valley’ – which was about Bill Gates and Microsoft. Come to think of it, the same question [above] has been asked about Bill Gates too. Maybe the movie will provide an answer.


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