Fedbook: Blatanly the Fed’s Book

June 24, 2010

CNET News
By: Caroline McCarthy

Facebook announced Thursday the hire of Marne Levine, as its first-ever Vice President of Global Public Policy. She’ll start at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based tech company next month but will remain based in Washington, D.C. Currently, she serves as chief of staff for the White House National Economic Counsel; previously, following a background in the online payments space, she worked in the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison, and was chief of staff to former Treasury head Larry Summers when he was president of Harvard University.

“I’m excited that Marne is joining my team as Vice President, Global Public Policy,” a statement from Facebook vice president of communications Elliot Schrage read. “With over 70 percent of our users living outside the United States, her unique mix of government and Internet industry experience will be invaluable to help Facebook address some of the most interesting questions at the intersection of technology and public policy.”

As Facebook draws ever closer to the half-billion-member milestone, the company increasingly finds itself dealing with international governments and legislative bodies both inside and outside of the U.S. Part of Levine’s job will be to help build public policy teams in Asia, Europe, and the Americas; Facebook’s existing D.C. branch head, Tim Sparapani, will continue to manage the company’s relationship with the U.S. government.

Part of Levine’s background–connections to Harvard University, the Treasury Department, and Larry Summers–sounds a whole lot like that of another Facebook executive, chief operating officer and former Google sales exec Sheryl Sandberg, who was Summers’ chief of staff when he was at the Treasury Department. Sandberg was one of Facebook’s first prominent employees to come from a government background rather than Silicon Valley.

Facebook’s existing D.C. connections also run deep thanks to Donald Graham, chairman of the Washington Post Company, who serves on Facebook’s board of directors. The Washington Post was also the outlet for an op-ed penned by CEO Mark Zuckerberg after the company’s most recent privacy controversy, indicating Facebook’s desire to further permeate the close-knit world of D.C. influence and dealmaking.

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Privacy Fail: Forced & Unwanted Friend Requests

June 17, 2010

Who doesn’t get friend requests from weirdos? I know I do. I tend to ignore them when Facebook respects my wish enough to give me that right to ignore them. There’ve been a few times though that Facebook has been like, “Oh you can’t ignore them. Sorry but no.”

Honestly. The thing with the Pedro… Pablo… whatever – dude is, I think the request got hung up in a server process. Somehow the server, instead of quantifying my input to ignore and block this person, just forgot wtf it was supposed to do and shuffled ol’ Pablo whatever off into the la-la land of the “Hanging Process.”


Share: Fine Print Shenanigans

May 19, 2010

Ahh comments we love.

We’re going to start harvesting your comments related to Facebook and other privacy issues – ONLY if they’re intelligent. Like this guy’s here:

“They [Facebook Inc.] didn’t make anything clear. Their “guidance,” from what I’ve seen, constitutes for some wordy legalese policy they expect everyday (non-lawyer) people to sit, read, and understand. It’s fine print shenanigans over at Facebook headquarters while they single-handedly change the definition of personal privacy for the worst. This has potential to affect everyone. Not just Facebook users.”

In response too this old timey story:
http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/life-tech/privacy/2010/01/facebook-running-into-trouble-in-canada-over-privacy-issues/#comment-1396

As far a comment harvesting and only choosing the intelligent comments: We may pick on the stupid ones too if only to dilute the trite amount of ignorance to life ratio there is out there.

ie… People who sound like this: “Ahhhh!!! I’m mad because everyone else is!!! But I really don’t know why!!! I’m so mad I’m going to join a group of other stupid angry people who are being manipulated by the ruling class to kill the progress that would benefit me!!! Making me angrier because there’s nothing there to help me!!!! Ahhhh!!!!”

Ef’ing vocally stupid people. They’re like cockroaches. Ugh.


Fedbook: Discussing Senator Schaumer’s Letter To Mark Zuckerberg

May 3, 2010

Two-weeks ago Facebook implemented some asinine changes in regards to sharing your privacy with their favorite corporate buddies. A behavior which continues to run along the sort of destructive path we’ve all come to expect from Facebook.

A month before this malarkey went down Facebook announced the planned change. Kim-Mai Cutler @ Venture Beat asked Barry Schnitt, Facebook’s director of communications and public policy, if there would be a way to opt-out of the new personal data-share plan. “No,” would be the indirect, but mostly direct answer.

Over the last couple years Facebook has been penalized by authorities of other countries for their policy behavior – but in the corporately hi-jacked USA, shit like this gets ignored all the time! Think Paypal.

OK if you haven’t taken some time in the last decade to get to know the shadiness that is Paypal/Ebay, then proceed with the basic summary here: In the EU, Paypal is held up to the authority of the banking standards which govern the region’s economy. What’s different between us and them?  In the US, Paypal isn’t held to the same “stringent” standards and practices which govern banks and other financial institutions. Paypal operates without the same SEC laws a bank like Chase, would be held to. Paypal is NOT FDIC insured so in other words, Paypal is an unregulated money philanderer. They’re not the high-end gigolos banks are, they’re just straight up whores for the money.

I’ve watched Paypal rip a small business off for $20,000 … putting the tiny operation out of business as it spun its little wheels using loans to try to recoup the cash Paypal unreasonably froze and fined. And who stepped in to help the small business owner? No one. That’s Paypal in America! And that shit happens every day, to more than one person at a time.

So how is Facebook like Paypal? Think of privacy as cash and there you have it.

Privacy is in fact, even more intrinsically valuable than cash and Facebook knows this. Facebook has taken personal privacy and turned it into any other commodity like crude oil, wheat, or gold. A Facebook account is no longer an innocent chat with mother, it’s a contribution to what the Facebook Brokerage will sell out on the commodities market.

Mark Zuckerberg, Commodity Trader: “Sally’s love of SAFEWAY brownies are for sale!!!!”
Assy McClinched, Commodity Buyer for CNN: “DAMN! That’s A GREAT price for that info about Sally, Mark! I’ll buy her account and add her to the share pool! Thanks!”

As you can you see, privacy, like money, actually needs protection. Educated alarmists are not just talking out of their butts. Facebook, like Paypal, are the unregulated ass-rapers of your checkbook and your privacy. And apathy … well apathy is the pegged dildo they do it with. Maybe you’ll care when it’s your turn.

So there are two points to today’s posting other than drawing whimsical comparisons and generating thought.

The first point is in the last few days Senator Schumer wrote Facebook and called Mark Zuckerberg out on the recent bullshit. Whether this is a publicity stunt or really will be a result of a true action, this is a good thing. It’s good because for once, a bad issue that’s been created by a large/greedy corporation who usually get’s the “hush-hush pass” from the press and bureaucracy, is being singled out! This shit is rare and good!

And then this brings me to the second reason for this posting… I have seen some dumb-dumbs out there comment on stories related to Schumer’s letter. Just reeeeeeeally fucking stupid comments. More ignorant opinions from ignorant people who don’t know wtf is really going on. Those muthafuckers take note: Ignorant opinions are not good for anyone. Ignorant opinions hurt the brains of people who’ve invested time into being educated about social issues because they, the reader who seeks solid/educated thought, just read what you wrote and it was soooo stupid it burned a hole in their brain. Ignorant opinions make apathetic ignoramuses even stupider by justifying their reasoning to not actually go fucking read up on the issue themselves, and just take the word from some other unread hayseed. Ignorant opinions and apathy are like an airborne diseases, they spread and infect easily.

Let’s try this: If you’re unread on a particular issue, then how can you really have a developed thought on it to share with anyone else? Stop peeing in our drinking water ok? There’s no shame in saying “Oh I’m not educated in that issue enough to have a valid opinion.” Ooor!!! Or just in keeping your under-developed thoughts to yourself and your mouth shut. No shame in that. Remember – ignorance is bad. Knowledge is good. They don’t teach that in kindergarten these days I guess.

Because I’m feeling frisky, I’ll break it down some more for those assholes with ignorance constantly spewing from their mouths like it was oil out of a broken oil platform in the Gulf. Assholes who make comments like, “Oh yea so let’s look into the Senator’s privacy records.”

THAT’S NOT THE FUCKING POINT AT THIS FUCKING MOMENT YOU FUCKING SPAZZ-BASKET. ONE ISSUE AT A TIME!!! PREFERABLY THE ONE THAT ACTUALLY COUNTS, FIRST!

Or blatantly half-witted comments like, “Why does the government have to get involved in this? Can’t they just mind their business for once?”

This tea party sounding ass-hatery; the declaration of anarchy or libertarian trendsetting needs to quit. You’re angry at the government, but not at the corporations who’ve infiltrated our government, education, and economy in a takeover? You’re mad at an irrelevant politician instead of the corporation that’s going to charge you your tax dollars to fight for your right in a court of law – when that same fucking corporation could’ve saved us all from spending the cash and just gone ahead with being ethical on their own in the first place?

It’s not government that’s the issue, it’s regulation. Too much regulation and you end up like North Korea. Too little regulation and you end up like the Native Americans when Christopher Colombus raped and murdered their wives in front of them. So to say you’re for “no regulation” makes you look like a greedy fuck who wants the rules removed so you can ass-rape to your heart’s content, or it makes you look especially stupid. And vice versa.

You don’t want your privacy protected because you’re unread? HAH! And BY THE WAY, why the fuck do you think the USA is in an economic shit-storm?

ITS BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT DIDN’T REGULATE THE ASSHOLES IN SUITS FOR 30 FUCKING YEARS. Those assholes NEED enforced regulation! THEY CLEARLY AREN’T INTERESTED IN TAKING ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY ON AS AN ADDITION TO THEIR SHITASS CORPORATE POLICIES!

So YES ASSHOLE. Facebook’s behavior is a huge issue because the definition of yours, and my personal privacy is VERY VALUABLE. Say it with us, PRIVACY IS VALUABLE.

PRIVACY SHOULD NOT BE A COMMODITY.

Finally there are the comments of… “Well then just close you account.”

That helps a little but not enough. Facebook is perverting the definition of privacy of which we all have come to love today. Regardless if you have an account or not the company is being reckless with the overall idea of privacy. And from this bullshit wall-street-like irresponsibility they’re wielding, we the US Taxpayers, the Canadian Taxpayers, the EU Taxpayers, and all other Taxpayers, are going to end up having to pay for the laws to save us from the raping of our ideas of what personal privacy really means and should continue to mean.

So now that I’ve said my piece on why this shit matters GREATLY, I’m leaving you with Schumer’s letter. Read it, and fucking get the issue. Stop being ignorant.

Schumer was joined in his letter to Facebook by Senators Franken, Bennet, and Begich:

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

We are writing to express our concern regarding recent changes to the Facebook privacy policy and the use of personal data on third party websites. While Facebook provides a valuable service to users by keeping them connected with friends and family and reconnecting them with long-lost friends and colleagues, the expansion of Facebook – both in the number of users and applications – raises new concerns for users who want to maintain control over their information.

The following three changes have raised concerns:

1. Publicly available data. Facebook’s expansion of publicly available data to include a user’s current city, hometown, education, work, likes, interests, and friends has raised concerns for users who would like to have an opt-in option to share this profile information. Through the expanded use of “connections,” Facebook now obligates users to make publicly available certain parts of their profile that were previously private. If the user does not want to connect to a page with other users from their current town or university, the user will have that information deleted altogether from their profile. We appreciate that Facebook allows users to type this information into the “Bio” section of their profiles, and privatize it, but we believe that users should have more control over these very personal and very common data points. These personal details should remain private unless a user decides that he/she would like to make a connection and share this information with a community.

2. Third party data storage. Previously, Facebook allowed third-party advertisers to store profile data for 24 hours. We are concerned that recent changes allow that data to be stored indefinitely. We believe that Facebook should reverse this policy, or at a minimum require users to opt in to allowing third parties to store data for more than 24 hours.

3. Instant personalization. We appreciate that Facebook is attempting to integrate the functionality of several popular websites, and that Facebook has carefully selected its initial partners for its new “instant personalization” feature. We are concerned, however, that this feature will now allow certain third party partners to have access not only to a user’s publicly available profile information, but also to the user’s friend list and the publicly available information about those friends. As a result of the other changes noted above, this class of information now includes significant and personal data points that should be kept private unless the user chooses to share them. Although we are pleased that Facebook allows users to opt-out of sharing private data, many users are unaware of this option and, moreover, find it complicated and confusing to navigate. Facebook should offer users the ability to opt-in to sharing such information, instead of opting out, and should make the process for doing so more clear and coherent.

We hope that Facebook will stand by its goal of creating open and transparent communities by working to ensure that its policies protect the sensitive personal biographical data of its users and provide them with full control over their personal information. We look forward to the FTC examining this issue, but in the meantime we believe Facebook can take swift and productive steps to alleviate the concerns of its users. Providing opt-in mechanisms for information sharing instead of expecting users to go through long and complicated opt-out processes is a critical step towards maintaining clarity and transparency.


Fedbook: They Sold Your Ass Out… AGAIN!!!!!!

April 21, 2010

YOU’VE (we’ve) BEEN SOLD OUT

And so my lovelies, *It* has finally arrived.
Behold! Facebook’s new affront on your right to privacy!

Just a few short weeks ago Facebook announced a new way they’re going to sell you out to snake companies and at that time, they told us they hadn’t really thought about how, and if the we deserved an “opt out.” Sounds buzz-tastically familiar?


Well the news is here, and here it is!:



Let’s capture that exact fact in time:


And who exactly are these listed “partner sites”? You wont find that information in Facebook’s Site Governance profile or in their “Help Center.”

TECHNICAL USEFULNESS

If you’ve wondered where the cutting edge development has gone in Facebook’s technical usefulness, this is where the development has run off to: Facebook is no longer focused on making a worthwhile, trusty platform with the user in mind, they’re more interested in making a platform with the benefit of shit-ass companies in mind.

Oh technical usefulness! You cheating whore!

CRACKING THE CODE

In light of this news and Facebook’s attempt to sugar coat the truth, we here at Facebook Watchdog have spent a fortnight, tons, of time and “lots and lots of money” in cracking the OH SO FANTASTICALLY TOUGH CODE on Facebook’s new promotional explanation page.

We know this page says ONE thing, but we’ve figured out what it REALLY means. Have a look wont you!

“OPTING OUT”

So in the grand scheme of things, with this new announcement Facebook has indeed offered a convoluted “Opt-Out.” Last month they didn’t feel like they needed to give us one, this month they’ve provided their users a carefully worded choice to “Opt-Out” of Social Plugins – however you still can’t “Opt-Out” from the newly deemed, “Facebook Public Information.”

Anyway we went ahead and followed the steps of this very generous offer…

There you have it! Facebook’s new run on your privacy and your personal exploitation. We’re not surprised here given the company’s track record. It’ll be interesting what legalities, if any arise from this. We doubt the U.S. Government gives a shit about the user’s right since that shit’s all kinds of sold out to lobbies…

What exactly would a D.C. based Facebook lobby look like?

Happy Facebooking!!!!


Share: 6 Ways To Tell Your Employer To Stay The F*ck Out Of Your Personal Life

April 12, 2010

Last week Yahoo! “news” posted some queer ass excuse for a news story called “6 Career-Killing Facebook Mistakes.” The topic was actually on something even lamer than the Yahoo! “news” site called Invest-something or other. BTW, that’s how you know you’re getting duped, OK?

1. You’re reading Yahoo’s excuse for news and…
2. You’re reading something written for a publication with “Invest” in its company name.

Has anyone ever thought about how close Incest is to Invest, by one letter!? I digress. Today we are going to point out how Facebook and privacy have yet again met a new personal privacy challenge. Should your employer have anything to say about how you live your personal life?

It’s a critical question really. Should your shitty HR Rep be able to clip a photo of you beer bonging it at some party you crashed and use it against you? Think about it carefully. Is this a yes or no question? Could the answer be, “it depends?”

In our ideal world here at Facebook watchdog, to us, the answer should be no. In the most technical sense, no.
Your personal life is yours to do with what you want to do with it, regardless if someone posted a picture or story of any event, and your employer should put lid on it.

We thought a lot about the “yes,” “maybe” and “no” before we went with “no.” Let us explore the other two avenues of thought to shed some light on why we choose no.

Yes your employer should be able to stick their needley aardvark nose into your pile of personal life, and control you at that level as well.

Why? Because you are a representative of the company’s image and you’ve gone ahead and posted, or not posted, where it is that you work on your profile thereby perhaps threatening an unintentional defamation of your “oh so moral-ful bastion of ethereal goodness, sin free and excessively loving” company. They are pure, like Jesus. Why do you want to make Jesus cry?

You, YES YOU alone could be the only reason; THE VERY FIRST STAIN of horrendous proportions of which your helpless damsel of a company, will never be able to wash from her chaste bosom. Ahhh me. Tragedy in the making.

Sarcasm? Noooo us? Never. Just remember though – whatever it is that you’re doing outside of work, you’re still doing it for your company. Please be careful how you chug your beer, eat your sandwich, listen to your favorite music, give advice to your children, put your shoes on, take your shoes off, pet your cat, walk your dog, take a nap, or wipe your ass. All of that is rightfully the intellectual property of your employer if they so choose it. Don’t forget to kiss the mandatory portrait of your CEO in your home every time you come or go, and most importantly don’t forget to stand at attention before bed and recite your lifelong dedication to the cause of Capitalism in your very own private bedroom. Sounds like a dream! Where do we sign up?!

Maybe your employer should be able to control your personal life as well as your professional one.

Why? Well OK so maybe you are being careless about whatever it is you put up online. Maybe you should tone down your slutty porn videos and the photographs of your rainbow party. Maybe it isn’t the best idea to put video of your pierced genitalia online. Maybe posting whatever the hell it is you want to post, as freely as you want to post it, is honestly having a global effect on how assholes in “decision-making suits” perceive your right to privacy. All of the above is true enough to warrant a maybe.

If you can’t control yourself then maybe you do need your employer to babysit you and that’s sad.

Why we choose no.

We certainly don’t believe your employer should have a God damned say in what the fuck it is you do with your own time. Where does that invasion of privacy end? Surely you can’t believe them if they say, “Oh it ends at Facebook or MySpace.” Once that sort of invasion begins, and is considered to be all right-a-roony, where the hell does that sort of invasion stop?

Your company is a mini North Korea. There’s no democracy inside your company. When you walk through the doors of your office you leave all that wonderful fresh air and democracy outside. Thank goodness you live in the USA and have the freedom to find solitude in your private affairs, for now.

This is just another example of corporations taking every advantage they can to overstep their boundaries. And most importantly, do you want to pay for more complex rulings and laws to define this issue in, or most likely not in, the people’s favor? Maybe not.

Ohhhh maybe, you fickle thing you. Of the billion people in the world, how many don’t live life responsibly? I’m sure you know perhaps one or two out of 100 friends right? Well do you feel like your whole life should be controlled and watched based on the mistakes of a small percentage of genetically deficient? We didn’t think so either. Maybe has no place in this debate.

So in light of the topic, “6 Ways To Tell Your Employer To Stay The Fuck Out Of Your Personal Life,” we will finish up this opine with just that:

1. Inappropriate Pictures: “Look at them or don’t. What I do with my time surely will bite me in the ass when my mother see’s them but it sure as fuck isn’t any of your professional business. In fact don’t look at them you morally inept but easily offended tight ass. ”

2. Complaining About Your Current Job: “Yea that’s right. The way you manage the company into the ground doesn’t sit right with me and I’m sure if your share holders knew how fucking irresponsible and greedy you were, they’d probably complain too. In fact you might want to check their Facebook accounts to see if they are complaining and then go eat a dick.”

3. Posting Conflicting Information on Your Resume: “Why the fuck are you checking a Facebook account against a resumé? Is this how you check all company facts? You may as well run the company based on the HOW TO RUN A BUSINESS article on Wikipedia then. Seriously WTF? Aren’t you supposed to know how to do your job without referring to inaccurate records? Try this on for size – call the fucking references on the paper resume in your stupid hand! ”

4. Statuses You Wouldn’t Want Your Boss to See: “Unless my boss is my mother, IDGAF.”

5. Not Understanding Your Security Settings: “And? I’m more concerned about my security settings so my psycho ex’s don’t find me. If my employer is actually spending their 9 to 5 clicking through my profile in hopes that I forgot to hide something, like my psychotic ex’s do, then I think the issue is more why are people at your company stalking other people on Facebook during work? And if they’re doing this at home on their own personal time, that’s even more messed up. Settings are to control stalkers. Come on Capitalism, stop being a stalker. “

6. Losing by Association: “See all the above.”

And so…
I know we’re being snarky and assy in our 1 – 6 list but ultimately it’s meant to grab attention to the point.

The point being that any professional who openly admits to holding a Facebook post or account against a job applicant, is admitting to a serious invasion of personal privacy and ought to be sued. This sort of discrimination is illegal. We create resumes, portfolios and reference lists for a reason. There are laws in place that prevent your employer, or potential employer, from asking personal questions in a conversation with the list of referred. Facebook or any other sort of personal information beyond what we’re supposed to hand in at the interview, is legally barred and shouldn’t be held against you. End of story.

Shame on Yahoo! “news” and their butt buddies over at Invest-o-rama for missing the real point and “reporting” more garbage.

Happy Facebooking!


General Fail #3: Dear Facebook I Loath Your Change

April 8, 2010

On a side note: Facebook Watchdog doesn’t necessarily care about the physical interface changes.

Except for January 2010, the last few changes were visually and functionally sound. This most recent change is not functional, limits your access to information, and at the very least looks like crap and gives you a visually induced headache. Facebook Watchdog didn’t bother to worry or complain about all the prior years of visual changes made to Facebook but in 2010, Facebook Watchdog officially takes a stance against the new interface. Facebook took their years of perfect aesthetics and functionality and threw it out with the trash. Most importantly, they removed a chunk of the user’s ability to search through and control their information. To date, the 2010 change was by far the worst thing Facebook could’ve physically done.