1. NoTeabagging says:

    Well there’s some irony for you. If you ‘Like’ a page, specifically a business, Facebook can use you to pimp that business on your friends pages and possibly publicly without your permission or knowledge. There is no way, at this time, to keep your ‘likes’ private or avoid facebook using you to pimp businesses in ‘sponsored ads’ or suggested pages.

    • I still haven’t mastered farmville, but just to play devil’s advocate, so what? What’s the harm to me if I click “like” on a particular page and facebook says “Mike Hassinger likes this!” to my network or the rest of the world? I’m pretty obnoxious and will tell people that I like, say, a particular brand of coffee (Peets > Starbucks). Why would I click “like” at all if I didn’t want everyone to know that I liked something? I get the annoyance factor, but is there any real harm?

      • griftdrift says:


        One potential real harm is you are letting people beyond your friends know you exist. How absurd does that sound? But here’s the deal. You know why you don’t reply to spam saying “TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST!” because then they know you are real and instead of taking you off their list, they sell your realness to a hundred spammers.

        On facebook, when you see a picture of a pretty girl with a tag that says “COMMENT STRIP THEN HIT LIKE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS!”, you’re letting whoever started that mess know that your real. That in itself is valuable information.

        Where it gets more nefarious is that not only do they know you are real but they can then examine who you are and depending on your privacy settings, find out quite a bit.

        In the movies, hackers look like Angelia Jolie and use computers to “fly” through files that look like buildings and firewalls that are walls of ice.

        In the real world, they use social engineering.

        • Got it. So I click “like” on the Peets’ Coffee page, and now what? I get ads and offers for delicious Peets’ Coffee. And Peets’ knows I’m real. So then what, they determine that I’m also fond of vodka, and sell my profile to Tito’s? More ads and offers, only this time for smooth and refreshing Tito’s Vodka. I’m still not seeing a tort here. Again I am playing devils advocate, but it seems like letting businesses collect information about me, in order to help them sell me products that I already like is a benefit -to me. Annoying, yes. But if we sued them for damages, how much would that be?

          • griftdrift says:

            Yes. Businesses collecting data is a your mileage may vary situation. They will send you a lot of annoying stuff. They will sell your information to other people who will send you a lot of annoying stuff. But that horse left the barn a long time ago and is just part of life now.

            The danger is in businesses ( or worse ) asking you to “like” things while not disclosing the actual purposes of what they are doing. Starbucks wouldn’t do this because it’s not to their advantage to practice that kind of deceit. Others with less noble purposes however…..

      • Ghost of William F Buckley says:

        What if you ‘like’ a Tea party website, and it happens to be under – oh gosh, let me just say, IRS scrutiny – could never happen, right. Does that mean you could be under IRS scrutiny?

        Face book is really the most subtle spy tool in the world, if you reason through it, and I ‘like’ FB.

        In the past espionage and surveillance is needed to find out how people think, their prejudices, fears, loves, and hatreds. Well, heck, now folk just ‘like’ these traits.

        I really don’t think anyone is fully capable of understanding just how powerful these entities really are, unless you study it. Read James Bamford, his book, the “Puzzle Palace” was actually threatened to be physically removed from the publishers galleys prior to distribution.

        Bamford presented the agency in a positive light, not as a monster but as a giant, electronic guard dog. His next book was actually touted by the agency. I believe that is still the intent, and the thousands that work their are mostly patriots.

        Yet, a weapon never cares where it is aimed, it is still lethal.

        Not a dull reads, especially for those of a techie mindset:


      • NoTeabagging says:

        I think you miss what FB does when you ‘like’ a business/product page. It is not just about that ‘like’ showing up in your timeline and your friends news feed. The liked business pays FB to actively takes your ‘like’ then post a “Sponsored ads” in your friends newsfeeds, big honking ads, much larger than a normal newsfeed post.

        This is completely different from an innocuous post that you just like something or FB data mining your ‘likes’ then putting ads in your sidebar. Do you see the difference?

        • So they are using me to act as a spokesman to my friends for their product because I clicked “like?” I didn’t know that, but again, is there any harm done to me, unless you count my lack of spokesman compensation. I think there was a company that tried to turn people into word-of-mouth marketers (Buzz Jono or something) and paid them in coupons and cash. This just eliminates the “paying people for their endorsement” part. If I can’t dip my beak into the money, that is annoying -that advertising is worth something, and I should get a cut. Annoying, but mostly harmless -am I right?

          • NoTeabagging says:

            But Mike, I never mentioned anything about getting a cut of the ad fees. Personally, I would like the option to opt-out of being used with ‘sponsored ads’. It is a privacy issue.

            You are the perfect FB user, willing to give and take commercial interruptions to your social experience. No harm there.

            • Well, I’m still playing devil’s advocate. But bear with me for a minute -what would you be willing to pay to avoid the situation you describe? FB costs money to operate, but is “free” to the users. The price is giving up some information that would otherwise be private, and letting FB sell that information to advertisers. It’s creepy how it works, I’ve seen it. And I don’t like it at all, but I’m still looking for a number -how much should my “privacy” be worth -especially when I’m using a social network?
              In real life, if I went through my hosts’ medicine cabinet at a party, and found some products they used and sold that information to a marketing company, I can see the damage. But in this case, facebook is “hosting” the party, taking notes on which snacks and drinks we like, and then selling the information. Are we ticked because we didn’t know they would be doing that, or are we ticked because they’re doing it at all?

              • NoTeabagging says:

                Personally, I am ticked at both scenarios. I do not want to be an unwilling shill.
                Nothing wrong with telling your friends about a great product, service, common cause, or event in your status updates and ‘shares’.

                Periodically I post a status update telling my friends if my name pops up in a “Sponsored ad” on their news feed to let me know, so I can promptly “unlike” that business. Just for fun I also post who is pimping for products in my news feed. One friend was upset that she was associated with a company she despised, she checked her “liked” pages and lo and behold somehow it was there. She promptly “unliked.”

                Luckily I don’t see these much anymore, unless I peek in to FB on mobile apps or browsers. I use a phalanx of filters so I never see sidebar ads, sponsored ads, ANY posts about games, and other specific topics. Take that FB…FU ( and I don’t mean Francis Underwood).

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