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Facebook Adds Friend Stalker Tool 357

nk497 writes "Facebook has added a new tool that brings together conversations and photos between friends onto a single page, but — as usual — has crossed the creepy line. Not only does clicking the See Friendship tool let users view photos, comments and events shared between themselves and their friend, it also offers a search tool to do the same between any two mutual friends, making it easy to see everything any two people have ever said to each other Facebook. As usual, the site should have tested the function out on their users first, with one saying: 'I've always wanted this! And yes, I'm a creepy stalker.' Also, as usual for Facebook, all users are automatically opted in, and there's currently no obvious way to turn it off."
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Facebook Adds Friend Stalker Tool

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    of reasons not to use Facebook.

    As if you needed more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by biryokumaru ( 822262 )
      No, put this on the growing list of pointless complaints about Facebook. If people didn't post idiocy on the internet, they wouldn't have to be so afraid of people seeing their idiocy.
      • by cynyr ( 703126 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:35AM (#34062322)

        But it's not just me i have to make sure that doesn't post idiocy, but everyone that i do anything socially with. Since facebook has no way for me to remove photos of me posted by other users. The best i can do is remove the tag, but not remove me from the photo or my name from the comments, or have the photo taken down entirely.

        • Why not just ask them? I've complied with everyone who has ever asked me to remove a photo of them. If they don't, they're assholes and not worth knowing either on Facebook or in the real world.
          • Even if you do take the idea of losing a friend lightly - the idea of losing your job over something your asshole friend posted was not at all addressed by your post.

            And burning a bridge makes that all the more likely to happen.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              If you lose your job because of a photo posted on Facebook, you have an asshole employer who cannot distinguish the difference between your work life and private life, and you probably ought to get a new job anyway - unless the photo is of you doing something illegal, in which case perhaps you shouldn't have done that in the first place. Still finding it hard to have any sympathy here.
              • by gknoy ( 899301 ) <gknoy AT anasazisystems DOT com> on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:41AM (#34063264)

                If you lose your job in a manner that makes you say "well I was better off without those jerks", you're still unemployed. Sour grapes don't pay the bills.

              • by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @02:04PM (#34065352)
                As much as I ought to get a new job where the boss isn't an asshole, where the users understand software development, where flextime is acceptable, where I'm paid an extra $20K, in an industry that isn't powered by fear, controlled by foreign influence, fueled by vice, or run on questionable economic principles, where nearby housing is affordable, and the neighbors don't suck, where they run Linux, and code in C, under the GPL, where my skills are honed and expanded, where the commute is painless and cheap, where my future employment is in my hands, in a city my wife can find a job with similar properties, where Sharepoint has been banished from the land, where they pay for overtime but don't ask for it often, where they're loose with vacation and don't mind weeks of unpaid leave, where buzzwords earn you slap across the face, where the mythical man month is understood, where the chairs are comfortable, the carpet is clean, and temperature doesn't have a 20 degree swing.

                As much as I ought to go get that job, it turns out that they're not hiring at this moment. I guess we can't all have the perfect life delivered to us on a silver platter. So you can take your apathy, add it as a bullet point on your resume, and shove it up your ass.
        • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:22AM (#34062978) Homepage

          Two things:

          1. If you engage in social activity with the kind of people that would post incriminating photos of you, you need to find a different group of friends.

          2. If you engage in incriminating activities in a public place where other people can take photos of you, you need to be smarter about where you engage in incriminating activities.

          • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:29AM (#34063096)

            You seem to be confused. Just because you'd like to keep something from general knowledge doesn't mean it's incriminating.

      • 100% dead on (Score:3, Informative)

        you don't get to post things on the internet, and then complain when people see it on the internet

        if you don't want people to see something DON'T POST IT ON THE INTERNET

        because the fine level of control you desire: "only this person, at this time, in this context, can see this piece of info" is a nonstarter, because it takes 10x more time and effort to define the context of the info you are sharing than it takes to post the info. there is no better way to completely and utterly destroy the pleasure of a soc

        • Re:100% dead on (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:12AM (#34062824) Journal

          blaming facebook is just shifting responsibility and personal accountability away from you when things go wrong because you weren't discreet

          If only the system works like you described. Like someone said earlier, you have more to worry about from OTHER people's posts than you really do your own. Let's say I make a Facebook page - but I don't enter any information but my name and photo. I don't add any of my friends, I basically be a social outcast and hermit on Facebook.

          Facebook still allows people to tag "nothings" in photos, so they can tag me in a photo and I won't get ANY notification because the Tag itself won't like to my page - instead it'll just say my name when they hover over it. A potential employer does some research on me - and they find that I have a facebook account but can't see anything but my picture. They then continue their goolge search and see a random picture someone put up of me with my tag on it and know its me because of the photo.

          Damn - all I did was enter my name and a good photo of myself - and my reputation got ruined outside of my control.

          • Re:100% dead on (Score:5, Informative)

            by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:32AM (#34063124) Homepage Journal

            any potential employer or significant other that would judge you so harshly for simply having a life is frankly an employer/ S.O. you don't want to have anything to do with

            live your life, and stop worrying so much about micromanaging your public image. us who are well-adjusted simply doesn't care as much as you think we do about pictures of you drunk. its just simple not that big of a deal. the misperception is yours: that anyone cares. we don't care

            the internet is what it is: it shows more of our lives, longer, as permanent mementos. adapt to that new reality and accept it, because you can't manage or alter it

            anyone who would reject you or fire you based on what the internet contains about you is someone without a level of tolerance you don't want to be involved with in the first place. and if you don't want that behavior of yours made a permanent part of your "internet record", then learn the art of discretion

            because this is not about other people, or facebook, or the internet affecting your image in ways you don't want. it's about YOU affecting your image in ways you later regret

            you have no one to blame if something is out there you don't want to be out there except yourself. take responsibility for your image. or shift blame onto others, and whine about it, to no effect whatsoever, because you can't do anything about it

            • Re:100% dead on (Score:4, Insightful)

              by GeckoX ( 259575 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @12:45PM (#34064236)

              You know, once upon a time a person could make a mistake or do something they regretted that would be forgotten and never become an issue. You really want that pic that some 'friend' took at a college party and posted tagged with your name to still pop up on searches when you're 40 something looking for a new job?

              Is it no longer OK to make mistakes and have them forgotten?

              The number of posts in this thread that are basically saying 'be perfect all the time and you'll have nothing to worry about, or else suck up the consequences' is absolutely shocking.

              Sure, if _I_ choose to post something online about myself then I will live with the consequences of doing so. But that is not what this is about. Not even a little bit. (Is it just me or is this thread getting very Orwellian?)

              Problem here specifically is that there is this online social community out there that a ton of people use. A lot of people carry out all forms of conversations on it. Sometimes two people will even have a conversation between themselves discussing someone else with the intent that the someone else won't be able to see it, at least that's the way it was the other day when they had the conversation. Now lo and behold, for example, your SO knows all about the exciting trip you have planned as a surprise for the weekend! (See, doesn't have to be about getting fired over some drunken party pic now does it?)

              Kids today, so used to their freedoms being given away by the powers that be that they take it for the norm and now are totally willing, or worse, expect that, privacy is to be given away or be non existent as well!

              Anyways, for my own self, just another tick on the reasons not to Facebook list.

      • by grumbel ( 592662 ) <> on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:56AM (#34063486) Homepage

        Just because its "on the Internet" doesn't mean its viewable for anybody, my whole mail is "on the internet" after all and that is only viewable by me (and google). The problem with Facebook and social networking in general is that they are all extremely bad at telling the user what information is making it to the public or to the friends, so you end up with a lot of involuntary information leaks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by finarfinjge ( 612748 )
      I suspect this thread will become populated with any number of "thereottabealaw" comments. This is not the answer. The purpose of facebook is to provide to marketers as much information about you as legally possible. But it isn't the marketers that will keep facebook policies skewed towards "openness" and away from privacy. Government, by its nature, is in favour of knowing as much about you as they can. Thus, governments like facebook. Many companies, such as insurance companies, like to be able to go to f
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Cederic ( 9623 )

        Why should there ever be a law? Facebook is doing nothing wrong.

        There needs to be user education. There needs to be an instilled sense of distrust, scepticism and paranoia.

        If the users weren't that fucking stupid as to trust Facebook, there would be no issue.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rufty_tufty ( 888596 )

        Hang on, what happened to the Geek's warcry of "Information wants to be free"?

        So the big problem here is that if you have ever been an idiot or done something you'd rather forget then either you or one of your friends will purposely or accidentally post it on the internet in a way that can be linked back to you.
        I think like the record companies cannot put the genie of digital music/mp3s/filesharing back ion the bottle we as a society can't put all of personal privacy back in the bottle without also losing p

  • RAWK (Score:5, Funny)

    by mark72005 ( 1233572 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:10AM (#34062052)
    Sweet, this will make it much easier to jump to conclusions about which of my friends are secretly bumpin' uglies
  • Nonissue (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Schezar ( 249629 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:12AM (#34062068) Homepage Journal

    If this information was already extant, and this functionality is just an aggregation and compilation of said extant data, then there is no problem. No new information is being provided: public information has simply been correlated, something any person could do on their own at any point prior.

    Making already legally accessible data more readable is not in any way wrong. Anyone who fears or is angry about this is in for a shock over the next decade or so as technology reveals all sorts of already public things about them, and younger generations simply won't care.

    • Re:Nonissue (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ridgecritter ( 934252 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:23AM (#34062200)

      This seems a bit like saying that because a computer is just a really fast abacus, there's really no difference between them or their effects.

      At some point, mere quantitative increase becomes a qualitative difference.

      If it now takes 2 seconds to do with Facebook's new tool what used to take 2 days, that's a qualitative difference (degradation of privacy) that people might reasonably be concerned about.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Schezar ( 249629 )

        Ahh, but our entire society's expectations of privacy have been unreasonable for the better part of the last several decades. This false sense of privacy has existed solely due to the inefficiency of access to public data, much in the same manner that entire localized business models disappeared with the advent of national television and freeways.

        It's a nonissue only because the work, both in law and expectations, to actually address the fact that we're finally having to come to terms with the fact that th

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          The point is moot. If Facebook didn't do it themselves, someone with a screenscraper and a database would.

          Quite correct. And it would be even simpler than that. It's Web site. At the end of the day, Facebook presents your browser with HTML and JavaScript. A competent individual could write a script to do this in very little time with any modern scripting language -- Python, Perl, Ruby, or [insert your favorite here]. Or they could create a mashup with Google Web Toolkit. In any respect, HTML is, more or less, easily parseable programmatically.

          Those griping have no room to do so. You provided the data to Fac

        • I don't think that our desire for privacy is in any way unreasonable. That something can be done does not mean that it should be done.

          That someone could track my vehicle (Via license plate recognition software) to the urologist, then to a specific pharmacy. Perhaps a trip to a specific type of physical therapist, and so on...

          All of that is 'public' information. And NONE of it should be automatically assumed to be non-private simply because of the inability to avoid touching the public view. We drafted p

          • by Schezar ( 249629 )

            So how do you address this? Is it illegal for me to watch you drive your car to the urologist? Is it illegal to then google for your license plate and/or address to see who you are or where you live? Is it illegal to see you visit the pharmacist, and remember that I'd also seen you at the urologist at some point in the past?

            Should it be illegal to say to my one friend "Hey, I saw IndustrialComplex at the urologist, and again at the pharmacist. Funny that! His license place was 'ASSMAN' too!" ?
            Should it

            • Re:Nonissue (Score:4, Insightful)

              by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:42AM (#34063274)

              Stalking can be illegal, even if the individual actions aren't. It's all about the effects you are having on another person.

              I don't know about IndustrialComplex's specific example, but his point stands. Privacy is pretty important and shouldn't just be ceded because it's difficult to objectively define where the line should be drawn between invasion of privacy and public knowledge.

        • by cynyr ( 703126 )

          This would be true if it didn't present any new data to any new poeple, but Facebook has a record of totaly fucking up new features. Like the one were you could chat as anyone else, or the one where you could stealth friend people.

          Any bet son if you can type in any 2 names and get back more info than the privacy settings would let you see looking at their page.

      • Exactly. Often times just because something isn't illegal doesn't mean it should be easily doable. In most cases, the main deterrant is the amount of effort required to preform the action, so no law is really needed.

        I also wonder what the GP's thoughts are on Firesheep - I mean sidejacking is considered illegal but when you're doing it over an unsecured WiFi its like the information has become public. But you can do a lot of damage by simply logging in under someone else's Facebook. Most teenagers would lov

    • Re:Nonissue (Score:4, Funny)

      by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:31AM (#34062272) Journal


      Of course, all this information is already available to me. I could click around the site and find everything said between my mutual friends by sifting through their accounts. But that would take ages, and eventually — hopefully — I’d either get bored or ashamed of creeping on my friends. This makes it possible to stalk in seconds.

      “Hopefully”? Bored or ashamed? Seriously?

      He greatly underestimates the ability of a bored stalker to be creepy...

    • Re:Nonissue (Score:4, Insightful)

      by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:46AM (#34062462) Journal

      as technology reveals all sorts of already public things about them, and younger generations haven't realized they need to care yet


  • by Dancindan84 ( 1056246 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:13AM (#34062078)

    Here's a helpful Venn diagram for people who still aren't sure: []

    • s/Internet/web/g

      Private communications have been possible on the Internet for a long time now: []

      (Not that anyone can deal with the inconvenience of that sort of thing...)
      • It was (somewhat) a joke, but honestly your friends already have access to the conversations on your wall. They're effectively public for your anyone on your friends list. All this does is compile them by participants.

        This is just fear mongering. It's the equivalent to an article like, "People you trust to let into your house may be able to compile a list of your valuables to use maliciously!!!" If you have any meth addict/kleptomaniac friends, you don't let them into your house. If you have any creepy/goss

      • Privacy on the web: FOAF+SSL [] on a private server.

  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:13AM (#34062080) Homepage Journal

    Well duh. If you don't want your friends seeing who you're talking to, either don't friend them, or change your privacy settings so that they can't read your wall posts etc. Otherwise they have exactly the same information already available, just in a slightly less convenient format.

    Sure it's a little creepy, but you already see a lot of this stuff on the main updates page anyway, this is just making it more comprehensive.

    • by Chameleon Man ( 1304729 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:29AM (#34062254)
      To reference an episode of Seinfeld...

      GEORGE: Ah you have no idea of the magnitude of this thing. If she is allowed to infiltrate this world, then George Costanza as you know him, Ceases to Exist! You see, right now, I have Relationship George, but there is also Independent George. That’s the George you know, the George you grew up with — Movie George, Coffee shop George, Liar George, Bawdy George.

      JERRY: I, I love that George.

      GEORGE: Me Too! And he’s Dying Jerry! If Relationship George walks through this door, he will Kill Independent George! A George, divided against itself, Cannot Stand!
      • by mrxak ( 727974 )

        As somebody who wears a lot of masks, I defend my internet from my RL and my RL from my internet as best I can. Heck, I try to keep my various internets from each other and my various RLs from each other too. Divisions are important for sanity, to be sure, George was right.

    • by mrxak ( 727974 )

      Hehe. From the very beginning, I used Facebook only for stalking my friends. I have only the barest minimum of contact information on my profile, and nothing else. And the people I don't want to share my barest minimum of contact information with? I don't friend them, whee!

        I for one, love any new features that let me stalk people easier. People who are concerned about this sort of thing lost all their privacy years ago anyway, because they're dumb.

      • by hodet ( 620484 )
        So, you monitor your mom from her basement?
      • People who are concerned about this sort of thing lost all their privacy years ago anyway, because they're dumb.

        I think you have just hit the nail on the head. The thing that's been annoying me whenever people whine about this stuff, yet they are the ones who have shared all this information in the first place, and continue to do so, then get affronted when everyone else can see it. I find it really hard to put into words sometimes how stupid it all is, but you have said it perfectly.

        I've even traced the life story of an AC on Slashdot (who jeered my "easily trackable" Slashdot account, despite me not using this nick

  • by jDeepbeep ( 913892 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:15AM (#34062108)
    Why the worry about your "friends" doing stalker-ish things to you? Didn't you accept their request (or they yours) based on some level of familiarity and/or trust? It's not strangers watching you. It's people you agreed to let into your little online life.
    • by Tom ( 822 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:28AM (#34062242) Homepage Journal

      That is the #1 problem with Facebook (and almost all other social networking sites): You only get a binary setting.

      I have a few close friends, who by all means could see whatever they want to, if they'd ask I would tell them anyways.

      But I also have a lot of not-so-close friends, acquaintances, people I'm friendly with. Whatever you want to call it, there are degrees of friendship. And Facebook doesn't recognize that.

      • by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnup . n et> on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:39AM (#34062360) Homepage

        But I also have a lot of not-so-close friends, acquaintances, people I'm friendly with. Whatever you want to call it, there are degrees of friendship. And Facebook doesn't recognize that.

        Yeah it does, if you can be bothered with the admin.

        You can create groups, and categorise your contacts into them. Then you can specify how much of your profile and your activity can be seen by each group.

        I have a "limited profile" group, into which I place people who ask to be a "friend", when I feel it would be rude to ignore them, but don't really want them to see everything.

        You can also choose to prevent friends-of-friends from seeing your stuff.

        At worst, the defaults are possibly a bit too open.

        • by Tim C ( 15259 )

          Not to mention, if that all seems like too much hassle (to people who will happily spend hours configuring their own machines just so?), just don't post the more private stuff on Facebook.

          I have some friends I'll tell anything to, and do, and others I'd rather not know that sort of thing. Guess what - that sort of stuff doesn't end up in my Facebook status. Duh. Worried about photos? Don't do it in public. (And to fend off the obvious retorts, hell yes I get drunk, and any employer/future partner/etc who wo

      • I have about 20 different lists of people on Facebook. Some things I post, I post for everyone. Other things, only a select group can see them. It really isn't that difficult to manage.

    • Yes, I'm not afraid about this, what I'm afraid that one of my friends uses a silly app like FarmVille or whatever that demands access to "friend info" and then FarmVille will know all my discussions with my friend and by FarmVille I mean the entire world.

      • Yeah, and then the people at farmville will know that your child spilled his spaghetti on the floor, that your mom came for a visit, and they will see the picture you posted of your dog eating Doritos from a can. Hard to tell what farmville will do with that information.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Cederic ( 9623 )

          Advertise carpet cleaning products and offer discounts on Doritos from a specific online retailer.

          Who in turn will seek to leverage their relationship, selling your vetinary services and cheap student loans for your child.

          Information is valuable.

          • by slim ( 1652 )

            Advertise carpet cleaning products and offer discounts on Doritos from a specific online retailer.

            Crap! I'd better cancel my Facebook account; someone might target some ads at me...

        • Or instead of Doritos you're drinking a beer and then you get fired [].

  • by cindyann ( 1916572 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:17AM (#34062134)

    Personally I think it jumped the shark about two months ago.

    I rarely look at it.

    I've filtered out about half my "friends" because if I wanted to know what they had on their toast this morning I'd sign up for twitter and follow their stupid tweets.

    • You could always just not be on Facebook -- that strategy has been working just fine for me. I am still in touch with my family, I am still in touch with my friends, and I still get invited to parties.
  • Solution (Score:5, Funny)

    by papasui ( 567265 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:17AM (#34062138) Homepage
    Delete your Facebook account like I did. Although I'll admit that the first week of not knowing what crops my friends were growing was a little hard on me..
  • by NYMeatball ( 1635689 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:17AM (#34062144)

    I'm as big of a facebook hater as the next guy, but it seems like Slashdot's favourite pastime is getting on a social network for being, well, social.

    If their inference is that facebook should become an antisocial network, I think Slashdot honestly has that market segment covered pretty well already.

    • That is totally correct. By the way, I cannot find the link to 'Browse friendship' anywhere... oh that bitch... thought it would be ok to be 'friends'... eh eh eh... ehheh heh..

    • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:06AM (#34062716)
      I don't think anyone wants it to be antisocial. What I do think people want, however, is to have their privacy respected and to have control over it. As I recall, I registered back when Facebook still had around 50K users (my university was one of its first big breaks), and the settings I configured then in no way reflect the reality of my privacy today, largely due to unexpected and unwelcome changes Facebook made over the years which automatically opted me in to having information publicly available that I had explicitly expressed a desire to keep private in the past. It's that sort of behavior that gets them ragged on and trashed in the media. If Facebook would just stop making public information that we told it to keep private, I think it wouldn't be getting nearly as much bad press.
  • by noidentity ( 188756 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:23AM (#34062198)

    Also, as usual for Facebook, all users are automatically opted in, and there's currently no obvious way to turn it off.

    And as usual, Facebook is discussed as if it weren't opt-in. There are plenty of other ways of communicating with people.

    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      Sadly there are a lot of groups of friends that use Facebook for all of their communication. If you're not on Facebook you can't be in their clique.

      "Why didn't you come along? We've been arranging it on Facebook for weeks"

      "You looked fantastic in his video. What do you mean, 'What video'?"

      I have two lives. One in which I participate, which includes face to face contact, use of online forums, youtube, picasa and email, and one that exists only on Facebook, where I exist but only in a vague form, unsubstantia

  • To paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldbloom): "Yeah, but your programmers were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."
  • People need to be aware that Facebook is hardly anything more than a modern version of Geocities without the ability for it's users to violate the Geneva Convention with exceptionally bad Webdesign. It adds in a little tools that enable linking and conecting for total webdev-n00bs and makes it attractive to use your real name and real contact data, as it has amassed users in ways never seen before. Mostly due to the aforementioned n00by-friendlyness.

    Whenever I search someone online, their Facebook entiry po

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:28AM (#34062252) Journal

    Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

    ws: Facebook Adds Friend Stalker Tool

    Gosh, within one line, asking people to join Facebook and then yet the Xth article about how dangerous facebook is for your privacy.

    We know this, but we don't care because we care more about our friend count.

    Facebook is a nudist colony. Fine if you want to air your tonker but then don't complain people can see it. You can't share all your personal details withour your personal details ending up shared.

    I wonder how people who use Facebook and complain about privacy go through life in general:

    Omg! I bought this phone with a subscription, but now I do the math I actually end up paying much more for the phone! How can this be?

    Oh no, I bought this gadget with monthy payments and now the payments are more then the original price, why!

    I borrowed money for my house, now the bank thinks it owns it. Why didn't anyone tell me!

    I streaked naked down the high street, now people are claiming they saw me! I didn't know that what I do in public can be seen by others!

    I gave a full confession to a cop and now they using it against me in a court of law! Won't someone safe me!

    If you do NOT want everyone on facebook to see what you do, don't use facebook. It ain't hard. It is not an essential product. Billions life happy lives without it. You can too. And the first person to claim that it allows them to keep in touch with friends they never bothered to keep in touch with before I will beat until they learn the difference between a friend, a distant aquintance and a stranger.

    • by qoncept ( 599709 )
      Facebook allows me to keep in touch with the acquiantances I never bothered to keep in touch with before.
    • Facebook is a nudist colony. Fine if you want to air your tonker but then don't complain people can see it. You can't share all your personal details withour your personal details ending up shared.

      To use your analogy, the problem is that if you go to a nudist colony you have an expectation that nobody will take your pictures and post them on the first page of the newspapers or send them to your coworkers. Sure, you are naked and you are fine with that, but maybe your boss is not fine with it. I am not troubled by this change since I don't have any secret, what's worrying me is that my friends might have intrusive apps that ask for "friend info" and then my info that was supposed to be in a relatively

      • by slim ( 1652 )

        what's worrying me is that my friends might have intrusive apps that ask for "friend info" and then my info that was supposed to be in a relatively private circle suddenly become much more public than they were supposed to be.

        I seem to be saying this a lot in this discussion - but you can disable that.

        There's a privacy setting to control what friends' apps can see about you -- distinct from what friends can see about you.

        You might argue that the default is too open. I can sympathise with that -- on the other hand the purpose of the system is to share information with friends, and if everyone had it locked down, it would defeat that purpose.

        • I know that, but do you trust Facebook and Facebook apps? I think just recently there was news that Facebook apps didn't follow the privacy rules that they agreed to, or something like that.

    • by Tim C ( 15259 )

      We know this, but we don't care because we care more about our friend count.

      I don't give a shit about my friendship count. I do however care about what my friends are doing - those that are overseas (on holiday or permanently), those that I knew from school/college but lost touch with for years, etc.

      Seriously, I don't understand the hate that Slashdot pours on social networking sites.

    • by StuartHankins ( 1020819 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:48AM (#34063368)
      The difference is that every minor thing can be recorded forever. To use an obvious example, pretend you picked your nose driving down the road one day. The other drivers might have seen it, but in Facebook terms not only does everybody you've ever known see it, but they can choose to send it to their friends and their friends and their friends. You might eventually end up on Tosh.O or something.

      At some point you have to say, wow, this is getting out of hand, now I'm paranoid to go out and do things because something might be misinterpreted and come back to haunt me later. When all activity can be recorded and transmitted easily you lose your privacy.
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:32AM (#34062284)
    It's a pain to turn off all the default features that facebook conveniently opts-in for you. By WHY should we have to?
    • by Tim C ( 15259 )

      Billions of dollars are not being made off my info. If they're extremely lucky, just enough money is being made off my info to pay for the service.

      Given the aggressive AdblockPlus settings and Greasemonkey scripts I have, they sure as hell aren't making much in advertising.

      Guess what? Shit ain't free! Don't like it, stfu and don't use it.

    • by Fusen ( 841730 )
      Because you're using their service and they get to choose how the default state is? Don't whine about something you're voluntarily using and have the option to stop immediately.
    • by slim ( 1652 )

      It's a pain to turn off all the default features that facebook conveniently opts-in for you. By WHY should we have to?

      Because Facebook is *for* sharing information. The less you share, the less useful it is. Yes, I am interested in photographs taken of my friends by friends of theirs that I haven't met. Yes, I'm happy for them to see similar photos of me. Yes, I want to converse in comment threads with friends-of-friends.

      If the default FB privacy settings were very tight, most people would not find the site useful. Not enough people would delve into the settings and open them up. Most people would try it, find little of in

  • Im usually critical to facebook, and how "respectful" is to users, and would be screaming because of this one if werent quitted it a year ago. But the trend in something as big as facebook have a potential.. What if facebook and their "bad according with our culture" privacy measures instead of making a mass exodus of users actually do a big change on the global culture around that? I mean, IS already doing changes in our culture, in most countries (maybe except north korea and a few others), but usually ta
  • It's starting to look that way.

  • by rakuen ( 1230808 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:49AM (#34062484) Homepage
    Remember when Facebook used to have a Wall to Wall feature? You know, you'd be able to click on someone's post on your wall, and then you'd see every wall post either of you had ever made to each other. I'm pretty sure you could use it on two friends, but this was a while ago and I can't quite remember. I also believe they removed the feature when they added comments on wall posts. If they didn't they sure hid it from me.

    Now we have the See Friendship tool. It does... the same thing, pretty much, perhaps a little more extensively. Essentially you're all complaining about Facebook adding a feature they removed earlier out of redundancy. Do you have a right to complain? Yeah, of course you do. However, if you were fine with that feature before, don't you think it's a little hypocritical to criticize Facebook for putting it back in now, just because it's shiny and "new"?
  • Facebook implements a new feature and within seconds is turned into a glaring privacy violation tool. The silence of no one being surprised is positively defeaning.
  • Wall to Wall? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by edmicman ( 830206 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:55AM (#34062568) Homepage Journal

    Hasn't this been around the whole time as "Wall to Wall"? I remember there used to be links where you could see a "Wall to Wall" conversation between yourself and your friends, and you could change the PID in the URL to other mutual friends and see conversations between them. I envisioned making an app to basically do the same with an interface....I thought it would help in searching for conversations. There currently is no good search tool for stuff on facebook as far as I know. For example, I'll remember having someone post a link to me, or mentioning something in a comment but I have no way of finding that. If I could view all of the history between them and myself, I could at least ctrl-f for it.

    Good to see Facebook making this easier!

  • "Stalker tool"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Beerdood ( 1451859 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:13AM (#34062844)
    Oh come on now, Facebook has always been a stalker's paradise. A stalker will meticulously look at someone's profile anyway - how does this help them? They're gonna see everything their "stalkee" posts already.

    This only really a helps stalkers stalking multiple people - that way they can see all the juicy details both stalkees are saying to each other
  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by canajin56 ( 660655 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:44AM (#34063294)
    Google is awesome for letting people search the web. Facebook is ultimate evil for letting you search Facebook. If you posted information publically, that all your facebook friends can what way did you have an expectation that your facebook friends wouldn't read it? Were you hoping it would get lost in the flood of bullshit and nobody would read it? Really? You were relying on signal:noise ratio for privacy, rather than actually sending a PM? That's beyond absurd.
  • by skiman1979 ( 725635 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @01:21PM (#34064772)

    If you don't want something seen on the front page of the newspaper, don't post it online.

    I think as long as this tool abides by the privacy settings on your Facebook account, it should be ok. If you don't want people seeing your communications on Facebook, why have them as a friend? Or put them in a group that doesn't have access to certain areas. If you want communication between you and another friend to be private, use a more private means of communication. Secret posts to your mistress don't belong on a Facebook wall post.

    The information this tool makes available is already available anyway. If you're concerned about one of your Facebook friends having access to all of that information, why not just remove them as a friend?

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"