Facebook - Your Opinions.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by james60059, 14 Jan 2018.

  1. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    R/e facebook, I have an account but refuse to use my full name, the d/o/b is made up and the only thing accurate about my account is my e-mail addy. They have kept asking for my mobile number if I "forget my password" but they won't get it and it's only to hive off information.

    Some groups I apply to join won't allow me in as the info I have on my home page is so sparce, but that's such a tiny problem it's hardly mentionable. I have put photos on my page, but AFAIK none show a pic of myself nor of any places that could identify me. It also keeps people away that are only after me for my millions rather than my good looks.*

    *And I can lie like a politician too.....<D
     
  2. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    I would strongly suspect that the software for that kind of thing is likely to be much simpler than required for something like Facebook. And the costs of writing custom software tend to be much bigger than hardware costs.

    The reason you only pay £2-£3 a month for hosting etc. is because the substantial costs of getting the hardware/software set up and maintained to support the hosting is being amortised over tens of thousands, perhaps millions, of customers. And besides, even £2-£3/month still needs to be paid for somehow. And since most people are reluctant to pay anything to use social media, the only (ethical) thing you have left is advertising, or selling data that you can extract by aggregating and anonymising whatever you can extract from your users' activity on your site. (Or of course selling raw data, which would not usually be ethical).

    Seems a bit overly cynical to me. Seems rather more plausible to me that Mark Zuckerberg genuinely believes he is providing a good service by facilitating online social interactions (which to be fair Facebook is doing), but perhaps at some point he also got blinded by the commercial requirement to make money, and by the human tendency that just about all of us have to fail to see the problems your actions can cause.
     
    Last edited: 26 Mar 2018
  3. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Cheeky swine. Ha ha ha.
     
  4. Domh245

    Domh245 Established Member

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    I think that it must do (of sorts), because there have been a few occasions when the Admin team have organised donations to various railway projects, presumably from the RFUK coffers than their own pockets!
     
  5. Lucan

    Lucan Member

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    Fair point about the software. While Facebook uses a lot of open source stuff (it runs on Linux) the front end is obviously custom written. OTOH, they are spreading that cost among a vast number of users - ie they can charge a lot for advertising there due to the number of people that will see it, and they have a huge amount of marketable "big data" they have collected on users. The cost of software development is probably a small drop in that ocean.

    Indeed, as Facebook's costs are also amortised, over more than a billion users. You are not suggesting that I am paying less for hosting hardware than Facebook is? I am hiring bare hosting from a small business-facing company that is undoubtedly hiring it from a larger wholesale company who actually have the hardware, and both of those companies are making a profit presumably. And for my £2.99 pcm I get enough space and bandwidth that could accomodate at least 10 average Facebook users (I could easily sub-let most of mine despite running a website). Facebook have their own hardware, costing them probably only pence per user pcm.

    I don't mind low-key advertising, expecially if in the context of the website. What people are really objecting to with Facebook is the the data collection and privacy issues. The fact that Zucherberg rapidly became a billionaire shows that Facbook is more than paying for itself and would no doubt still do very nicely without the need to collect such data on its users.
     
    Last edited: 26 Mar 2018
  6. Lucan

    Lucan Member

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    The founders, as is the case with those of certain other companies that had explosive growth due to - well - computers and the internet, have had "greatness" thrust upon them, and are not necessarily of the calibre to handle it. As a thought experiment, consider taking a handful of teenage geeks, putting several billion dollars in their pockets, giving them all the access to the media that they want, and grooming the public to believe that they are some sort of demi-gods. They become analogous to medieval brattish boy-kings like Richard II. Bill Gates in his earlier days was another example.
     
  7. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Your choice, of course, but that reduces the odds of having your personal data exposed from (made up) 1:10e7 to 1:10e7. Hackers rarely target end users (other than phishing attacks) so you really aren't measurably after for doing so.
     
  8. Lucan

    Lucan Member

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    I saw ten minutes of Zucherberg's performance before the Senate committee yesterday. It wasn't impressive (but no-where near as bad as Bill Gates' abysmal show at his deposition for Microsoft's 1998 trial for monopoly). Z's reply to the more difficult questions was to say that he did not know and would "get back" to the committee after consulting his "team".

    Given that some of those questions were burning ones that many have been asking on the internet and elsewhere for some time, such answers were feeble. For example he was asked Does Facebook continue to track people after they have logged off from it? and replied along the lines that he needed to go away and find out. So he supposedly did not know such major policy (one way or the other) of his own company (really?), and moreover did not have better answers ready for that and other inevitable questions.

    I was reminded of a Fawlty Towers episode in which Sybil found Basil in the room of an attractive young lady guest, and obliged him to spend that night in the broom cupboard. Next morning he tried to explain that he was only checking the walls (a lie) and she interrupted with "You've had all night long to think of an excuse - is that that really the best one you can come up with?"
     
  9. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

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    Oh for goodness sake, I have typed more than five characters. Where is the cancel reply button?
     
  10. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

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    Perhaps the answer was unpalatable to a Senate Committee so he kicked it into the long grass in the hope that they would forget or the issue go quiet. Did he come back today with an answer? I would have thought it imperative to have underlings slaving overnight to come up with a suitable response!
     
  11. AndrewNTH

    AndrewNTH Member

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    With reference to this thread - I notice that RailUK carries a Facebook 'recommend' button, the very likes of such that are being used to enable Facebook tracking their users when they are not even on Facebook.com, or when they are not even registered with Facebook at all. Would the forum administrators consider removing this button after this scandal, considering that the loss to the forum would likely be negligable or none?
     
  12. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    If you're not registered with Facebook in what way are you 'their user'?
     
  13. AndrewNTH

    AndrewNTH Member

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    Facebook tracks users who have 'not yet' registered with them, to enable a greater history on them at such time they should register.
     
  14. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Any browser with 'do not track' functionality would render that impossible. Don't believe everything you read.
     
  15. greyman42

    greyman42 On Moderation

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    What does "to track people" mean?
     
  16. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    HTTP is a stateless protocol - which means that, in theory, a web site owner has no way of knowing what pages you have visited on their site and has to treat each request as if it was completely new and independent.

    This would make things like forums near impossible to use (imagine having to enter your username and password on every page) so cookies were invented so that a site would know who you are and what pages you had clicked on.

    What @AndrewNTH and others are concerned with is that companies like Facebook and Google have extended the cookie model to allow them insights into what pages you have viewed on *other* sites. This potentially lets them build a profile about you without your knowledge. However many people, myself included, believe that the threat is vastly overestimated.
     
  17. greyman42

    greyman42 On Moderation

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    Yes, I would agree. They can build a profile of me if they wish. I imagine it would be very boring to them. What threat do some people see it as?
     
  18. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Examples I've seen have included seeing that you've visited sites about LGBT issues and concluding that you are gay or seeing that you visited sites about health issues (e.g. cancer) and concluding that you have the disease. The threat is that the company then sells that data to another party.
     
  19. greyman42

    greyman42 On Moderation

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    Most people have visited a lot of sites just out of interest. I think a company paying for this data would be wasting their money. Thanks for the reply though. Interesting.
     
  20. AndrewNTH

    AndrewNTH Member

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    I don't believe that to be true - what browsers hinder fingerprinting techniques by default or without plugins? As a sidenote, I don't really mind if Facebook knows if I have been on RailUK - just a discussion point.
     
  21. Groningen

    Groningen Established Member

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    It appears that Facebook has removed comments (or forced the users to do it) about Erdogan. And has blocked them for 4 weeks. Facebook is scared that they are blocked in Turkey if bad comments about Erdogan remain on Facebook. Yes; a free society!
     
  22. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Alternatively, they are complying with a request from the government of a country where they operate. Is it Facebook's job to try to fix broken countries?
     
  23. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    Indeed.
    Companies must stay within the law of the countries they operate in.
    Just as Facebook censor certain things in this country due to the law / requests from government, it should be no surprise they do elsewhere too.
     
  24. Lucan

    Lucan Member

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    Companies do pay massive amounts for this data; does not mean it is any good though. It is supposed to help them tailor advertising aimed at you, which is the current fashion in the advertising world. However, the advertising aimed at me is so wildly off-target that I cannot help thinking that this particular bubble will burst one day soon. It seems like pyramid selling within the ad industry - Facebook sell it to ad agencies who sell it to other ad agencies who sell it ultimately to an actual advertiser who is very unlikely to get as much value from it as what they pay for it.

    I get ads that seem to think I live in Uxbridge and Sidcup (150 miles away actually) like recommending opticians and dental implants there (I don't need them BTW). I think it may have been because I looked at Uxbridge and Sidcup on Google maps once (but I've looked at many places). I even get ads related to Australia. I look on ebay for a particular type of camera because I am thinking of selling one and want to know the going price; but as a result I get emails trying to sell me that type camera for the next 6 months! Their assumptions are ridiculous. They would ague that I should share my info with them to target me more accurately, but no way; if any targeting is needed I will do it myself - ie if I want to buy a camera I will look at camera makers' and sellers' websites, and review sites, and I don't need anyone to shove it in my face.

    I don't feel a threat from this tracking (OTOH the Americans on other forums I go to are paranoid about the NSA following them) but I find it rude and annoying. I am certainly not more likely to buy stuff targeted at me even if it were accurate, I am just left with a bad taste for it.
     
  25. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Most recent browsers have the option to set 'Do not track' with web requests and Google, Facebook, et. al. have promised to respect those requests.
     
  26. greyman42

    greyman42 On Moderation

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    Spot on. You made my point perfectly.
     
  27. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Indeed. Facebook also used to put loads of recommended pages on my feed that were so ludicrously wide of the mark of what I would be interested in I do question the value of the data they collect. This seems to have stopped, I don't know if this is just something they don't do anymore or if it Is because I kept posting some of the more ridiculous suggestions they made on my wall.
     
  28. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Worldwide, or just within Turkey itself?

    I think I can guess, but I'd better ask anyway...
     

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