Wasting Time!

Wasting time. Facebook is addictive whether you are using it for personal or business and too much valuable time is being wasted on Facebook.  So high-efficient professionals may not use facebook as their business tool.

Some facebook users keep checking their facbeook profile as soon as they get up, or before they go to sleep. And when you click on a friends photos , it is easy to open other things which are related to also.   So you spent on facebook and then it turns to be a procrastinating from doing other tasks at hand such as your job/study,doing something valuable. It is like taking away from quality time spent with significant others.

Wondering that why some people always have to check your Facebook profile and to see who has written on your wall, and check comments on their  photos or on their status etc.  Actually it is taking away from the real  time spent with friends and family. And the popularity of new technology such as iPhone and Blackberry phone also are “helping” facebook to take away from  quality time with real people.

8) Which is your favorite Social Media site ? Again give us reasons why you like it.
I probably should not say this, but I do not find Facebook that useful. Susanne says it is because i do not appreciate the social grooming side of it. I like twitter better, not for the grooming but as a tool for finding and disseminating information about useful stuff found on the Web. I think Linkedin’s professional discussion groups have potential.

My favorite Social Media site is the Wikipedia, though. It has become an amazing source of information. Here’s a tip: If you are going in deep on a particular topic, read the Discussion section, where you can see the contributors argue about what should be included and what should not. You can find interesting arguments and links that do not make it into the published text there.

- Per Koch (Owner – Pandia.com)   “I do not find Facebook that useful”


Nisha Gandhi Small Business and Entrepreneurs


Facebook Activism in the New Arab Public Sphere

This is an interesting article found on the Risk of Facebook Activism in the New Arab Public Sphere by Jillian C. York:

Over at The Arabist, Issandr El Amrani ruminates on Facebook’s role in Middle Eastern politics, a subject I’ve had my eye on for quite some time.  Drawing on the recent example of Egyptian reformer El Baradei and his enormous Facebook following, El Amrani marvels at the level of Facebook use for activism in the region.

He’s definitely right–from Morocco and Tunisia, where Facebook has become a tool to support threatened bloggers to Syria, where the government blocks the site, allegedly because of its organizing properties, Facebook is being used for political purposes.  As for the region’s Facebook use, the numbers speak for themselves: According to one site, Morocco, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia all boast over 1 million users, and Egypt has over 2 million, among the developing world’s largest markets (for comparison, China has just over 50,000 users; Brazil 2 million; and India about 4 million).

The downfall, of course, is Facebook itself, which has garnered a reputation for selectively enforcing its own TOS (see my latest Advox piece, “Facebook Removes Moroccan Secularist Group and its Founder,” from which this piece borrows a few thoughts).

Although the site’s terms of service (TOS) ban everything from nudity, to speech deemed hateful, to using a pseudonym to open an account, they are selectively enforced. In mid-2009 Facebook officials stated that they would not delete Holocaust denial groups outright despite pressure from Jewish groups, but only a few months earlier deleted accounts of users who posted photographs of themselves breastfeeding their babies. Other groups that have been allowed to remain include a pro-rape group called “Define Statutory,” left up for two months despite numerous calls for its removal. A quick search on Facebook uncovers numerous groups undoubtedly in violation of the TOS: There’s one called “I Hate Those Jews and Mindless Sluttt Bags, But Mainly Jews,” with 249 members; another called “Fuck Islam” boasts nearly 2,000 members.

In fact, a number of Facebook groups advocating for violence have been allowed to remain…there’s Kill all terrorists!!!, kill aLL pedOphILES, kill all the damn bastards….that hurt animals!!!!, who ever kills a cop should die, and so on.  There are numerous groups advocating for the bombing of Iran, though I imagine that a similar group calling for the bombing of, well, almost any other country, would be rapidly deleted.  In other words, Facebook selectively applies their TOS to what’s popular and politically correct at any given time.

The TOS appear only to be enforced when enough users report a group as inappropriate, and once a group is removed, its creators often find it impossible to get it back. Users whose personal accounts are removed sometimes create a new account, only to find it deleted again soon afterward.

As I mentioned on Advox, Moroccan activist Kacem El Ghazzali recently found that his own account had been deleted, only two days after complaining to Facebook about the removal of a group he had created which advocated for the separation of religion and education in the Arab world.  El Ghazzali reported having received emails from Muslims opposing the group shortly before it was taken down.  I personally wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook was responding to Moroccan government pressure; two years ago, when Fouad Mourtada was arrested for creating a fake profile of Moroccan Prince Moulay Rachid, many speculated that Facebook had turned his information over to the government (Facebook neither confirmed nor denied the accusation).

To me, this incident is foreboding, and sets a frightening tone for the numerous activists across the region who use Facebook to organize protests and political groups.  Activists in the Arab world often face multiple risks: Not just the deletion of their Facebook group or profile, but the risk of having one’s information turned over to their local authorities, who might consider their online statements criminal.  And this is all assuming Facebook isn’t blocked by their own government already.

And yet, I shouldn’t be surprised.  In early 2009, during Israel’s attacks on Gaza, many activists reported that news articles and photos had gone missing from their Facebook walls.  Others were prohibited from posting articles to their own walls if too many users had deemed the article inappropriate (see inane example below).

It would appear Facebook fancies itself a democracy: users report things they deem offensive, and when enough do so, the Facebook leaders listen and remove it.  And yet, offensiveness is quite clearly in the eye of the beholder (see my post on hate speech).  The above image shows the error message I was met with when attempting to post a piece by Boston Globe columnist and grammarian Jan Freeman.  The post was about the word “fuck,” yet never mentioned it by name, instead substituting in “the f-word.”  Somewhere, someone (or likely, several someones) found that offensive and reported it, thus making it impossible for me to share it with my friends on Facebook (fun fact: if you use a URL shortener, you can get around the ban).

My friend and colleague Ethan Zuckerman has written about social media as the new public sphere in the context of free speech, saying “If we adopt the public sphere approach, we want to open any technologies that allow public communication and debate – blogs, Twitter, YouTube, and virtually anything else that fits under the banner of Web 2.0.”

Facebook undoubtedly fits into that category, thus what it comes down to is this: If Facebook desires to be at the forefront of said public sphere, it needs to adopt a set of principles that will allow people to use it without fear of deletion, or of having their information turned over to authorities.  If it doesn’t, then my recommendation to activists using Facebook would be to take their business–and their safety, security, and privacy–elsewhere.


The Risk of Facebook Activism in the New Arab Public Sphere

Indentity Theft!

Identity theft:  Facebook applications and games assert access to your profile and a malicious app could compile enough information to steal your identity or masquerade as your business online.

Here is a report :

Facebook Users Risk Blackmail, Canada Privacy Chief Tells Globe

By Joe Schneider

Facebook , the world’s most popular social networking Web site, may leave users open to becoming victims of blackmail by reducing the protection of personal information, the Globe and Mail reported, citing Canada’s top privacy official.

The change “opens the possibility that a lot of people can be blackmailed,” Jennifer Stoddardt, Canada’s privacy commissioner, told the Toronto-based newspaper. The company is moving in the “opposite direction” of what it promised last year when it agreed to improve the way personal information is collected and used, Stoddardt said.

Closely held Facebook is allowing third-party developers who design games and other Facebook applications to store user data indefinitely, rather than having to delete the data after 24 hours, as they were required to do earlier.

Facebook had agreed to install better safeguards by the end of July. Canadian regulators don’t plan to take any steps until the deadline expires, the Globe said.

Facebook representatives said privacy concerns are always at the forefront of any new product development, the Globe said citing an e-mail from the representatives, who weren’t identified.

From here we can see that facebook already becomes into a hard situation when it faces its security problem.  So the insecurity caused by Facebook may treat to personal safety either online or in real life. Furthermore, it may increase social risks while people begin participating in minority groups.   And there are a lot people would like to share their information and photos, so they do not pay enough attention to the risk between self-disclosure and treats from others. When people get the personal information from your facebook, they may use your personal information to threat you or deal with something else illegal.

There are two levels of information:

1.personal identity information: gender, age and photos

2.sensitive personal information: email, phone number, job, employer, school, status, feed updates, wall messages, personal photos /photo albums(including tagged photos) , friends list ( access to friends’ information) , religion, political views, sexual preference, and relationship status, activities .

Facebook launched its widely popular application developer program back in May 2007. As of press time, there were more than 14,000 applications. Some, including most of the popular apps, are made by companies, while a few of the popular apps, and a significant number of the long tail of the less popular applications are made by individual developers.But a new study suggests there may be a bigger problem with the applications. Many are given access to far more personal data than they need to in order to run, including data on users who never even signed up for the application. Not only does Facebook enable this, but it does little to warn users that it is even happening, and of the risk that a rogue application developer can pose.

Access to Private Information!

Easy access to your private information.  Facebook   allows  you  to  enter sensitive  information  which  you  might  not  realize  how  easy  it is for an outsider to obtain it.

Nowadays, facebook already became a very popular communication tool, however facebook still has its shortages when it is used a business tool which we should be aware of.

The first one is that facebook actually offer people an easy access to view others’ private information. Facebook allows people to view others profile, pictures and messages from other people. And sometimes facebook users are unaware of the dangers of the internet and issues such as hacking. When facebook users share  some details of their lives on facebook, like where they are at, within a  particular time,  it is like giving out the details of  their location, (or maybe with phone numbers when u told someone on the wall of  facebook, and black berry pins something like that.) And also maybe you will have some random friends who you do not actually know on facebook to view those information.

An article in the Times dated 03rd March 2009, stated that Facebook users are at risk as hackers target the site and further noted that users were at risk from malicious hackers targeting the site, as thieves try to capitalize on the trust users place on the service. This can be potentially damaging based on what information you have stored on your ‘About me page’ or information shared with friends via private messages etc. You should try and refrain from sharing sensitive information such as bank account information and private passwords etc.

as  IT Business Edge blogger Loraine Lawson writes:

  • I do not get Facebook as a business tool. Oh sure, Facebook is great for keeping up with my friends’ reading habits or musical tastes without actually talking to them. But even when I’ve tried to use Facebook for more professional pursuits, it fell flat. In particular, I don’t get “the Wall.” How are you supposed to use it? It’s not really good at anything: Blogs are better for posting personal updates; e-mail, IM and discussion groups are all better for conversation and comments. To me, the Wall is like a pencil without a lead – pointless.

Facebook has fixed the issue. Barry Schnitt, Policy Communications at Facebook, writes:

We originally included IP address information in these email headers as part of industry best practices designed to improve spam filters. This is similar to what many webmail providers do. However, we agree this practice no longer makes sense for Facebook and we’ve discontinued it. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Matt C. at Binary Intelligence Blog explains that Facebook’s automated email notifications appear to contain the IP address of the user(1).

This may not be the most dangerous of Facebook’s privacy problems, and it’s certainly not the only one.


(1) Xeni Jardin , Yet another Facebook privacy risk: emails Facebook sends leak user IP address      from http://boingboing.net/2010/05/07/yet-another-privacy.html