Facebookers abandon online privacy for virtual doo-doo
When the s**t hits the social network
Facebookers would rather pelt each other with virtual faeces than safeguard their personal information. At least, that's the word from Seth Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of Social Media, a company that enables virtual doo-doo tossing.
Social Media recently introduced a Facebook application called Food Fight. Yes, Food Fight. Typically, the app allows Facebookers to purchase virtual food items and throw them - in a virtual way - at virtual friends. It plays off the Facebook "poke", a kind of online hello.
"We call it the throw app," Goldstein explained at Social Graphing Patterns, a Facebook developer conference underway in San Jose, California. "It's kind of like taking a poke and wrapping it with something more specific - in this case, foods. They see not just that you've poked them, but that you've thrown caviar at them."
But you don't pay real currency for this virtual food. You pay virtual dollars. And you acquire these virtual dollars by giving up personal information. Food Fight is part of a larger network of tools that Goldstein refers to as "appvertising". That personal info will eventually be used for marketing purposes.
"Imagine that the ads that you saw not only knew who you were, but actually knew your friends, knew your spouse or knew who you were in a relationship with," Goldstein said. "Now that Facebook and others have exposed that information, there's an opportunity for ad networks like Social Media to leverage that data and provide the holy grail: personalised advertising."
He then showed off an online ad offering to sell someone merchandise for a friend's upcoming birthday - using the actual name of the friend and the actual date of his birthday. "Daniel's birthday is in three days, get him a special gift from Red Envelope, perhaps a dresser valet, pants press, or tie rack," the ad read.
When someone asked whether his app network was a danger to user privacy, Goldstein responded by saying that all data collected by the network is given up voluntarily: "What shocked me about the Facebook audience was how willing they were - and are - to provide information about themselves for benefits that you and I might consider questionable."
Then he proceeded to explain that Food Fight could also be used to throw virtual excrement. "We called it 'pile of poop'," Goldstein explained. "We sensed that there might be some popularity to this item, so instead of the $1 it might cost you to throw a sandwich at someone, we put a pile of poop up there at $20."
And people were more than happy to pay the premium. "The response rate went through the roof, people were so willing to give information about themselves in order to throw that piece of shit at each other," Goldstein said. "We had on average 75,000 people a day answering on average 25 questions a person. It made the privacy zealot in me cringe, but this is by the people for the people."
He insists that: "You can't protect people from something they don't want to be protected from."
But we beg to differ. Goldstein can certainly protect Facebookers from his "appvertising" network. All he has to do is shut it off. Clearly, "the privacy zealot" in him has very little influence. ®
Actually, Spike, every application requires you to allow the publisher to have access to certain information. Ok, so the rules/regs (just checked) state this is limited, and does not include contact information, but it does include, and i quote: "(i) any information provided by you and visible to you on the Facebook Site, excluding any of your Contact Information, and (ii) the user ID associated with your Facebook Site profile. "
So unless you lie (recommended) or hide your info using the privacy settings, you're pretty much giving information over to 3rd parties, who, although they enter into an agreement, could quite easily hand over information unscrupulously (and surreptitously). And that's not to mention the fact that even without contact info, they advertise on Facebook itself - irrelevant to me as i use noscript and ABP, but still a potential exploit for advertisers.
So they may start handing over more than you bargained for.
Its not essential to give away a whole load of information about yourself to use Facebook, nor to use some of its applications.
I've got quite a few on my page and none of them have asked me for any information.
Its also a good rule that you shouldn't put anything on the internet that you dont want the whole world to know. Just in case.
I use Facebook because i've traveled all over the world and i've got friends that dont live anywhere near me and i dont want to stay up until 3am to call them.
For the first time in my life, i'm in touch with Everyone I want to be in touch with, all in the same place. So, for me, it has its uses and worked very well in tandem with Real Life 1.0.
I love giving away information for chances to win free stuff or throw crap-
Whatever it takes, people!
What everyone knows and no one is saying here is this:
Not one bit of it is true, no not one bit, not even this bit. Or this!
It DOES give some hilarity to me seeing 'targeted' advertising
hitting my 'demographic'. Yep, it's a cyber heaven out here for us liers!
Next computer show you attend: check all the top boxes for income & decision making status. Free gifts roll in! Love it.