About TWO years ago I was constantly annoyed by the 'secure your account: add your phone number here' banner frequently displayed at the top of the page upon loading FB, so I input my number to make it disappear for good. (Also, they kept hiding the 'x' (close) icon in different spots, making the banner difficult to dismiss.)
A few days later I got a text message containing a Facebook notification. I was flabbergasted. What an EGREGIOUS misuse of personal information. Completely under the guise of account security... Facebook had in reality acquired another way to keep their brand under my nose.
Naturally I was livid so I spent the better portion of the day scrubbing whatever sensitive information I could. Sure enough, the banner came back a few days later. And here we are.
I realize that the proper solution is to terminate my account and never attempt to log back in.... but I've had my account since 2006 and despite the company's terrible practices, I'm really not interested in disconnecting for good at this time
First you pose a seemingly innocent question, like 'would you like to give us your phone number so we can keep your account secure?' or 'would you like to upgrade to new iOS?'. Then you take away the NO option. You replace it with 'i'll decide later'. And by doing so, you make it not a choice for the user. You make it a statistical guarantee that sooner or later, most users will cave in and hit yes, even if by accident. iOS is an extreme example of this - when you say you don't want to upgrade, you are immediately prompted with a pin code request as if your device just locked itself, and your reflex is to punch in the pin to unlock it again. But if you read what it says at the bottom, it's asking for your pin to get permission to schedule the upgrade that you just said no to.
Whoever the designers are who came up with this stuff, fuck them. This shit is going to be in ethics textbooks in a decade or two. I hope someone from the facebook UX team is reading this, I hope they know their day job is to make the world a worse place.
It turns out, though, that it asks that _every_ single time I open the app. It's really annoying and I'm about to allow them only to block them at the OS level.
In design, everything is intentional and I fail to believe these cheap UI tricks were anything other than intended as designed by whoever designed it. Any seasoned UX designer worth their title knows if what they are designing removes their agency in deciding on how to act or if it feels icky or wrong in a manipulative sense.
That's more of a rhetorical point - I don't believe most things related to "morality" can ever be as clear as black/white, ethical/unethical, and think it muddies waters to assert it does.
Considered design does not always exactly equal purer-than-pure ethical design.
Simply put, I would never allow these dark design patterns into the product if I was the designer, by arguing that it would affect perceived trustworthiness of the company and brand credibility if dark patterns start to become pervasive and the norm across the product. As a professional UX designer, it's my duty to be the voice of the user and I'd put my neck on the line to make sure I voiced my concern before they went over my head and implemented dark patterns. I'll never sign off on it.
The issue is a lack of accountability by designers/PMs who hide behind the company name when these dark patterns are exposed. In an era when companies like Facebook sway political elections through their dark pattern designed newsfeeds, watchdog groups and regulatory bodies need to be created to keep them in check.
For example it is entirely plausible that the sms notification being sent once you put in a 2FA number is completely unrelated. In a normalised database there will only be one phone number for multiple uses. If notifications are set to send to the phone number by default and 2fa uses that phone number the app will not necessarily have knowledge whether the phone number was entered due to a 2fa prompt or something else. It only checks for a phone number and acts accordingly. The 2 people/teams who designed each feature would most probably have no idea how else the number is being used such is the nature of complexity.
No! Normalization does not mean keeping only one copy of each piece of data, regardless of category and context. I see this behavior all the time in junior and even some senior devs, both in databases, and when they code.
A piece of information has a type, but it also has a context. A 2FA phone number is different than a marketing contact phone number. It should never be normalized into just one field.
My favorite example of this is people re-using a constant in multiple places in code just because it happens to have the same value. Imagine you have a constant defined as `USER_DISPLAY_AS = 'first_name'`. Then, somewhere, you are building sorting and want to be able to sort by first name or last name. You notice you already have a constant that contains a value 'first_name', so you use it. Not you have tied two completely different things together in your code because you thought you are being DRY.
I shall dub it "Krystian's Overoptimistic Denormalization Error", or KODE for short.
No matter which metrics you choose, you run the risk of PM's ordering unethical means of increasing those metrics. A bakery can measure itself by sales volume and ensuing revenue numbers - that doesn't by itself prevent bakery managers from adding addictive drugs to the recipes, nor does it mean that those are poor metrics.
What it does mean is a) the company made some poor hiring decisions along the way, and the best way to deal with that problem is by having some b) ethical review board.
I am an American but I am well accustomed to learning that other countries are able to prevent certain consumer abuse before it replicates at massive scale by acting early and adjusting along the way.
Does this happen in Europe?
Abusing the 2FA number is likely illegal in most member states now, and is definitely so at the end of May.
Fucking YouTube and their "Would you like to merge your account with your Google Account and use your real name forever more? Yes / Soon."
If it really is just that asshole prompt that made the difference, then man, did Facebook fuck up. They should have just blocked people from using WhatsApp until they volunteer their data.
I've only had a FB account for a very short while and that was 8 years ago or so, their disrespect for user privacy creeped me out back then already, never went back.
If WhatsApp had forced me to link to a FB account (and thus make a new one), I'd have told my friends "yeah that's nice you can message me on a different platform from now on". And I wouldn't have been the only one.
There's no social network for people refusing to use FB, so we don't know each other :) But there is way more of us than you'd expect (and from many different corners of society too, not just the tech crowd, friend of mine is a doctor and she's very intent on privacy, even if she sometimes lacks the tech knowledge to make the "perfect" choices, she's much more hard core about it than I am, as if I didn't have enough reason already for respecting the hell out of her).
Websites also do that screen-covering style popup on load with the two options like:
Yes I'd love to sign up
I'll sign up later
There's the other type where they imply the user is an idiot for taking the "no" option, as in:
Yes I'd love to sign up
No, I hate great deals
in that interface, and in mac os x as well, it seems it will upgrade at a certain point anyway, no mater what you choose. i always answer remind me later, and i will often come home to my macbook pro or iPad having been restarted due to an upgrade. the macbook is particularly annoying when it upgrades because it leaves about 10 minutes or so of stuff left to do that isn't triggered until i go to unlock my computer. so i come home having something urgent to do, try to wakeup and login to my macbook only to find it needs to finish the installation i never chose to do (or at least never intended to do). and still apple gets away with it.
Are you sure you're laying the blame at the feet of the right people? I'm a design lead on a mobile game and I find myself in a constant battle against these kind of shenanigans with the PM team.
Here in Australia, when you become a software engineer, you join the Engineers of Australia, become a chartered Engineer with some additional civic rights and responsibilities, and swear an oath which includes upholding ethics values, much like doctors swear an oath to do no harm. I hope this kind of thing becomes universal and more prominent with the younger generations. If we want to make the world a better place (and most people who set out to do engineering do), we must put ethics and the good of society above KPIs and profits and individual company valuations.
Most "Bachelor of Software Engineering" degrees offered by Australian universities are EA-accredited and contain mandatory engineering courses that EA requires. Most CS/IT degrees that don't have "Engineering" in the degree name are only accredited by the ACS (or potentially not accredited at all).
I'm also an Australian software "engineer", I don't have an EA-accredited degree, and the more I see of this industry, the less certain I am that we get to claim the mantle of "engineer" with the professional responsibilities that go with it.
And we have the freedom to not use products that mistreat us, I left facebook a year ago and I'll soon install lineageOS on my cellphone, limiting myself to only open source apps.
Oh fuck it I was trying to be nice but this has got me going. In my opinion it's certifiably dillusional to think that Google and Facebook equate to a higher quality of life. Holy shit that's crazy. It's bonafide brainwash.
I've severely scaled back my dependence on Facebook and Google the last few years and I could not be happier. It's made me pursue real social interactions again. My personal laptop is poewered primarily by free and open source software and in the last year or so has become so smooth it's putting macOS to shame (I am not making that up for the sake of argument).
Idk what has convinced you that Facebook and Google equal better life, but I can only pray you wake up some day and remember how to live life that isn't managed by someone else's server...
I should add I don't disagree with society regulating behavior that negatively impacts society, but I don't think your chosen method of arguing that point is intellectually sound. And in this case I really find it hard to imagine how you'd regulate user experience of an opt in service such as these companies are providing.
If wishes were horses then beggars would ride. I prefer to deal with the world as it is rather than the world as I’d like it to be. Also keep in mind that if more people with proactive about their own digital landscapes, they’d be spending more time managing their platforms and less time doing the stuff they actually want to do. It’s solipsistic to think everyone should have YOUR preferred priorities and time allocation.
>idk what has you convinced that Facebook and Google equal better life
Not having to sound like a fussy prig anytime someone wants to get in touch with me is kind of a thing. Not having to have a “well actually, don’t you know that Facebook is bad!?” discussion whenever I meet someone new who wants to stay in touch with me, likewise. It’s like that old joke about “how do you know if someone does CrossFit/is vegan?”
“Real social interactions” means actually being able to participate in the social interactions where people are having them. I don’t know why you think being able to keep in touch with distant family via WhatsApp, or not not having to create extra steps for people who want to send me photos, or not needing to insist on a special process for inviting me to things are all valueless functions. What you’re proposing is like the equivalent of insisting, after the invention and mainstream adoption of the telephone, that people come to your house and drop off a visiting card if they want to speak with you.
It’s our responsibility to call out on bullshit like this.
It's somewhat puzzling to me. Do you really disagree with these practices? Because you are in a (relatively) unique position to do something about it.
Have you ever noticed something that is just wrong in society but couldn't really think of any plan of action to work against it? Maybe you live in one of those places where your vote doesn't really count, one way or the other. Know that feel? Or maybe you recognized injustice somewhere but it's just so far removed from your area of influence that you'd need to upend your life, change career or education to even begin pulling it right.
Of course you can always donate money or I guess, advocate, tell your friends, etc. But that doesn't really do anything (or very indirectly), and you know it in your heart.
This time you have an opportunity. So use it.
On this particular topic, all I can do is encourage you to act and make the world a little bit better. On other topics, I look out and try to notice such opportunities to better the world from my own sphere of influence, and try my hardest to be virtuous and do the right thing (we might not even agree on what is "right", as I don't know you), even if it's hard and it requires exposing myself to risk, going against the grain.
Well, that's the real problem, isn't it? If users aren't punishing Facebook by leaving the platform in droves, then what incentive does Facebook have to stop its consistently user-hostile business practices? Obviously it does not care about complaints alone: so long as engagement metrics are up, the users' opinions can be damned.
The good news (for those of us that don't like Facebook) is that it seems like users are leaving it—or at least that's the picture I get from stories/comments submitted here on HN.
There are a ton of people I've met throughout my life and around the world, but only a handful with whom I want to interact regularly. FB, annoying as it is, at least let's me know if they are doing ok.
For some arbitrary definition of they. I've had a father of a childhood friend die and I didn't notice for two years. But that weird Australian friend of my former roommate that I helped through public transport from the airport last year? I get her drunk pictures. They didn't even like each other.
I've clicked that button for plenty of sponsored links and hit "unfollow" for people I no longer seek input from. But there are hundreds more where they came from.
This is perhaps viable, like transparently maintaining multiple sets of subscribers to different types of posts is an option. Although the mental overhead of maintaining these sets, and the risk of addressing the wrong crowd, are both too big for me.
My current method of keeping an address book in a spreadsheet, and an active, short list of people that I wish to see, has, however, beat social media when it comes to intimacy and not wasting time.
Do the websites you visit define who you are (with zero context on why you visited it)? Do all the friends you have provide clear signal to what you want?
I don’t care how much $$$ is poured into ML, garbage in will always be garbage out. Something has to feed the model and if it’s all passive clicks with no strong signals from you, you get crappy results generally.
I also tend to need to message people at odd hours, and a Facebook notification feels less intrusive/urgent than, e.g., an SMS.
I personally mostly use messenger.com, rarely use the news feed anymore.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of
events/organizations that organize almost exclusively
If your business, event, whatever relies on the fact that I have a Facebook account then fuck you very much! I'm not interested.
Eg. I've seen some housing communities use FB for their mailing lists.
I think the best option is to create dummy throwaway accounts if there's something on FB you really need access to.
WeWork bought Meetup recently so I don't know if any of that will change now.
Everyone has the gmail they probably created just to sign up for Facebook, since it seems this younger generation doesn't believe in email.
I guess this leaves email, SMS and IRC as the main remaining options.
Somehow this needs to be communicated to the general public, but I don't have the slightest hope that this can be solved.
The future sucks.
Have you tried mastodon?. Imagine Mastodon, but with a bloggy/(2008's facebook) vibe instead of a twitter clone.
There would be no ads, because it's decentralized, just like mastodon. The feed would be chronological, and the interface would desincentivize spamming (links wouldn't have thumbnails or previews).
The idea is to make a clean and simple blog interface with a profile section added, where you could put some contact information and a profile pic.
In fact I made a little preview of what I would like it to look like. What do you guys think? https://i.imgur.com/DSD1wE0.png
The only problem I have is about once every few weeks someone wants me to Skype/Hangout/Facetime/whatever-the-other-video-chat-options-are. I really wish video chat was handled by telecoms in the same way phone calls are. Standard and ubiquitous.
Unless WhatsApp ever charges money. That would get people to move.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but I am an European, and I have never used WhatsApp.
Also, from what I have read, WhatsApp is very popular in UK political circles (MPs, SPADs etc.).
They're still using Facebook, just one of its other shapes.
But how are those not also vendor lock-ins?
For me, and I don't think I am unusual in the US at least, texts to anywhere outside of the US, Canada, and Mexico aren't allowed without paying extra. Texts to many countries aren't allowed at any price.
I can text literally any phone number, given I have enough money booked on the account. SMS is by nature not centralized, the data is exchanged between mobile providers.
If you were to start your own mobile provider, you could text anyone everywhere given you manage to get peering.
And the reason they're not leaving and don't want to leave? Where else are you going to connect up with old friends and remote family members?
I said it when Facebook started growing like gangbusters. Facebook is the frickin' devil. It uses your friends and family against you. For a free service, it sure costs like hell.
Wait, are you really suggesting that Facebook is the only way to keep in touch with old friends and remote family?
Pick up the phone. There's FaceTime, Skype, text messages, actual phone calls, going to visit, sending letters, sending emails.
Or, if you can't be bothered to do any of that maybe you should not even bother trying to connect?
A huge GDPR face slap could definitely help. I'm really curious to see how this plays out.
This is good news in the long term, but in the short- and medium-terms it means Facebook is going to get desperate and start deploying more and more dark patterns like the one the GP is talking about. Considering their reach, I shudder to think of what a desperate Facebook will look like for the Internet.
Elsewhere in the world, FB is assumed as to be the standard. My romantic life has been very disappointing, so some time ago I tried creating a Tinder account (it is the only dating [yes you read it right, dating, not hookup] app that has entered the popular consciousness in this country and thus has a significant amount of female users). Last time I checked, they still required a FB account.
IMO Facebook should totally lay off security confirmations, account bans, and all that stuff because it just antagonizes people, unless the user actually does something significantly harmful to other users experience, ie largescale spamming (not just regular sharing), actual fake news propaganda (not just sharing a political story), actually abusing an account (not just using untrue details to protect their own privacy but otherwise using Facebook in an OK way).
Otherwise, yeah, I think everyone's going to jump ship at first opportunity, because they don't get treated that well as users.
As a tool Facebook still has valid use cases for me. The benefits of keeping it edge out any negatives. So for now I will stay. Unless any egregious election meddling information comes out, in which I'll seriously reevaluate that decision
You know they never actually delete user data, right? They don't delete your data if you actually delete your account, much less if you just delete a post. They just stop displaying it then.
Another thing I wonder about: perhaps if some companies want your facebook data, they might pay a rate and see all current information on your facebook. By deleting your data, you've denied these lower-tier companies from accessing it. I suspect that with enough money, they could buy access to deleted posts too. But such companies are probably fewer in number.
Interestingly enough, these emails occasionally get past my inbox filter, and I have to update my regex. I imagine this kind of circumvention is someone's full time job, which just repels me further from the platform.
Okay we're done here, folks!
But my bookmark points to facebook.com/messages and I practically never look on my feed. I guess (/hope) I'm about as valuable as a deleted account to facebook. Please feel free to correct me if you have some insights into this!
Once upon a time in the USA, and in some nations today, there was/is regulation in the public interest. Why not try it in the USA?
It isn't electricity, roads, water. It's freakin' Facebook.
(IANAL, this is not legal advice.)
At least three of those stood out to me as the kind of person to never do that, so I asked, and they hadn't. Facebook was blatantly lying and trying to influence me by showing the people that I interacted with the most on their website at the time.
They out passive aggressived you like a ninja.
Having a Facebook account is like being in an abusive relationship. You've been together for a long time, and you keep hoping they'll change, but they never do, and it just gets worse and worse. The sooner you realize this this and get out, the less additional time and energy you'll waste.
So I could find out about an event, go and meet people, and then find them later in the photos and friend them. It snowballed very quickly, and it helped that I was really into photography at the time. It really was the perfect social platform for me at the time. It contributed greatly to my life.
For me, the main motivation to stop using it and eventually leave was all the frontend changes that made the website clunky and tedious to use. It used to be a joy, and now it's just... Well, IYCSSN... Even m.facebook.com, and many of the features are broken on it.
I deleted my account a year or two ago, after a couple of failed attempts, since there was a 14-day cool-off period before they would actually "delete" your account.
I recently made a new one just for keeping up with a couple of event spaces, but that's basically all I do on it. That, and I friend all the spammer accounts that send me requests, because, why not? The more the merrier. I'm pretty sure that's where most of the growth is coming from at this point.
I've had a "terminated" account that occasionally gets emails inviting me to "Log back in with one click". When I originally tried to delete the account, it told me it would be actually erased a month after. That was 6 years ago.
Use uBlockOrigin, it's good at fixing these type of shit.
Health product -> "THIS GAVE MY FATHER CANCER, NOW HES DEAD"
Investment Product -> "WORSE THAN A PONZI"
Anything -> "Only an idiot would buy this."
Better to make it appear to be your opinion, as opposed to a (false) statement of fact.
This behavior does not encourage FB to self-correct.
Facebook is right up there with Uber in terms of shadiness. You can't ever trust them - they've shown us that too many times to count at this point. And there's no "earning the trust back" with Facebook, not that they would ever try to genuinely do that.
Oh, and Google does this crap with the phone number, too. This is why I hated it when they pretty much forced you to use a phone number for 2FA a while ago. They also know very well what a terrible 2FA option the SMS code is at this point. But they keep it around so they can get your phone number for advertising reasons, which I guess trumps all.
About TWO years ago I was constantly annoyed by
the 'secure your account: add your phone number here'
With all that shit they pulled during only that period it just proves that it was the right decision to make.
I never looked back.
At this point I'm not quite sure simply terminating is the best way forward, sanitizing a profile with disinformation ( or straight filling with garbage up to the brim) might work better?
Of course there is some peer pressure to join those proprietary networks. But friends will also keep contact without those networks. I never had a facebook account, never joined whatsapp, never used twitter, and am still alive!
This is all they heard.
Now you know how they get their info and now you can get creative with it. Info doesn't always have to stay the same.
I don’t know the details about FBs (mis-)use of SMS for this particular situation and IANAL, but perhaps they accidentally opened themselves up to this massive liablitly.
I recently added a new phone number to Facebook, and I had to specifically disable getting SMS notifications from FB, it's on by default.
I don't even know why they still offer them. I understand the utility of SMS notifications for FB 10 years ago, when smart phones weren't the norm but most people have the Facebook app installed on their phone, I don't need 2 notifications.
I disagree with this point. Service providers, of any flavour, whether paid, or free†, should be regulated to only use your contact details for actions you have pre-approved.
† free - conditions apply, nothing is free
That way you've decoupled those particular services and annoyances from the rest of your life.
So that's not going to work.
Primarily, I just don’t like being a product.
I started when no matter how many times I tried to unsubscribe, Walgreens kept using my phone number (which is supposed to be used to verify that the right person is getting the prescription) to spam me flu shot notices, auto-refill offers, and more. So now those robocalls go to Walgreens HQ.
Most companies list an email address and phone number for their PR departments on their web sites, so these are what I use since they're not hidden and go to real people.
I know this doesn't work for 2FA, but it's certainly satisfying in other scenarios.
I've got a small list with CEOs emails, numbers, etc.
Not legal, but I like it
It's now no longer an issue as companies aren't required to ask for and forward that data to TVL so they don't ask (and I'm probably ordering online so they have it anyway).
I believe that he didn't set this up intentionally and it may very well be a bug that caused him to be signed up, but as bad as Facebook is I'll eat my shoe if they signed up every single person who gave a 2FA phone number to this service.
Not to detract from the fact that Facebook's nagging is indeed a huge problem.
Facebook doesn't have to sign up every 2FA person. It can pick a few hundred or thousand and see what happens. If engagement increases, then more 2FA people are brought on board.
If this isn't widespread, it may not be the user's fault. It may just be the camel's nose under the tent.
Update: Matthew Green just experienced the same thing, in the midst of tweeting about the security implications of abusing 2FA phone numbers this way:
I'm not happy that it's a default, but when I added my phone number I had no trouble noticing it and disabling it.
The notifications are also dark-pattern hard to manage. If you don't want a type, you have to wait to receive an example of it to unsubscribe. Their central notification page only allows you to re-enable particular notifications, but give no way to disable them individually.
Facebook is a terrible product that can't die fast enough.
For the sake of humankind, I'd rephrase it as "Facebook is a terrible company that can't die fast enough."
If you try and deactivate, there’s a horrible series of hoops to jump through which just make the service feel so desperate.
If you minimize your usage, you get flooded with desperate emails trying to convince you to login.
If you’ve stepped away out of fear it’s becoming a low-grade attention merchant full of bad practices, these tactics just reinforce the idea that you really really are doing the right thing backing away.
In a weird way Facebook ended up conditioning me to avoid using it.
So now FB has taken to emailing me complaining that they are missing me and that I should log in.
WAYNE: I don't own A gun let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack.
STACEY: You know Wayne if you're not careful you're gonna lose me.
EDIT: fixed link to go direct to the comment
Most of that works fine, sometimes some shitty websites are on AWS or GCP or load JS frameworks from their CDNs, but the worst is:
You can't connect from Android to their WiFi anymore.
Android pings a Google server, if it can't open a connection, it immediately disconnects. In Android 8.1, there's no way around that anymore. You can try every setting in the WiFi settings, and it won't change a thing.
Sometimes I do want to connect to a local network without internet.
'My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.'
This is false. My nan has an iPad she basically only uses for Facebook, and her email is unusable because she has thousands of messages from Facebook. I have no idea why they send thousands of emails to somebody who logs in every day and never ever opens one of their emails but they do.
Two years ago I said that Facebook will be dead by 2020  and that line made me check the current situation, we are right on track and linear extrapolation still hits zero in mid 2020 . As mentioned in the original thread, don't get fooled by the normalized numbers, the search traffic for Facebook is enormous and chances are good that any search term you consider popular will be indistinguishable from the horizontal axis if you add it for comparison. But »facebook« is already down from ten to four times »porn«. And yes, the trend can and possibly is at least partly due to other factors, some are also discussed in the original thread.
Edit: do you have an explanation for why this graph has been cratering for years while Facebook’s MAU and DAU have continued to climb?
Also, see Youtube’s search trend. Pretty sure it hasn’t been dying for years now.
This just isn’t a good signal, sorry.
I still visit Facebook almost every day, mostly to chat with friends, even though my feed has mostly become an uninteresting desert years ago and I rarely - less than once a month - post, comment or like something. So if I am not an exception, then looking at the number of users posting or commenting on any given day might vastly differ from the number of active users but I admittedly don't know how exactly Facebook defines those.
And if you look at the search traffic for MySpace, Google+, or the German StudiVZ and MeinVZ  it certainly tracked the rise and fall pretty exactly. Finally the YouTube search traffic is essentially flat for me since 2012 besides a step at the beginning of 2016 due to changed data collection methods.
May we all have startups that suffer such a fate.
Seriously though, I’m not sure what your point even is. Facebook doesn’t care about how often you login or why, as long as ad revenue keeps flowing. And those numbers have grown like crazy over the period where you say their search traffic (and thus their userbase) has been cratering. I just don’t see it. Every meaningful metric for Facebook that you can find for the period in question points to the search trend not being a reliable predictor.
Also, my point with YouTube is that their search trend has been flat or declining since 2012, but YouTube as a platform has been anything but over that time period.
Not a useful signal.
Google search traffic is not a good indicator of Facebook users or popularity.
There's probably a decline, especially given the myriad messaging apps that have come to prominence more recently, but not as sharp as the searches would suggest.
Those graphs suggest that while the trajectory is bad on this graph, any other site doesn't come close.
Besides that, I noticed a decline of the popularity of Facebook among the people I know at least about 5 years ago. I only looked at the search traffic for confirmation years later when that trend was pretty obvious from personal experience because I was interested whether that was a general trend or only due to me and the people I know becoming older or something like that.
Add to that that I talked to some young teenagers last year that somewhat proudly told me that they don't have and never had Facebook profiles and for all I know Facebook really is on the way down. Whether everyone just moves over to Instagram and WhatsApp and what all that implies for the company Facebook is of course also a different matter.
Wow. I deleted my FB acct. 8 or 9 years ago because it kept getting worse and worse. It's just sad to read about it now.
From my POV, Facebook is like a TV series that had an incredible first few episodes but quickly grew progressively and irreversibly worse, with a large percentage of its users only hanging on now with grim determination.
Like so many things. It is so saddening that we nerds do this to ourselves, allowing the wonderful things we build to be ruined by foolish idiots, time and time again
I just wonder if we already have such network and I just happened not to hear about it yet :)
However, I suspect that facebooks intention behind this are not charitable at all. With this service facebook is able to get your phone number even if you dont give it to it. As long as you have installed any app on your mobile phone which uses Account kit to authenticate, facebook will be able to get your phone number and associate with your facebook account.
We talk about how Uber has lost the way, but somehow Facebook escapes all criticism. I think facebook is so lost at this point that they might as well shut the company down and go home.
There was a case not so long ago where unrelated patients of a psychiatrist were suggested as friend to each other. The only possible link is that they all had the psychiatrist in their contact or vice-versa. The friending suggestion by itself was an outing of private medical information.
Its creepy, and slightly disturbing to realise just how much effort they are putting in to mapping out your life and acquaintances even when you try to prevent it.
Although I recall a comment by a Facebook engineer about how they link users based on their IP addresses. So if you and your coworker are connected to the same WiFi at work Facebook can easily figure out that you both work at the same place.
Until someone makes an organizing tool that can break the network effect facebook has with my friend group, I'll have a facebook account.
A lot of people are experiencing real harm to their mental state from habitual social media use.
And if Alice, like the poster, never gave Facebook her phone number, but Bob, Charlie and Donna have it under "Alice Lastname", and they're all friends with Alice Lastname on Facebook, Facebook can probably be certain to say "Store your phone number, we think this is it.". Or to word that properly, "Confirm your number, although we already know this is it."
Google eventually asked if I wanted to remove a phone I'd stopped using 2 years ago the other day.
Under Device activity
Somebody from FB - please tell us this is a bug.
Check westlaw on it
I think the real issue, is people think they are doing one thing, but doing another.
depending on the age of your account, you'll notice that the notifications for SMS maybe defaulted on, this didn't matter if you didn't have a phone number associated with your account. When you add a phone number to your account, its not "solely" 2FA, you add the number to your account, and 2Fa is enabled, just like all the other default setting that apply to phone numbers.
which is why when people are responding to the SMS its posting on their wall, its because what their settings are set to do.
see the settings below where they can disable this.
It's another case of people screaming to the heavens about evil megacorp. when in reality they can't be bothered to check their own settings.
Facebook's settings are often opaque and unintuitive, and some of the stuff around notifications qualifies as dark patterns. Also, as you mentioned, Facebook has a history of using selfishly-chosen defaults which are often not what a user would likely want or expect.
I'm not going to fault people for complaining about getting tricked into settings they didn't want.
but this setting is Settings>Notifications it's not really buried.
I suppose I'm not upset at people who discovered the issue, but I am annoyed at mashable.com for making it a specifical when it shouldn't be, quoting a "a self-described technosociologist, professor at UNC" and their uninformed statements.
Not yet. Can't wait for the EU general data protection regulation (GDPR) to come in effect, which includes such a requirement - it won't affect USA users directly, but hopefully it will force some companies to change their behaviour worldwide.
That's what all cynics say.
> If anyone wants to fight the problem, delete your account. That is the only value that you can take away from that company.
No, that's clearly false. You can use your account to spread an understanding that Facebook is bad (lots of stuff in the news to share, like this), or you could abandon your account but leave it up with a profile pic saying you don't use it anymore (sort of like a reverse take on broken-windows theory). Politics and lobbying representatives is slow, but does have results (all the lobbyists in the world can't counter steady constituent calls on a non-partisan issue). But you're a cynic, and probably gave up before giving much though about what could be done.
"Look at that loser. Spends all his time checking Instagram."
Is it Machiavellian to wonder how we could memetically inoculate children against social media?
One team implements 2FA, and they add a way for users to enter their phone numbers as a second factor. The engineers are fine with this because it's for the users' benefit, so they can secure their account.
Another team implements the mobile notifications, which a user has to turn on explicitly. The engineers there do this for the users' benefit, for those users that want notifications by phone. They're opting in, after all.
Sometime in here, the fact that the phone numbers are being collected for 2FA gets forgotten. This sets the stage for a third team, who is tasked with improving engagement numbers. They see that lots of inactive users have phone numbers associated with their accounts. Maybe they might be interested in something their friends are doing? So they try an experiment where they send a notification to these users, and a large percentage of them engage with it! That must mean that the users were interested in the notification right? After all, they opened the link or replied. So they roll it out to a wider audience, and the engagement numbers go up. Awesome! Pats on the back all around.
To be clear, I have no idea about how this actually happened, or if this is the right chronology, or anything else. It really doesn't matter, my point is that this is how this sort of thing happens in large organizations. No one has the whole picture, and in their own world view everyone thinks they're doing something good for their users.
But if you put them all together, and sprinkle in a little willful ignorance, you get Facebook spamming their users on their 2FA numbers.
This is actually a scarier prospect: it means that a large organization can do unethical things even when almost all individuals involved act ethically. This makes it hard for an individual engineer to ensure that their own actions don't contribute to unethical behaviour.
Toeing the party line sucks at any job, but it's part and parcel to receiving a paycheck assuming you aren't doing something downright illegal.
But now, where juniors are hired by the dozen and internships are now a seeming requirement (internships being a worker's first -- and now mandatory, it would seem -- induction into drinking the techbiz koolaid), where lifers are getting more and more scarce... I guess you're right :/
I've consistently denied telling it my phone number. Of course it has it via whatsapp now but I've repeatedly made clear I don't want it associated with my facebook account. Reading this news I'm very glad I've put up with its demands and not linked it just for 2fa.
I doubt they'd sell it to telemarketers, but they'll use it for every dark pattern under the sun to increase your engagement. Frankly, your engagement is much more profitable to them than a one-time sale of an email list.
(I haven't been there in a while, this being just one of the last straws.)
I’ve always been suspicious of services that use SMS as the primary 2FA mechanism. TOTP is more secure and convenient, but it doesn’t allow the service to collect and extra datapoint. Using a communication channel intended for security as a method to boost falling engagement is as shady as it gets.
Matthew Green’s twitter thread on this is an interesting read.
After 5 days of that I finally bothered to look. The notifications were about someone mentioning me in December.
How about not doing that?
I just deleted my account instead.
I had the same thing happen with Facebook texting me to post after I turned all notifications off in settings, which was the final straw that got me to delete my FB account too.
Now it’s a pattern I repeat everywhere: if your site emails me, I always will click unsubscribe, and go through every possible setting you have to stop you. If you email me again, I delete my account.
I didn't log in to my FB account since 2008 or so.
For a minute I was baffled and thought someone might be trying to hack my defunct profile (but why?) and my instinctive reaction was to log in and reset the password but gave up and forgot about it.
But now that people keep mentioning shady "come back, come back, to Mordor we'll take you" tactics, this sure smells fishy.
Anyone else got an unsolicited PW reset email after not using FB for a long time?
If they don't, polluting the 2FA short code with other types of messages is doubly bad.
Can't wait to see what their rock-bottom looks like.
ex. Health product -> "I heard this product causes cancer."
The idea behind this site is intellectual curiosity. That shrivels under repetition.
I've quit fb since new years, but I can't help but wonder if I was played the whole time. I feel like they advertised fb as an altruistic platform, when in reality, I was just a means to marketing dollars and they fed whatever altruistic lines they wanted to keep me coming back.
Serious question: does fb purely exist as a company in order to sell our information? Do developers at fb believe they're making the world a better place? I'm not saying developers _need_ to make their career about making the world a better place. I do, however, feel like that's the line fb was feeding about their company culture.
Zuck's "Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together" always felt like a stretch. If they were altruistic, they would be a B corp or a non-profit, not a Delaware-based C corp. Never forget that companies are run by Boards and that your data can be reappropriated if the company is merged with another.
Hell, even Enron's mission statement was:
> We treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves....We do not tolerate abusive or disrespectful treatment. Ruthlessness, callousness and arrogance don't belong here
> when in reality, I was just a means to marketing dollars and they fed whatever altruistic lines they wanted to keep me coming back.
Meh. It's marketing. You typically don't tell the most attractive person your worst qualities when they first see you. You try to make a good impression by highlighting your more attractive qualities and staying quiet about the others.
The NSA doesn't tell you it's watching all of your internet activity and correlating it to build profiles on you and your 6 billion fellow great apes. The NSA's marketing is to try and make you forget that it's there, one of the reasons it was dubbed "No Such Agency". When the CIA and the NSA do make their rare public statement, they talk about themselves as the "intelligence community".
BP doesn't advertise itself as a cost-cutting, Deepwater Horizon spilling, exploding rig megacorp. They advertise themselves as the company that saved the Gulf Coast from near permanent economic collapse.
VW doesn't advertise itself as a lying, massively polluting company that makes more cars than any other. They advertise themselves as the "people's car" that is small and cute and sleek. Oh, and they lied that one time, but they learned from their mistakes and they are making amends.
Pretty sure, this is illegal in most of the EU already, but the GDPR will definitely prohibit it on the basis of the data clearly not being used for the originally specified purpose.
It's not only Facebook, BTW. Whenever you provide those "additional details" to "secure" your account, be sure there's a high probability they will be used elsewhere.
In my case, I provided a personal email address to Azure as an alternative email. That email address had an Azure account associated with it. Microsoft merged the two accounts without me asking for it and (not very surprising) it caused some issues displaying the subscriptions properly to the point that their support asked me to create an empty subscription with a brand new email address.
Also works with the Tor hidden service https://mbasic.facebookcorewwwi.onion/
Haven't logged back into Facebook since I got the new device, primarily because I don't use Facebook all that often.
But despite the outrage here, I can see the vast majority of Facebook users finding this sort of thing useful. I know it seems counter-intuitive but there are A LOT of people that use and like Facebook.
Much more effective than deleting your account or exercising any other kind of self-control. Good luck with having the determination to start following everyone once again -- not going to happen.
EDIT: Apparently this is US specific.
I'm shocked. Shocked to hear about this. I can't possibly imagine how this could've happened. It's time to rethink everything we know, rewrite C in rust, and put the social back in media.
Version 5.00 can access:
take pictures and videos
create accounts and set passwords
full network access
control Near Field Communication
use accounts on the device