And for things you "need" to "Like" (eg to enter a contest or get access to something) then just use a dummy account like many do for playing Facebook games, for much the same reason: (almost) no one wants to spam their friends with "I milked a cow!" messages.
This is Facebook's (and Twitter's for that matter) biggest problem: their apparent monetization paths are at direct odds with the user experience.
To control this, go to "Account Settings", "Facebook Ads", "Ads and friends"/"Edit social ads setting", and tell it to "Pair my social actions with ads for" "No one" and click "Save Changes".
But while I've never seen that page before historically I've been pretty strict about going in and tightening up privacy settings.
I wonder if when they introduced this they created a default based on other privacy settings?
However, this is still somewhat sensationalistic: the concept of these social ads was very clearly laid out as one of the launch features of Pages back in 2007.
"""Ads will be getting more relevant and more interesting to you. Instead of random messages from advertisers, we've launched Social Ads. Social Ads provide advertisements alongside related actions your friends have taken on the site. These actions may be things like "Leah is now a fan of The Offspring" (if I added The Offspring to my music) or "Justin wrote a review for Sushi Hut" (If Justin wrote this review on the Sushi Hut page). These actions could then be paired with an ad that either The Offspring or Sushi Hut provides."""
As for this specific feature to turn off these kinds of advertisements, that has existed since just about three years ago: January of 2010 is when they launched the new expanded Facebook privacy settings feature, and this is one of the settings people were talking about.
The scope of when and where they appear has changed somewhat over time, especially in early 2011 with the new "sponsored stories" feature, but the idea of how this feature will work and what it means has been there for much longer than that.
Then, in 2012, they added these stories to the news feed (where they were in this article). Again: the places where these ads are shown has changed somewhat over time, but this is the exact same feature and privacy implication as all the earlier variants.
I'm thereby somewhat at a loss as to what the real issue is here, or why this is suddenly "news" to anyone: nothing has really changed in how Facebook treats these ads in many years; I'd even go so far as to say in this specific case, they haven't done it ever, but they certainly haven't done it in the last 5 years (since 2007).
Regardless, you certainly have had many years now to understand and deactivate this feature: if someone, such as the author of this original post (not you, as maybe you haven't used Facebook since 2009), really care about your privacy, and somehow at the end of 2012 you haven't noticed a giant feature linked both from "Settings" and from "Privacy" on a website that is holding tons of personal information about you, I question whether you (again, OP) really care about your privacy ;P.
That is an absurd standard. When people stop using a service, they just stop using it. That doesn't mean you get to pimp them out just because they aren't around to turn your shit off.
That is completely different.
Number one, a common and legitimate reason to stop using Facebook is apathy. How many sites or services have you abandoned using over the years? Imagine if each one of them took your inactivity as permission to actively impersonate you.
Number two, this isn't like your abandoned house getting broken into by random people. This is like your landlord changing your rent agreement unilaterally to say that she can steal your furniture.
The real difference is that I assume my landlord is basically honest, whereas I long ago dropped that assumption about Facebook. If I heard that Facebook were taking over web cameras and selling indecent images of their users, I would not be surprised.
I see the basic policy of Facebook as "we are going to do anything we want with your account and/or data unless you vigilantly monitor and stop us." Which is why I deleted my account.
I assume they actually kept it and are still selling my data, because that's just the kind of company they are.
What? Why would you have to disable your account to not have facebook send out notifications on your behalf?
> Regardless, you certainly have had many years now to understand and deactivate this feature
How could you understand this "feature" (bug), if it only shows up in other people's streams?
This is a dangerous, anti-consumer notion. Nobody should have to go out of their way to preserve their privacy. I would reword your assertion like this: "If your users have to dig through settings and privacy sections to have some semblance of a normal existence, there is something wrong with your site."
What next, people start selling your most personal information (travel habits, TV and movie viewing history, etc.) on the open market, then demand a $20/mo fee to be left alone?
There are two separate issues here: 1) should Facebook have done this, and 2) should the user have stopped it sooner.
You say the answer to #2 is "yes." Ok, fine.
But the answer to #1 is definitely "No." I don't care if they've been doing it since the day they launched. They're spamming the user's friends, without the user's explicit action, in a way that makes it appear that the user did it personally.
How can they possibly call that a "feature"? Imagine having Skype auto-dial your contacts, impersonate your voice, and pitch them on products.
>> if you are still using Facebook but purport to care about your privacy there is something wrong with you.
There, I fixed that for you.
Your Like can still be used in a sponsored story.
His objection is to the "so and so liked this company" in the timeline. That's a sponsored (by that company) story, and not blocked by this setting.
You have to unlike the company.
Sticking your tongue out and winking doesn't change the fact of what Facebook themselves tell us right on that page:
“... independent of this setting, you may still see social actions in other contexts, like in Sponsored Stories...”
Believing otherwise may be a bit of cargo culting -- the Sponsor has recently shown you and may simply not be showing you again for a while.
Colleagues and I have the setting set to "Pair my social actions with ads for No One", and have had it set since the setting was introduced. Our Likes definitely show up in "Sponsored Stories" whenever the Sponsor wants to pay to show our friends we liked them.
As Facebook tells us point blank, we are seeing social actions in Sponsored Stories.
I completely disagree with the idea of never "Liking" anything. There is plenty of benefits of "Liking" a Facebook page. I, personally, enjoy seeing update posts from bands, products, etc. about new content, products, promos, etc.
I think music artists is a great example to use here. I love tons of bands. A lot of those bands do not have websites other than using Facebook. I'm not going to check their Facebook pages multiple times a day, going through the 100's of artists that I "Like", just to see if they post an update of some sort. I understand that this not a universal example, and some pages are not worth "Liking" (pages that are a joke meme and not a product, company, artist, etc.), but I think it's ridiculous to say never "Like" anything.
Example of a page I have "Liked": http://bluetide.pro/me1r
Example of the same page if I "UnLike" it: http://bluetide.pro/878h
There is no way to subscribe and get updates without "Liking" it.
As per the grandparent post of this thread, I don't "Like" anything on twitter, and follow things in interested with Interest Lists.
That said, unlike with the direction I was indicating, it does seem like what aw3c2 is only of limited applicability: while Facebook supports subscriptions to Pages, it seems like it might be something that Pages have to activate (not 100% certain about what causes it to appear).
It is not a property of every Page, however. If you do a search, though, on Google, for 'subscribe to a page without liking it' you will get numerous hits talking about such users, with screenshots of the buttons on some Pages, and discussing the rollout and announcement of the new feature.
For instance, I once used my PayPal account to authorize a in-game payment in FB (Zynga game) for my wife. Go figure why she likes to play that stupid game but she does. In my mind I was thinking "I am authorizing THIS payment NOW" but what they did in fact? Paypal added FB as an authorized company allowed to charge me anything.
So then when my wife clicked something curious in the game thinking she would just see something, the game actually charge my account for that. I never agreed to it charging my account once again and a third time. But that's what it did.
I know, it's probably all very well explained in the those small grey letters but I didn't bother to read. My wife won't read them. My grandma won't either. Nobody will... and they know it.
PayPal was a whole experience in itself. I had to dig down into 4-5 levels of options until I found the list of authorized companies and FB was there.
I know this can all be explained with "users are dumb and deserve it" but really? Do they have to resort to such tactics? Well, they probably have otherwise their stock will keep falling more and more... sad situation.
A few weeks ago I deleted my FB account because it was fed up with all the things mentioned here and it was a great distraction. It's impressive how little impact it had, except I have more mental space for other (let's hope so) more useful things.
Then stop liking it once it becomes popular.
Facebook must be desperate for ad impressions. I too unliked nearly everything and experience a tinges of irritation every time the mobile app "so and so likes this major corporation" stuff shows up in the mobile feed.
In comparison, Twitter's ad platform is subtle, engaging, and visually beautiful.
It really does suck that Facebook is spamming our friends in our name, though. Perhaps you're right, and it's best not to "Like" anything, so my friends don't associate my name with the annoying intrusion of commercial messages into their news feed.
You can put a stop to all of this by deleting your Facebook account. It is the nuclear option, but it's one that more and more of my friends (tech geeks - so who cares, right?) are doing.
I think the real problem here is headlines like this. OP's blog post title says "I don't like NEST" this is a problem for their brand and all the other companies that support Facebook's business model. If they start leaving because Facebook's UX opacity hurts their brand more than it helps, then it's lights out.
If I said you could mitigate the issue by selling your computer and getting a feature phone, I would be right. But you would probably protest that there are many useful things you need a computer for -- and some of them might not be strictly necessary to your life, or strictly require a computer to do, but the convenience and satisfaction it would bring make it worth having one.
In other words, don't throw out the baby with the bathwater, right? Same thing applies for most people and their Facebook account. So your only argument here is to convince people that they don't draw as much satisfaction from Facebook as they think they do, or that they don't need an account for the reasons they think they do.
Which might be true, but quite simply, people want not merely to survive but to thrive.
Edit: and also, you are in the unenviable position of arguing with people about what they feel, which means you are wrong.
I'm amazed at the number of people that I hear complain about this stuff and yet keep using FB as if it is essential. For instance, add your cell # to your account to confirm developer status and then turn off notices. You will still receive texts from FB because they don't give a damn.
For the life of me, why people willingly give so much of their information to a company who clearly does not care about privacy is beyond me.
I personally think FaceBook will reach an inflection point where public interest will wane and people will use it less and less... but still have accounts. Then something better will come along and there might be a mass migration. For now though, the reality is it's somewhat essential.
I can't speak for other people, but the effort it took to maintain a Facebook presence (deidentify unflattering photos, take a few minutes every day to get caught up on people's minutiae) was far greater than the benefit it brought me.
People who want to talk to me know my email address and phone number.
(edit: clarification, first paragraph)
To me, it's analogous to the argument against text messaging. Yes, people who want to talk to me can simply call, but there's a bottom threshold of importance that must be met to deem a phone call necessary. Meanwhile I can text a one sentence message to a friend I haven't seen in months and not spend half an hour on the phone.
We could use Google calendar for this, or any number of other tools, but that would put a burden on our other friends to learn a new system. The end result would be that some people would flat out not attend the event, and some others would attend but not RSVP, throwing off guest counts, etc.
tl;dr I treat Facebook like a virus that is infecting the web.
Years ago I created http://tgethr.com so I could hopefully get my family just posting/emailing these things around privately. It turned out super useful, but a private network like that just doesn't stick too long. And most of the photos/links/articles just end up on FB.
How is this any different than deleting all of your email accounts and acting like that IS the solution to spam?
Are you saying that boycotting Facebook is not a solution to Facebook stepping all over privacy? What are we supposed to do? Use harsh language?
> Are you saying that boycotting Facebook is not a solution to Facebook stepping all over privacy?
A boycott wasn't actually the suggested course of action by the OP. They made a different point: opt-out of the system to protect your own privacy. You are suggesting collective action to promote change which is quite different. As an individual, quitting facebook isn't really equivalent to a boycott.
Maybe boycott is the wrong term, but it's what I think of when people say "vote with your dollars". Quitting Facebook is essentially denying them an audience and additional personal information. It may not be collective action, but it's still expressing an opinion on Facebook's service and policies.
at this point, i don't think the problem was "all thanks to facebook"!
I just deleted my facebook account.
With the exception of technical friends who have children, and are trying to find an easy way to share pictures with the grand-parents/inlaws/family, the majority of my colleagues in the valley have just stopped using, and in many cases, have deleted their facebook account.
End of problem. No more intrusions of this kind.
Not the solution for everyone, but it's a pretty straightforward mechanism to eliminate this problem, and, in my case, really cost me nothing.
Now, if I had to delete my Amazon account to avoid those tracking ads, that would be a whole new level of pain. I don't know if I'm ready to do that, yet.
I'm still trying it out to see if I can live without it for a year. But I'm hoping to delete it altogether.
I've had friends say "oh we forgot to invite you to the party because you weren't on Facebook." I'm glad of the friends that use evite.
"Can I opt out of being featured in Sponsored Stories?"
These are the reasons I don't click on Like anywhere, certainly not on brands.
Facebook has been a mess since they have introduced the promoting stories. They have even added an additional Page Feed, which in my case, has been sitting idle gathering unread counts.
Update: IMHO, the best is to use Facebook publicly in a read-only mode. If you must follow the updates from someone, follow their RSS from their website or their email newsletter, they must have one or the other, or else they are not worth it. It is also better to keep yourself logged out of Facebook when you don't need to use it. Twitter is not that bad right now but it still shoots spam messages with bad links without you knowing about it. So your actions or inaction on any social media can directly or indirectly affect your relationship with your friends/contact.
Is there an easy way to "un-like" everything? Facebook automatically made me "like" everything that I had on my interests a long time back, and now that's turning me into an advertising icon for those brands to my friends? No thanks. So do I have to go through each one individually, or is there some way I can get rid of all these "likes" at once?
Sounds a little hypocritically for criticising facebook about these dirty tricks and then building a business around them. That feeling you get when you see these adverts with your name on? That's the same feeling I get when I'm forced to unnaturally 'like' something on facebook in order to see something else.
I had no idea these sponsored posts ended up in people's timelines in such a way no one could tell what's real and what's bullshit. I stopped development on any "like-gating" tech over a year ago for a bunch of reasons. The tech is still up on a website in demo mode, but I don't sell it anymore or intend to revisit selling it again. I wouldn't want to work on encouraging likes again if this sponsored post thing continues to be used like I describe in this post.
Remember: Likes (or whatever they used to be called back then, e.g. items listed on your profile) used to be content you could restrict to your friends. Pointers for them to stuff you found cool and interesting. Then FB assigned them to the "forced to be public" part of your profile. Now, eventually, they've become primarily a vehicle for 1) Gaming people to participate (self-serving contests), in order to 2) Spam their graph.
Likes no longer represent user-generated content.
My main point: this is not an isolated incident of FaceBook pushing the boundaries of what's considered acceptable by users to make money; there have been other such incidents in the past. Given the history, should we really be surprised?
Must every article and discussion be about something "surprising"? Meta-discussions like this are dull; if you're uninterested in an article, ignore it.
Making the situation worse:
- Some ads, one example for me is TD Bank, are shown repeatedly and redundantly months after months. You'd think they would know I am not interested by now.
- On 4.7" screen phone, these are almost full screen ads.
- I'm pretty sure the people who 'liked' these companies aren't aware they are continuously spamming me.
I usually don't mind a few ads if it will pay for a free service and when they are well targeted I might even click on them. Just the other day, a fb ad reminded me to go to a delicious local burger place I don't enjoy nearly often enough. However the current level of ad aggressivity is way past the limit of what is acceptable.
So it seems like advertisers can also sponsor posts containing links to their domains to re-appear in your feed.
I am so tired of seeing that a very weak connection has liked Samsung Mobile... every... single... freaking.... day...
As a result, I've contacted friends in the exact same manner: "Hey, can you unlike this product, I'm tired of seeing it every day for the last few months."
When Facebook took my comma delimited list of "interests" and turned them all into ads, I figured out Facebook had sold out. Call me melodramatic, but this was years before Zuckerberg claimed "we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services."
As a user of HN, Twitter, Reddit, Google Groups, and Usenet, I honestly don't see the attraction. Seems like it is fraught with annoyances.
When all your friends decide to meet at that fake corporate fac-simile of a cliché pub, you go there too because you like your friends and might meet some nice girl there too. You may suggest a place with beer that does not taste like llama piss, but you drink that beer with a smile anyway because in the end it is all about people, even with stupid UI, satanic EULA and sprawling ads.
Many of these examples tend to be online communities that share the same interest as you. Sure, you can probably configure your own Google Group (i guess?) but who's going to do that?
Facebook is mostly used by people to keep in touch with their offline community - their real-life friends.
There are Chrome and Firefox add-ons for LikeBuster linked at https://github.com/relwell/LikeBuster.
Unless you're paying you're the product.
It's a nice soundbite, but it's oversimplified. There are many business models, and some don't involve neither direct payments nor ads/tracking, and others have ads even when you pay (e.g. Cable TV). It's just not that simple.
Advertising (users as products) and charging are just two characteristics that may appear in a business model together, or just one of them, or none, depending on its design. There's simply no rule that makes ¬paying ⇒ product an inevitability.
Between this and their social plugin (I've tried disabling this many times), I am a hair away from disabling my account.
When I logged in to cancel "Ads shown by third parties" which you linked to, I had a new notification (normally reserved for my friends information) which was a Groupon of the Day. WTF? Seems like two sinking ships.