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Facebook scams


There’s a flurry of Facebook scams going around at the moment. They are irritating but harmless – merely reposting themselves on friend’s walls if clicked.  Their enticement seem to take two forms: the promise of learning who’s been viewing your profile or titillating content.

Even though it might be desirable, no-one can see who’s been looking at your Facebook content.  Facebook itself outlines its policy saying applications “cannot provide this functionality.”

The second scam promises some salacious gossip – photos of Bin Laden’s corpse, the identity of footballers with super injunctions or a girl’s embarrassing video.  It’s that timeless temptation to revel in someone else’s misfortune that proves so compelling.  But again, it’s a scam.

embarrassing video scam

Both traps use the ‘click as consent’ loophole to access your friends list. That is, merely by clicking the link, Facebook regards you as a willing participant in the sharing of your data.  There’s no middle ground – it’s all of nothing with your permission – even in instances like these where it’s patently false pretences.

To me, it’s telling that Facebook preserves the ability to monitor viewing habits for business gain while not disabling the auto-repost functionality associated with these scams.  I can only assume that the ease of permission-giving for legitimate (and commercially valuable) application is worth the inconvenience generated by these scams.

What do you think?

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