I’m not on Facebook. Well, okay, so I do have a Technoodling identity on the FB, but that’s just for Technoodling purposes. I don’t, like, live my life on Facebook or something. And this is one of those reasons why…
This is like being force-fed a new email address, whether you wanted it or not.
“What’s the big deal?,” you may ask.
Well, if that does not bother you, this one should.
Journalist Violet Blue has reported that the Facebook app on mobile devices is actually replacing your address book entries… without you knowing it!
Apparently, when you allow Facebook to sync with your address book on your mobile device app (iPhones in particular were cited), Facebook will quietly replace your friends’ default email addresses with their @facebook.com addresses if they have one.
And since nobody pays attention to what the actual email address is when you send out an email, you would end up sending your emails to their @facebook.com addresses, without you knowing it.
Example: Your friend Woody Allen has email addy firstname.lastname@example.org. But he’s on Facebook, under user name woody. Before you know it, your address book has been changed and, from now on, every time you click to write Woody an email, it will now send to his automatically generated Facebook address, email@example.com, without you knowing it. And without him knowing it too.
What makes this downright awful is that the only way your friend will see your email is if he or she happened to open up Facebook. If your friend was checking his or her usual email program, your email won’t show up there anymore. So if you are not in the habit of checking your Facebook account for emails, your critical messages won’t be getting to you… and you won’t even know about it until you open your Facebook account’s messages.
To make matters even worse, Facebook apparently is quite incompetent with handling emails at that. Reports are flying in about email messages simply not reaching their intended recipients. But you can be sure that Facebook has the messages stored in its servers somewhere.
So you know what they say about Facebook knowing more about you than you do? Well, now they even have your personal messages… even when you don’t!
Of course there’s a way to disable this mess, and it’s buried deep inside Facebook. Violet Blue’s article details how you can do this. But that’s not the point because, I tell you, 99 percent of Facebook users won’t even bother to change their default settings.
Why are you doing this, Facebook?!
The simple answer is: Facebook wants to be the new Google.
They want to ween you away from your Gmail account, Yahoo account (or, uh, Rocketmail?) and get you to do all your emails on Facebook instead. They want to be the only communications portal that you will ever need.
Because if you do everything on Facebook, then they get more chances to monetize you as an advertising target.
Look. I know you’re not supposed to trust any free online service with your data. But personally speaking, I have a very high regard for Google and a very low regard for Facebook. I trust Google with my data. Call me naive, but I sincerely believe that they try their best to “do no evil.” I understand that it’s a balancing act, that of avoiding evil while trying to make a profit. But I trust their decision-making in these matters.
But Facebook? They’ve been untrustworthy from the beginning. They’re like a clingy ex who insists on keeping all your memorabilia in a shrine on their dresser, complete with candles, constantly calling you to check on how you’re doing even when you want nothing to do with her already, and constantly hinting that you should hook up once again at your favorite spot at Robinson’s Mall because she’s the best thing ever to happen to you…
Worse, Facebook is the clingy ex who’s ready to shred your address book to keep you from calling other people. That way, you become dependent on her.
And that’s why I’m not on Facebook.
You must be logged in to post a comment.