How Facebook is Impersonating People Without Their Consent


Thu, Jan 24th, 2013 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

On Forbes, Anthony Wing Kosner explains how Facebook is "impersonating people without their consent" by associating your "like" next to an article that you may not have necessarily liked, simply to boost its visibility to others. While this makes sense from a marketing perspective, "there's no way to filter exactly which articles are posted on your behalf -- because again, they're only visible to your friends. The only way to prevent re-posted content is to unlike everything."

If Facebook’s new Graph Search feature has you thinking a little harder about what you’ve “liked” for fear that an ironic dalliance in years past could come back to embarrass you, here’s one more thing to worry about. Facebook is now recycling users Likes and using them to promote “Related Posts” in the news feeds of the user’s friends. And one more thing, the users themselves have possibly never seen the story, liked the story or even know that it is being promoted in their name.

This was brought to my attention through a story by Minneapolis developer Craig Condon in which he accuses Facebook of “impersonating people without their consent.” See video above for his lucid documentation of the phenomenon, including the use of a fabricated account as a demonstration tool. In his own case, he had liked the irreverent media empire, VICE, and as a result, a rude post showed up on his mother’s timeline below a heading “Craig Condon likes VICE” and a divider with a slug that said “ RELATED POST.” His mother, of course, urged him to take the post down—but he couldn’t because he had never posted it!



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