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Facebook: The Online Big Brother?

I can't deny the fact that social networks are a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, but when I hear about stories like this, I get worried about online privacy and security. Facebook has recently introduced a marketing program that publicizes users purchases in their "Mini-Feed" for all their friends to see—movies, clothes, household goods, you name it. Silicon Valley News reports that this new marking initiative allows companies to tap ongoing Facebook conversations by alerting users about friends' activities through the feeds. Forty websites have already embedded this tool from Facebook, known as a Beacon, to enable the marketing feeds. An area in their web browser is said to give them the option of checking a small box that says "No Thanks" to sharing their purchasing info, which many have reported not even noticing. When Mike, a Facebook user recently purchased movie tickets on Fandango and a video game on Gamefly for his son for Christmas, he had no idea that both transactions would pop up in his Facebook Mini-Feed for all of his contacts to see—no warning, no red flashing lights and no notification (well just to your five hundred friends). Kinda takes the fun out of online shopping. To learn more, check out Mike's full story. What do you think about all this? Excuse me while I go disable my Facebook Mini-Feed!

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Join The Conversation
Rachie-Rees Rachie-Rees 8 years
Thanks I need to check that out, that is real helpful. I got on to facebook through learning of it through geeksugar having their widgets available on there. It is really good knowledge to find out. hope you have a good day and for looking out for others. I think geeksugar posted a simular article the other day warning us too. the more we are alerted the better!
pixiechicks pixiechicks 8 years
I'm sure you already know this but just in case - if you go into the privacy tab on facebook - there's a link to control your privacy options with external websites. This issue hasn't come up for me cause it says on mine that no external websites have tried "sending stories to my profile." It also says that "you can choose to have those actions sent to your profile" What with the big brother feel at facebook - I don't know if that's true or not - but there is definitely a way to disable it from showing up in your profile.
Rachie-Rees Rachie-Rees 8 years
they are getting overwhelming, It's getting a bit freaky, they are taking the fun out of the website and their own applications: They are going to lose there database unless they pick up on thier wrong behaviour. Pity as it is a fun site, when you use it correctly!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Wow talk about way out of line...
kimchimei kimchimei 8 years
wow, facebook has gone downhill. i haven't logged on since they added all those annoying apps.
glitterandgold glitterandgold 8 years
i don't have a facebook anymore. or a myspace :) only email now which has saved me TONS of time... and privacy! loves it.
lorenashley lorenashley 8 years
facebook has gotten absolutely ridiculous.
nikkipez nikkipez 8 years
some more info on this would be great...i will definitely look out for this!!!
mcreverie mcreverie 8 years
i love facebook ... but i hate all the new bells and whistles on it. how busy are we that we need to be alerted for all these trivial things? people need to get a life.
xstarsprinklesx xstarsprinklesx 8 years
But, geeksugar, apparently this "No Thanks" box isn't coming up everytime. My boyfriend, for instance, followed a link from his email to add a game to his Gamefly queue instead of going directly to the site. Then he added another game to his queue. Neither time did the box come up, yet both times it showed up on his Facebook feed. Also, like I said above, even if you say "no thanks" to it showing up on your feed, it's still already collected the info about you for Facebook. They're still adding it to their massive database, which, granted, every company does to some degree for marketing research, but the way they're doing this, where it follows you everywhere you go online.. that's overstepping some boundaries in my opinion.
LettyRN LettyRN 8 years
All this stuff is good to know!
Tech Tech 8 years
michelleyk: Just make sure you check off the "No Thanks" to sharing your purchasing info on Facebook (You'll notice this in the check-out section of any site affiliated with Facebook). Once it happens to me I'll take a giant screen cap so everyone knows what it looks like.
Vexedlovely Vexedlovely 8 years
I will be careful of this, I am an avid facebook user, ever since i gave up on Myspace. Facebook was so much better when it was only for college students.
kitkatherine kitkatherine 8 years
facebook is really worthless.
Pink_Lipstick Pink_Lipstick 8 years
The Facebook feed really bothers me. I don't like for it to tell everyone when I edit my information on my profile, so I disable it. This is even crazier.
mollywog mollywog 8 years
Gad, I am SO glad I don't have a Facebook! We all know that lots and lots of sites use tracking cookies for one thing or another, but this truly takes it to a whole, much nastier, level.
michelleyk michelleyk 8 years
Is there any kind of opt-out you can do, Geeksugar? I find this really invasive, beyond the call. Okay, track what I do on your website, but not what I do when I've left your network. Honestly, I'm sick of these social networking sites. Give me advertising on my page, whatever, but don't sell me...
sahayra sahayra 8 years
Facebook is getting worse everyday.
Schaianne Schaianne 8 years
That is just wrong. I hate invasive programs/sites.
Tech Tech 8 years
Flickster: This is not an application that you can add or remove. Facebook is putting a file on your computer (a cookie) that tells other websites who you are and is allowing those websites to put information on your profile i.e news feed without your permission (purchasing info etc). For example: Say you log into Facebook to see what your friends are doing and then you go to Barnes and Noble to purchase a book. After you pay for the book, your mom and everyone else (Facebook friends) will know what book you just bought (unless you check the tiny box on the site so that it will not publish your purchasing info). Hope this helps :)
scullylam scullylam 8 years
the craziest thing i see in your facebook account is where you can put in your credit card information. now that's pretty bad to have your card stored with facebook to buy lame pixels for a profile page that is overrun with useless applications.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
That's creepy...I'm glad I haven't been sucked into using Facebook even though I have friends on it.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 8 years
well judging by the picture, he added an application that would show up on his profile, you can disable those and it wont do anything like that if you don't add any of the new "applications" that have mutiplied like bacteria. I mean really, just don't add anything and it's plain old facebook doing nothing and looking plain.
red4bonez red4bonez 8 years
theres no surprise in anything anymore and no privacy, its creepy.
biochemlovely biochemlovely 8 years
Though I hate the idea of linking purchases to profiles, it really doesn't surprise that Facebook is doing this. As soon as they started the mini-feed, I was really turned off - and my usage has dropped to almost never. This just takes the creepiness to a whole new level. :(
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