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Subject: Facebook is like guns rss

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Billy the Hut
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So a co-worker a lunch the other day made this statement; “Facebook is like guns”. His argument was that as in the expression “guns don’t kill people; people do”, it’s also true that “Facebook isn’t bad; it’s the people on Facebook who post bad, annoying, dumb things”. He went on to argue that means if you don’t like Facebook it’s your fault, not Facebook’s because it means you select friends who post bad, annoying, dumb things.

I thought his premise was funny as hell. Right off the bat there’s some issues, for example it only touches on the dislike some have with what is on Facebook (such as endless photos folks post of their lunches) but it doesn’t address the company’s management of the site (& I know some have issues with this). However since telling someone their problem is they don’t know how to choose their friends does cause a reaction. We did have an interesting lunch.

I’d be curious to hear the opinion of people here, since I know there are some here with a solid dislike for Facebook.
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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It's more like Facebook proves how dumb humanity can be when it has too much free time. It's just a tool that allows people to reveal just how vain, shallow and narcissistic they really are. Sure, it allows geographically separated social groups some cohesiveness, but often that social interaction is better off lost in the geographic divide.

I'm misanthropic enough as it is without feeding my confirmation bias endless examples of why it probably isn't "just me". I'd rather my misanthropy be my own skewed condition, but it's hard to argue with the drivel on facebook that says I might actually be on to something.
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Ken
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Billythehut wrote:
...but it doesn’t address the company’s management of the site (& I know some have issues with this).


It's interesting that you miss the #1 issue most people have with Facebook - the positively voluminous amount of data about you that the company will gather, store, analyze, manipulate, and sell. Particularly if you use their mobile app and aren't very, very careful with your settings.

The EU required that FB offer people the ability to request & receive documentation of everything the company had gathered about them. The volume, the detail, the insight, and the connections you didn't expect they could make were absolutely mind-boggling.

Companies like Facebook & Google (which also amasses a ton of data about you) combined with electronic surveillance abilities for governments really make me think we need an explicit right to privacy added to the US constitution and legislation that requires companies to respect that right more.
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A friend talked me into signing up because he was renewing contacts with old girlfriends. I only found coworkers, former coworkers and BGG members. The only people I used to follow on FB were my adult sons. They live some distance away and they didn't call or answer emails regularly. But for the past 2 years we've been playing co-op games on XBox live on a regular basis. I closed my FB account but I kept my guns.
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Ken
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TheChin! wrote:
It's just a tool that allows people to reveal just how vain, shallow and narcissistic they really are.


It's interesting how diverse the opinions about FB are. I'm not particularly active there and I tend to be pretty picky about who I connect with, but it's a great way for me to keep in touch with extended family and friends I haven't seen in a long time. There's definitely a few in the "vain/shallow/narcissistic" category there, but not a lot. And (if I'm honest) I've largely made their posts vanish from my wall because I don't give a shit.
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Billy the Hut
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perfalbion wrote:
Billythehut wrote:
...but it doesn’t address the company’s management of the site (& I know some have issues with this).


It's interesting that you miss the #1 issue most people have with Facebook - the positively voluminous amount of data about you that the company will gather, store, analyze, manipulate, and sell.

I agree with you. The access, collection, & use of personal data is the major issue most have with how the site is managed. My apologies if I didn’t make that point as eloquently as you. I make no claims of being a skilled wordsmith and so don’t always phrase things as well as I might. I certainly wasn’t speaking of the number of sick days they give the employees who maintain the site.

More to the point, your later comment about how interesting different people’s views are of Facebook is what I also find interesting & sort of the point of my post. I use facebook mostly to maintain regular contact with family & old friends at a distance. To do things like keep up to date & see family photos, especially of my nieces & nephews who live too far away to see regularly. I find it good for that.
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Ken
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I think the key to "making FB work" is keeping your circle of friends to those that you'd want to maintain some connection with in the first place. The folks that I've made "vanish" largely also happen to be people who I really had come to the conclusion were assholes I didn't need to waste my time with a while ago. I've "unfriended" some of them, but usually I skip the potential for "WFT?" and just make their posts go away.

The point of a social network is to be social. And that doesn't mean "accept friend requests from any jackass that sends me one so that my friend count goes up." These should be people you want to connect with. If you wouldn't drop them a line after meeting them at a party/at the local game group/through BGG to do so, then why do you want to see their updates and have them see yours?

LinkedIn is often a bit more interesting to me for that reason. Since you're on LinkedIn for a purpose (to build & maintain business connections), the interactions and connections there take a very different shape. And rarely involve photographs of food.
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Facebook offers me a lot of customization features for what I see on my newsfeed. I can hide posts from users, I can allow only important posts from a user, I can allow most posts, or allow all of them to show up.

I can also block specific aps or stories from specific users who aren't my friends but are popular enough to generate lots of comments, or get shared.

I can understand how someone with a cursory understanding of fb might make that analogy, but it is not in fact accurate.
 
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frumpish wrote:
I can understand how someone with a cursory understanding of fb might make that analogy, but it is not in fact accurate.


Being fair, FB doesn't make it particularly easy to figure out how to do some of the customization you're talking about. It's not particularly in their interest to do so. The more time they can get you to spend on their site, the better it is for their revenues. The more stuff you might click on, the more opportunity they have to learn about you and what their advertisers can sell you.

Most FB users don't even look at their privacy settings or follow what the company is doing regarding privacy policy, let alone customize their wall very heavily. And, realistically, that's likely to continue because this is a place to socialize for 95% of the users and they don't care to look too deeply.
 
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Socialization is exactly why I use fb. I glance at my wifes feed everynow and again and it's a total mess in my opinion, but I know that what she wants out of the experience is different from what I am looking for.

Whether the customization tools are readily found or not, they are there.
Guns on the other hand I have no control over whatsoever.
 
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Facebook is a good social networking site, and a good invading your privacy site. What more could you want?
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I always find it strange when *GG users complain about FB privacy.

Granted FB itself is keeping data, and I don't know whether or not *GG is.

But for privacy matters of keeping other people on the internet away from your data FB is Fort Knox and *GG is wide open.
Anyone with an internet connection to see everything you ever posted on *GG, open your profile, read your geeklists and comments, peruse your gallery... anything you have on *GG is wide open. People don't even have to make an account or log on to the site, let alone geekbuddy you to see it.
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My wife is an avid face booker...I have an account but don't really "use" it. I don't care to read most the stuff that is posted out there on FB. My 17 year-old son who is a very social kid is also on facebook every day.

I think the concept of facebook is very good. Given busy lifestyles, it can be difficult to maintain relationships. Being able to see some key updates in people's lives is an extremely positive thing. The birth of a child, a High School or college graduation, etc... When it gets into the minutiae like: "I'm going to bed," "I saw a good TV show tonight," or "I love the blue sky" etc... it starts crossing lines that shouldn't be closed.

One troubling thing about facebook is the number of break-ups that have been facilitated by "hooking up" with the old friends from high school. People have a mid-life crises, try to relive the glory days, and end up flushing their life down the toilet.

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perfalbion wrote:
TheChin! wrote:
It's just a tool that allows people to reveal just how vain, shallow and narcissistic they really are.


It's interesting how diverse the opinions about FB are. I'm not particularly active there and I tend to be pretty picky about who I connect with, but it's a great way for me to keep in touch with extended family and friends I haven't seen in a long time. There's definitely a few in the "vain/shallow/narcissistic" category there, but not a lot. And (if I'm honest) I've largely made their posts vanish from my wall because I don't give a shit.


Funny! The other day, I just said to a friend of mine "Facebook has opened up a whole new world. I never knew there was so much that I don't give a shit about!"
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Facebook is worse, because guns are *obviously* dangerous.
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It took a while for me, but I eventually began to appreciate Facebook. It essentially functions as a kind of news aggregator site, except the news being posted is from people I'm friends with (or related to), so it's more likely to be something I'll find interesting.

Knowing how to hide certain people's posts from your news feed is the best way to keep the FB experience from sucking.
People that regularly post inane status updates, for example, are the first to get hidden.
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Ken
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frumpish wrote:
I always find it strange when *GG users complain about FB privacy.


#1 - BGG is hardly as pervasive as FB in terms of integration with other applications that allow data collection and aggregation.

#2 - BGG has an explicit privacy policy that says they won't sell, rent, etc. data about me without my explicit permission. FB has no such policy and requires opt-outs for areas of data collection you can control. The privacy policy is short, to the point, and easy to understand/find here. FB's is none of those things, in particular.

#3 - BGG's focus makes it far less likely that personally sensitive information about a person, their friends, and their relations is released in a manner one or more of them would object to. It's a gaming site and the conversations reflect that.
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perfalbion wrote:


#3 - BGG's focus makes it far less likely that personally sensitive information about a person, their friends, and their relations is released in a manner one or more of them would object to. It's a gaming site and the conversations reflect that.


People talk about games here, too?
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Ken
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Jythier wrote:
perfalbion wrote:


#3 - BGG's focus makes it far less likely that personally sensitive information about a person, their friends, and their relations is released in a manner one or more of them would object to. It's a gaming site and the conversations reflect that.


People talk about games here, too?


I wouldn't trust me on this.
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I don't FB much but I have found it is a great way to find and be found by people from your past.

Sometimes this is great, sometimes it is Meh. I don't really use FB much though. I scan through other people's pages sometimes when I want to know how they are doing and to see pictures of their kids.

I almost never post myself.

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I think the last line of this says it best. "People are empty vessels thru which Facebook expresses itself"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYfJWybKCy0


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I think it's an interesting statement.

The biggest difference, of course, is that Facebook is for various things -- staying in touch with loved ones, keeping up with friends, networking, marketing, etc. -- while guns are for putting holes in living creatures in order to kill them.

That being said, I see some similarities. It's true that guns and Facebook, in a world of perfect humans, would do no harm. It's also true that we live in a world of imperfect humans, and while guns and Facebook obviously didn't cause all the unpleasantness and suffering that results from them, they lower the effort cost.

Guns make it much easier to kill someone when you have a brief angry thought, whereas if you had to strangle them with your bare hands you might realize what you were doing, and why it was wrong, or at least have time to reconsider your actions.

Obviously, Facebook-related deaths are somewhat lower than gun-related deaths, but Facebook does make it a lot easier to hurt or annoy people by encouraging posts based on brief thoughts, whereas if you were having a conversation with someone in person (or even writing a letter) you might reconsider. If nothing else, it vastly increases the chances of misunderstandings and arguments between acquaintances that might be much more civil to each other if they were conversing in person.

So while I can delete my Facebook account in a way that I can't necessarily avoid being shot, I think guns are like Facebook in that they've significantly lowered the effort threshold and the check of personal human interaction, to keep people from acting emotionally based on their impulses. And the existence of them makes the world a little bit worse, even if you yourself would only use them for good, or indeed have nothing to do with them at all.
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Billy the Hut
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perfalbion wrote:
you miss the #1 issue


Wait wait!
I just got a nasty reminder of what the real #1 issue with facebook is.

I'm sitting here haveing my first cup of coffee, & checking a few things out online before I start my day. This includes a glance a facebook to see what's up with family. Guess what facebook does, no doubt to be sure my day is a little more foul.

It asks me yet again if I wan't to be friends with my ex-wife.

Thats just mean. thumbsdown
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DCAnderson wrote:
Also here is a question I've always had: Why does it really matter if Facebook is collecting data about it's users and selling it?


Because the amount of detail that they can grab would probably strike you as stunning. There's a lot that can be flung into a cookie, and when you visit a site that includes FB integration, they can extract a great deal of information. They can collect location data. And all of this data about you is probably gathered without your express knowledge (do you read the full privacy disclosure?), consent (you agree to the ToS - but, again, do you understand what's in them?), or necessarily benefit. And this is before you throw any analytics at what you post or store on the service.

There's a lot that can be gleaned from the social graph that might surprise you. And perhaps trouble you. It certainly troubles me that they'll serve up ads to my friends that pretend I endorse, use, or like a product that I might never have even seen (many don't know this happens, even fewer know how to turn it off).

As our lives become more digital, our privacy and our information becomes more valuable. Why shouldn't you gain greater control over that data and how it's used? And that's before you get into what happens if there's a warrant or subpoena served.
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Your friends used friend finder!

Your friends play crappy 'ville' games!

You should too!

Do it!!!!
 
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