Friday, October 15, 2010

Git your st00pid on

Catching up on some long overdue blog-reading, I stumbled across David Beckemeyer's interesting post of September 25. I tried using his own redirect link, as well as, to post a link to Facebook, but both times I was greeted with the following error message:

"This message contains blocked content that has previously been flagged as abusive or spammy."

I'm hardly surprised that Facebook considers openbook to be abusive, given that openbook is simply using a Facebook API to reveal the portion of its user base which has failed to activate security properly. Then again, given some of the fantastically low I.Q.'s on display (type in the drug reference, racist hate speech, or sexual buzzword of your choice, and watch the st00pid flow), one could also argue that this group of users constitutes a special needs group who should be given assistance (preferably in txt spch, innit) to tweak their settings.

No matter how you slice it, it ain't pretty, and I am most disturbed, though not surprised, to see that Facebook seems to probe and index even shortened URLs embedded in status posts before they are even posted. I'm sure Mr. Z would argue that he's trying to protect us from ourselves, and while I'm pretty good at that on my own, it seems clear that many FB users are incapable of, or uninterested in, really protecting themselves. I assume law enforcement, potential employers, and the intelligence services of a number of less-enlightened countries take a keen interest in the effluent revealed here. The next test comes in a moment, when, after I publish here, I attempt to post this link to my own FB page. Let's see how far the probing extends...

UPDATE: I was able to post a link to this to my wall, so it would seem that there is no sophisticated indexing of the target page going on here, given that the post contains two separate links to openbook. Still, I'm curious to see how the situation evolves over time. I'm probably being paranoid, but, as the old adage states, "Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean that Facebook is not out to get you."

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