Hello, and welcome to this week’s - sorry, just have to finish commenting on this picture from New Year’s 2007 - right, this is Listed, and we’re going to talk about Facebook, and why it’s awful and we all hate it. Don’t we? I’m totally going to delete my profile this week. Well, after my next birthday.

Yeah, Facebook is terrible. Here are some examples of it being terrible:

5. Hot or not

Not surprisingly, Facebook inventor and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has always been evil, even before a $4-billion paycheque allowed him to purchase human souls below market value.

A former Microsoft prospect turned Harvard programmer, Zuckerberg based the Facebook platform on the university’s “face book”, a volume of names and pictures given out to new students to let them get to know and stalk each other better. He called his original idea “Facemash”, and instead of offering blurry pictures of the better life your ex is currently having, it allowed users to vote between student and farm animal pictures on a “hot or not”-style scale. Said the dude who will be played by this guy in an upcoming movie: “I'm not exactly sure how the farm animals are going to fit into this whole thing...but I like the idea of comparing two people together.” What a dick.

Harvard shut Facemash down, so Zuckerberg relaunched the platform as an online studying tool. Let’s all go study on Facebook!



4. An open book

Who’s really reading your messages? The simultaneous popularity of Google and Facebook means that you can be searched out by more than just your name and location - throwing addresses across walls can be picked up by people who have no connection to you whatsoever. Treat it like a phone book with your picture in it.

In May 2010, as in a few weeks ago, a platform called Openbook was launched, allowing anyone to anonymously search the vast database of status updates across Facebook, which are usually viewable to anyone who comes across them. Technically, this isn’t Facebook’s fault, but it's a reminder of how transparent the information actually is.

Also check out Openbook to see what people are looking for; if you are revealing all your personal “spanking”, “racism”, and “camel toe” info in your status updates, you are a terrible, terrible friend.

3. What happens now?

Many of your Facebook friends will make it a habit to announce their retirement from the service, an action that rarely makes it past the planning stage. But what happens when you actually delete an account, besides feeling an empty hole where your social life used to be?

The difficulty of actually removing your information from the clutches of Facebook, Inc., and properly erasing it from the web in general, has been well documented. In 2008, the New York Times questioned whether the end result of “deletion” could actually qualify as account removal. Currently, it can take two weeks for a formal request for removal to actually be followed up on.

Further weirdness: if you die, your Facebook profile can live on indefinitely in a limbo-like “memorialization state”, allowing friends and family to post condolences until they get bored and go back to Farmville.


2. Too many friends!

Anthropologists and social critics estimate the average person can maintain a meaningful interpersonal relationship with about 150 other people, not 846 as the average profile would suggest.

Facebook has put a cap on the stadium-bursting friend totals some not-at-all desperate folks have tried to gather up; current estimates have the capper at about 5,001, after which your computer will voluntarily get up and leave, because how the hell would you have time for it with over 5,000 friends?

The terrible thing is, we as a species could legitimately find out who the most popular person in the world is, and worship them. Would it be Oprah? The Pope? Stephen Baldwin?


1. It can be criminal

Using Facebook can send you to jail, as at least one woman in Great Britain found out. She didn’t just put “What ‘80s movie best describes you?” in one too many news feeds, either.

Eighteen-year-old Keeley Houghton was sentenced to three months behind bars in 2009 for what local papers called “Facebook bullying”, including declaring her intentions to off a classmate. Really, who hasn’t casually uttered threats like that online? “O, u r so murrderred LOL!” is one of my stock comment replies.

OK, this isn’t a terrible feature of Facebook. It’s a great feature. Criminals posting their crimes hurts no one, except in the eventual circumstance of making 800+ people suddenly complicit. That’s a dangerous precedent, folks.


3 Comments | Add a Comment
I'd like to get your feedback about a page I've created, about thegood and bad features of Facebook and how they should fix it:http://billdietrich.byethost8.com/Facebook.htmlThanks.
I'd like to get your feedback about a page I've created, about thegood and bad features of Facebook and how they should fix it:http://billdietrich.byethost8.com/Facebook.htmlThanks.
I agree, not to mention the fact that your private life is thrown out the window, as its used by everyone you would not want your grandmother knowing what you done at the club yesterday would you?Also not to mention the fact that you make one comment and next thing you know you have 1000 notifications. Friking hell facebook I just wanted to say that picture looks nice.
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