What Happens If Facebook Thinks You're Not Real?

from the i-am-who-i-am dept

Back in the Friendster era, the deletion of fake accounts (aka Fakesters) is sometimes cited as one of the many causes of Friendster’s ultimate fall from grace. Initially, Facebook had not been plagued with such problems, since it originally restricted its users to those with an .edu email address. Now that the restriction has been lifted, fake accounts are starting to stream into Facebook, and with that has come the Facebook fake account police. Just last month, Facebook drew the ire of the blogosphere when they deleted Jon Swift’s account for using a pseudonym. And now, on Monday, Facebook disabled British politician Steve Webb’s account Monday after receiving complaints that he did not exist. Webb has been a member of Parliament for 10 years, and an active member of Facebook for almost a year, amassing 2,500 friends in that time. Though the mishap was corrected after a few hours, it reminds us of the difficulty of determining true identity in an online world. A cursory search for “Britney Spears” yields at least 20 profiles — if one of these is the true Britney, it is impossible to tell. Or, perhaps Britney is already on Facebook, but under a pseudonym — in which case, would she get deleted?

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Comments on “What Happens If Facebook Thinks You're Not Real?”

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21 Comments
jag says:

Pet accounts deleted

When my girlfriend and I moved in together, as a joke we made Facebook profiles for her cat and my bird, and then listed them as dating. The profiles were cute and cheeky. All of our friends who know and love our pets “friended” them, gave them wall postings for birthday wishes, etc.

Unaware of their fake account policy, I sent support a joke email from the bird’s account saying that because he was a bird, he should be able to “peck” his friends, not “poke” them. The email was light-hearted.

In response, Facebook deleted the bird’s account. It noticed the bird’s “girlfriend” the cat, and deleted the cat too without notice.

It certainly generated ire and distrust for us and our friends that Facebook is not a community about and for its users. If it falls from grace and another more open-minded community replaces it, I won’t miss it.

Gus Boxer says:

Re: FACEBOOK Pet Profile accounts deleted

Facebook is at it again, erasing ‘fake’ accounts.

This weekend Facebook deleted thousands of pet profiles, causing the owners to become irate with the social networking gorilla.
It would appear a sense of fun is not part of growing a multi billion dollar company.
A little heavy handed considering no harm is done by the pet owners ( no racial slurring, no libel or defamatory issues are likely and the pet accounts are hardly impersonating celebrities ).
Bad PR for Facebook though.

Gus the Boxer
deleted dog from Fitzroy Australia

Spuds (profile) says:

MyBook / FaceSpace

Maybe I’m just old and crotchety… but I have always hated the “social networking” sites with a passion. MySpace started bad, and has always been bad. Just the mention of it sends shivers down my spine. I think of MySpace users as the “AOL” users of yesteryear.

Facebook used to be better. You GENERALLY had people on there with some education… as long as I had my .edu address as an Alumni of my university, I got to stay a Facebook member. When they lifted the restriction, things went downhill very very very quickly. I got a bad taste in my mouth that was very similar to MySpace. I closed my FaceBook account very immediately.

I wouldn’t miss either of them if they closed up shop tomorrow.

superfreak, esq. says:

my pets are on facebook too

and their names are real, unlike mine. my friends know my nickname so listing a pseudonym wasn’t a problem.
from the start I did not use my real name, for obvious reasons. who lists their name and school-work-friend and photo details on the net? it’s not a good idea to say the least.
my kids are not allowed to lists their real name either, on facebook or anywhere else.

PaulT (profile) says:

Britney Spears?

Dennis, since that’s the pop tart’s real name, why do you assume that there’s nobody else out there with the same birth name (or some Britney out there that’s married to a Mr. Spears)? Would you advocate deleting accounts just because they happen to share the name of somebody more famous?

Oh, and to #6 – the Facebook community happen to be where a lot of people I know are. I’ve caught up with many old friends, some of whom I lost contact with 10-15 years ago, simply by being on Facebook. I’d definitely miss it…

Yeah Sure says:

Facebook

Anyone stop to think that facebook could actually be one big scam set up by some law enforcement agency?
Think about it, not such a crazy notion!
There are enough idiots and zombies out there to give away their real details.

The information, trends and “conversations” would be of great interest to many governments.

Even if you provide bogus details, your I.P. address is still logged along with which site you came from and which you go to from facebook.
From your I.P. address it’s easy to do a “whois” and therefore find in which country you’re in and which ISP you’re using.

Look up HTTP-REFER and WHOIS on Google to see what I mean.

Still not convinced?
Then how about taking note of how many different ads you see on Facebook?
You really believe that they could maintain the whole infrastructure at Facebook which run several servers with several I.P.s not to mention all the code that needs to be written and updated when a supposed “leak” occurs?

Infact Facebook is not alone, and many “hacker” sites are actually set up by agencies with 3 letter abreviations.
Why?
Simple, know your “enemy” and which better way then to pose as one of them, e-infiltration if you will.

Paranoia? Maybe!

blackcat says:

Facebook Won't Delete Fake Profiles Even When They Know It's Fake

Facebook picks and chooses who they delete with no logic to why they refuse to delete ALL fake accounts. Wrestler Bret Hart on his official site on the questions page says he’s not on Facebook. Facebook was given a link to that page yet they have not deleted all the fake Bret Harts. The real Lindsay Lohan is on Facebook. Her account was deleted. After she gave them proof it’s really her she’s back on but Facebook has refused to delete all the fake Lindsay Lohans though in their terms Facebook lies-YES FACEBOOK LIES TO ITS MEMBERS FAKE PROFILES WILL BE DELETED! Since they know all the Bret Hart’s are fake and which Lindsay Lohan’s are fakes there’s no excuse to allow the fakes to stay. I can see Facebook eventually going the way of Friendster and nearly being extinct if they don’t get off their ass and do something about the posers(fakes).

blackcat says:

Facebook Won't Delete Fake Profiles Even When They Know It's Fake

Facebook picks and chooses who they delete with no logic to why they refuse to delete ALL fake accounts. Wrestler Bret Hart on his official site on the questions page says he’s not on Facebook. Facebook was given a link to that page yet they have not deleted all the fake Bret Harts. The real Lindsay Lohan is on Facebook. Her account was deleted. After she gave them proof it’s really her she’s back on but Facebook has refused to delete all the fake Lindsay Lohans though in their terms Facebook lies-YES FACEBOOK LIES TO ITS MEMBERS FAKE PROFILES WILL BE DELETED! Since they know all the Bret Hart’s are fake and which Lindsay Lohan’s are fakes there’s no excuse to allow the fakes to stay. I can see Facebook eventually going the way of Friendster and nearly being extinct if they don’t get off their ass and do something about the posers(fakes).

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