Eikonal Blog


Facebook sinking even deeper

  • “Why I’m quitting Facebook” by Douglas Rushkoff (CNN; 2013.02.25) – http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/25/opinion/rushkoff-why-im-quitting-facebook/index.html?iid=article_sidebar
    • I have always argued for engaging with technology as conscious human beings and dispensing with technologies that take that agency away.

      Facebook is just such a technology. It does things on our behalf when we’re not even there. It actively misrepresents us to our friends, and worse misrepresents those who have befriended us to still others. To enable this dysfunctional situation — I call it “digiphrenia” — would be at the very least hypocritical.

    • Facebook does not exist to help us make friends, but to turn our network of connections, brand preferences and activities over time — our “social graphs” — into money for others.
    • The true end users of Facebook are the marketers who want to reach and influence us. They are Facebook’s paying customers; we are the product. And we are its workers. The countless hours that we — and the young, particularly — spend on our profiles are the unpaid labor on which Facebook justifies its stock valuation.
  • “Facebook Is Recycling Your Likes To Promote Stories You’ve Never Seen To All Your Friends” by Anthony Wing Kosner (Forbes; 2013.01.21) – http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2013/01/21/facebook-is-recycling-your-likes-to-promote-stories-youve-never-seen-to-all-your-friends/
  • “Why are dead people liking stuff on Facebook?” by Bernard Meisler (ReadWrite > Social; 2012.12.11) – http://readwrite.com/2012/12/11/why-are-dead-people-liking-stuff-on-facebook


This is getting tiresome: Facebook never stop monkeying with its users


New Facebook machinations

Filed under: FaceBook, privacy — Tags: , , , — sandokan65 @ 13:12
  • Facebook Privacy section at EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) – http://epic.org/privacy/facebook/
  • “Facebook to alter privacy practices following FTC ruling” by Greg Masters (SC Magazine; 2011.11.29) – http://www.scmagazineus.com/facebook-to-alter-privacy-practices-following-ftc-ruling/article/217775/
    • Users were deceived by Facebook, and now the social media giant is paying the price.
    • “Facebook is obligated to keep the promises about privacy that it makes to its hundreds of millions of users,” Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC, said in a statement. “Facebook’s innovation does not have to come at the expense of consumer privacy.”
    • The FTC charges chronicle a number of misleading or untrue assertions about privacy that Facebook made, but did not keep, including: not warning users when a change to its “Friend List” allowed private information to be exposed; stating that third-party apps would not access personal information beyond what they needed to operate; claiming that the “Verified Apps” program certified the security of participating apps; promising users it would not share personal data with advertisers; and insisting that it complied with the U.S.-European Union Safe Harbor Framework that governs data transfer between the United States and certain European nations.
  • “Facebook Settles FTC Charges That It Deceived Consumers By Failing To Keep Privacy Promises” (FTC; 2011.11.29) – http://ftc.gov/opa/2011/11/privacysettlement.shtm
    • In December 2009, Facebook changed its website so certain information that users may have designated as private – such as their Friends List – was made public. They didn’t warn users that this change was coming, or get their approval in advance.
    • Facebook represented that third-party apps that users’ installed would have access only to user information that they needed to operate. In fact, the apps could access nearly all of users’ personal data – data the apps didn’t need.
    • Facebook told users they could restrict sharing of data to limited audiences – for example with “Friends Only.” In fact, selecting “Friends Only” did not prevent their information from being shared with third-party applications their friends used.
    • Facebook had a “Verified Apps” program & claimed it certified the security of participating apps. It didn’t.
    • Facebook promised users that it would not share their personal information with advertisers. It did.
    • Facebook claimed that when users deactivated or deleted their accounts, their photos and videos would be inaccessible. But Facebook allowed access to the content, even after users had deactivated or deleted their accounts.
    • Facebook claimed that it complied with the U.S.- EU Safe Harbor Framework that governs data transfer between the U.S. and the European Union. It didn’t.
  • “24 year old student lights match: Europe versus Facebook” by Kim Cameron (Identity Weblog; 2011.10.13) – http://www.identityblog.com/?p=1201/li>
  • Europe vs Facebook – http://europe-v-facebook.org/EN/en.html
  • “Facebook Ireland accused of creating ‘shadow profiles’ on users, nonusers” by Laura Locke (CNet; 2011.10.21) – http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-20123919-93/facebook-ireland-accused-of-creating-shadow-profiles-on-users-nonusers/
  • “Facebook Patent to Track Users Even When They are Not Logged In to Facebook” by Bruce Scheier (2011.10.24)- http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/10/facebook_patent.html

Related here: Facebook privacy? What Facebook privacy? – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/facebook-privacy-what-facebook-privacy/ | Facebook foolies – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/facebook-foolies/ | Unending stream of Facebook privacy news – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/unending-stream-of-facebook-privacy-news/ | More Facebook news – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/more-facebook-news/ | Facebook monkeying again with user trust model – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/facebook-monkeying-again-with-user-trust-model/ | Scan for your Facebook privacy – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/i-want-you-to-scan-for-facebook-privacy/ | Facebook leaks users IDs to advertisers – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/facebook-leaks-user-ids-to-advertisers/ | Facebook mulls U-turn on privacy – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/facebook-mulls-u-turn-on-privacy/ | Mark Zuckerberg’s birthday present: Facebook in crisis – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/mark-zuckerbergs-birthday-present-facebook-in-crisis/ | Temptest in a teapot – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/1202/


Facebook foolies

Filed under: business, FaceBook, it, propaganda — Tags: , , — sandokan65 @ 15:46


Dunbar’s numbers

Dunbar numbers for current variant/species of humans:

  • 7 – immediate family
  • 21 – extended family and close friends
  • 35 – community, friend, distant family
  • 60+ – everyone else
  • 150 – the maximal # of people one may know by name (really?)


  • “Human Brain Limits Twitter Friends to 150” (The Physics arXiv Blog; 2011.05.30) – http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/26824/The number of people we can truly be friends with is constant, regardless of social networking services like Twitter, according to a new study of the network.
    • “Validation of Dunbar’s number in Twitter conversations” by Bruno Goncalves, Nicola Perra and Alessandro Vespignani (arXiv.org > physics > arXiv:1105.5170 [physics.soc-ph]; 2011.05.28) – http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.5170
    • Abstract: Modern society’s increasing dependency on online tools for both work and recreation opens up unique opportunities for the study of social interactions. A large survey of online exchanges or conversations on Twitter, collected across six months involving 1.7 million individuals is presented here. We test the theoretical cognitive limit on the number of stable social relationships known as Dunbar’s number. We find that users can entertain a maximum of 100-200 stable relationships in support for Dunbar’s prediction. The “economy of attention” is limited in the online world by cognitive and biological constraints as predicted by Dunbar’s theory. Inspired by this empirical evidence we propose a simple dynamical mechanism, based on finite priority queuing and time resources, that reproduces the observed social behavior.
  • Dunbar’s number (WikiPedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number
  • “OMG: brains can’t handle all our Facebook friends” by Chris Gourlay (The Sunday Times; 2010.01.24) – http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article6999879.ece
    • … “Dunbar developed a theory known as “Dunbar’s number” in the 1990s which claimed that the size of our neocortex — the part of the brain used for conscious thought and language — limits us to managing social circles of around 150 friends, no matter how sociable we are.”
  • Dunbar’s number – (Justified by the Scriptures; 2010.11.04) – http://justifiedbythescriptures.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/dunbars-number/
  • “Social Media and Me – It’s Good to Talk” (Vintage1951 blog; 2010.07.07) – http://vintage1951.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/social-media-and-me-its-good-to-talk-2/
    • “Dunbar’s Number is a well-known concept in anthropology, which states that an individual can only maintain strong stable relationships with around 150 people. The number is held to be a function of the size of the neocortex, a theory tested by comparing the social groupings of other primates. Some people claim that any group loses cohesion and eventually its identity when its size exceeds Dunbar’s number.
  • “The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell – Review” by Phil O’Brien (Personal Network Blog; 2010.07.22) – http://personalnetwork.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/the-tipping-point-malcolm-gladwell-review/
    • “Dunbar’s Number. He explains the principle of humans naturally having a most efficient group size of 150 people. Robin Dunbar (from Oxford University) has done research in to ancient civilisations – and modern business groups … and 150 keeps on recurring.”
  • “150 Connections on LinkedIn – should I retire on Dunbar’s Number?” by Phil O’Brien (Personal Network Blog; 2010.09.10) – http://personalnetwork.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/150-connections-on-linkedin-should-i-retire-on-dunbars-number/
  • “Dunbar’s Number – is it 22,500 in practice?” by Phil O’Brien (Personal Network Blog; 2010.11.01) – http://personalnetwork.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/dunbars-number-is-it-22500-in-practice/
  • “Sorry, Facebook friends: Our brains can’t keep up” by Don Reisinger (Digital Home; 2010.02.28) – http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-10440330-17.html
  • “How Many Friends Are Too Many?” (Healthymemory’s Blog) – http://healthymemory.wordpress.com/2010/11/07/how-many-friends-are-too-many/
  • “Unravelling the size distribution of social groups with information theory on complex networks” by A. Hernando, D. Villuendas, C. Vesperinas, M. Abad, A. Plastino (arXiv; v3 = 2009.09.16) – http://arxiv.org/abs/0905.3704v3
  • “Defying the Dunbar number” by Rajiv Jayaraman (MIS Asia; 2009.02.20) – http://mis-asia.com/opinion__and__blogs/bloggers/defying-the-dunbar-number
    • “There is a need to double the Dunbar number to at least 300 to reflect the realities of the new hyper-connected Web 2.0 world. Will you dig that?
  • “Defying the Dunbar number” (Knolskape; 2009.02.20) – http://www.knolskape.com/blog/2009/02/defying-the-dunbar-number/
  • “Primates on Facebook – Even online, the neocortex is the limit” (the exonomist; 2009.02.26) – http://www.economist.com/node/13176775?story_id=13176775
  • “What is the Monkeysphere?” by David Wong (Cracked.com; 2007.09.30) – http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html
    • “You see, monkey experts performed a monkey study a while back, and discovered that the size of the monkey’s monkey brain determined the size of the monkey groups the monkeys formed. The bigger the brain, the bigger the little societies they built.They cut up so many monkey brains, in fact, that they found they could actually take a brain they had never seen before and from it they could accurately predict what size tribes that species of creature formed.

      Most monkeys operate in troupes of 50 or so. But somebody slipped them a slightly larger brain and they estimated the ideal group or society for this particular animal was about 150.

      That brain, of course, was human. Probably from a homeless man they snatched off the streets.”
  • “The ultimate brain teaser” – http://www.liv.ac.uk/researchintelligence/issue17/brainteaser.html
  • “The Dunbar Number” by Jeff Freeman (2004?.06.28) – http://web.archive.org/web/20051214141613/http://mythical.blogspot.com/2004_06_01_mythical_archive.html
  • “Dunbar, Altruistic Punishment, and Meta-Moderation” by Christopher Allen (Life Without Alacrity; 2005.03.17) – http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/2005/03/dunbar_altruist.html
    • “There I was able to show that even though the Dunbar Number might predict a mean group size of 150 for humans, that in fact for non-survival oriented groups the mean was significantly less, probably between 60 to 90.”
  • “The Dunbar Number as a Limit to Group Sizes” by Christopher Allen (Life Without Alacrity; 2004.03.10) – http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/2004/03/the_dunbar_numb.html
  • “Communities of practice and Dunbar’s number” (Mopsos; 2004.03.12) – http://www.blog.mopsos.com/archives/000075.html
    • “Essentially, as we increase group sizes beyond 80, to 150, 200, or even 350-500, we typically do so by breaking larger groups down into smaller ones, and continually reducing community sizes down to the point where they can be understood and managed by people — and so efficiency reasserts itself.In my experience and vision of communities of practice, I tend to find similar numbers floating around. Typically vibrant communities of practice have around 100 – 150 members. As social structures, they are “onion-shaped”, with layers of membership behaviors.

      At the center, the “core group” of the community of practice is typically composed of 5 to 7 people. These are the guys who are willing to spend some time together, typically 15%-20% of their time (not much more, because they are busy on their projects anyway), reflecting on past experience and planning ahead for the community’s learning activities in a peer mode. Then you have a second layer of 20-30 active contributors, typically those who follow the community ritual: they come regularly at meetings, they often contribute, and they also complain when something goes wrong in the planned schedule. These are the ones, whose attention is grabbed by other topics but have made some time for the community activities in their calendar, typically 2% to 5% of their time. And finally you have the “lurkers”, who actually don’t follow the community ritual, but participate just enough to be aware of what is going on. They also contribute a minima to maintain a feeling of social belonging, typically a few hours twice a year.”

Amygdala connection

The size of person’s amygdala either pre-determines, or is a consequence, (or correlates from some unknown reason), the size of persons social circle.


More Facebook news

Filed under: FaceBook, privacy — Tags: — sandokan65 @ 10:44




Facebook monkeying again with user trust model

Filed under: FaceBook, information disclosure, opression, surveillance — Tags: , — sandokan65 @ 10:30

TechCrunch has an article on the one more underhanded switch that Facebook did to the user trust model: “Facebook Has Quietly Implemented A De-Facto Follow Feature” by MG Siegler (2010.09.20) – http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/20/facebook-not-now-follow/. It is as if the Facebook is run an manned by bunch of evil minds trying to find new ways how to screw users’ trust and shatter any remaining semblance/bit of privacy.
Following two paragraphs are capturing the essence of this new change:

    “You see, when someone requests to be your friend on Facebook, this automatically subscribes them to all of your public (“Everyone”) posts in their News Feed. Facebook doesn’t talk about this much, but it’s a very real feature, which we reported on in July of last year. You see these posts until this person rejects you (because obviously if they accept you as a friend, you’ll keep seeing them). So with this new Not Now button, and the removal of the simple rejection mechanism, Facebook has basically created a de-facto follow feature.

    With the Not Now button, Facebook took what was a one-step rejection and made it at least two steps — and that’s only if you want to truly block somebody (after you click the Not Now button, they ask “Don’t know XXXX XXXX?” and if you click that, it will block them from making any further friend requests). If you just want to deny a person’s request without blocking them, you have to go to the Requests page — the limbo area that Facebook sends the Not Now people to. This area isn’t particularly easy to find; it’s buried in the Friends -> Find Friends area. In other words, it’s now quite a few steps simply to reject a person’s friend request as you previously could.”


I want you to scan for Facebook privacy

Filed under: FaceBook, privacy — Tags: , , — sandokan65 @ 12:12
I want you to scan for Facebook privacy

"I want you to scan for Facebook privacy"


Facebook leaks users IDs to advertisers

Filed under: FaceBook, privacy — Tags: , — sandokan65 @ 00:53

“Facebook, MySpace Confront Privacy Loophole” (WSJ.com, 2010.05.21) – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704513104575256701215465596.html

    Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers’ names and other personal details, despite promises they don’t share such information without consent.

    … Most social networks haven’t bothered to obscure user names or ID numbers from their Web addresses, said Craig Wills, a professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who has studied the issue.

    The sites may have been breaching their own privacy policies as well as industry standards, which say sites shouldn’t share and … See Moreadvertisers shouldn’t collect personally identifiable information without users’ permission. Those policies have been put forward by advertising and Internet companies in arguments against the need for government regulation. …

    … For most social-networking sites, the data identified the profile being viewed but not necessarily the person who clicked on the ad or link. But Facebook went further than other sites, in some cases signaling which user name or ID was clicking on the ad as well as the user name or ID of the page being viewed. By seeing what ads a user clicked on, an advertiser could tell something about a user’s interests. …

    …”If you are looking at your profile page and you click on an ad, you are telling that advertiser who you are,”…


Facebook mulls U-turn on privacy

Filed under: FaceBook, privacy — Tags: , — sandokan65 @ 12:54

“Facebook mulls U-turn on privacy” (BBC News, 2010.05.19) – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10125260.stm


Temptest in a teapot

Filed under: FaceBook, privacy — Tags: , — sandokan65 @ 20:33


Facebook Privacy

Filed under: privacy — Tags: , — sandokan65 @ 14:02

Content of this article is replaced by the newer one “Facebook privacy? What Facebook privacy?” at https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/facebook-privacy-what-facebook-privacy/.

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