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Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...

George Papavgeris 20 Sep 10 - 08:31 AM
Mo the caller 20 Sep 10 - 08:37 AM
Rob Naylor 20 Sep 10 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,Joe G 20 Sep 10 - 08:43 AM
DebC 20 Sep 10 - 08:47 AM
George Papavgeris 20 Sep 10 - 08:48 AM
George Papavgeris 20 Sep 10 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,The Villan 20 Sep 10 - 08:59 AM
Banjiman 20 Sep 10 - 09:17 AM
Banjiman 20 Sep 10 - 09:18 AM
Leadfingers 20 Sep 10 - 09:35 AM
George Papavgeris 20 Sep 10 - 10:22 AM
Jeri 20 Sep 10 - 10:44 AM
Maryrrf 20 Sep 10 - 11:05 AM
Tangledwood 20 Sep 10 - 06:17 PM
JennieG 20 Sep 10 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,David E. 20 Sep 10 - 08:14 PM
open mike 21 Sep 10 - 01:11 AM
Acme 21 Sep 10 - 01:17 AM
Gurney 21 Sep 10 - 02:04 AM
Anne Lister 21 Sep 10 - 03:41 AM
C-flat 21 Sep 10 - 04:29 AM
George Papavgeris 21 Sep 10 - 06:21 AM
Ann N 21 Sep 10 - 06:34 AM
buddhuu 21 Sep 10 - 06:50 AM
Bounty Hound 21 Sep 10 - 07:07 AM
Will Fly 21 Sep 10 - 08:30 AM
Ann N 21 Sep 10 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Tomi 21 Sep 10 - 12:00 PM
Herga Kitty 21 Sep 10 - 04:39 PM
Tootler 21 Sep 10 - 04:50 PM
Genie 21 Sep 10 - 04:53 PM
George Papavgeris 21 Sep 10 - 08:43 PM
George Papavgeris 21 Sep 10 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,David E. 22 Sep 10 - 01:05 AM
George Papavgeris 22 Sep 10 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 22 Sep 10 - 04:42 AM
George Papavgeris 22 Sep 10 - 06:08 AM
GUEST,Meggly 22 Sep 10 - 06:34 AM
evansakes 22 Sep 10 - 06:35 AM
Jean(eanjay) 22 Sep 10 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Nicholas Waller 22 Sep 10 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,callingbird 22 Sep 10 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Nicholas Waller 22 Sep 10 - 08:08 AM
Rob Naylor 22 Sep 10 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,David E. 22 Sep 10 - 11:36 AM
PoppaGator 22 Sep 10 - 02:53 PM
Anne Lister 22 Sep 10 - 03:27 PM
Tangledwood 22 Sep 10 - 11:14 PM
C-flat 23 Sep 10 - 03:42 AM
bfdk 23 Sep 10 - 04:16 AM
Rob Naylor 23 Sep 10 - 04:42 AM
C-flat 23 Sep 10 - 05:00 AM
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Subject: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 08:31 AM

Earlier today I was messaged by my daughter-in-law in Australia with a question: "Who is xxxxxxx? He has asked to be my Facebook "friend" and appears to be a "friend" of yours. What should I do?"

All of which raises the question - why should a FB "friend" of mine (a folkie and Mudcatter to boot) be attempting to befriend my son and doughter-in-law (they share the same FB account), whom he has never seen and is unlikely to ever meet, and with whom he has never communicated before? What is the motive here? At its simplest, it is a vain, misguided and childish attempt to boost one's number of virtual "friends" for bragging purposes. Or perhaps it is in order to peddle his art to new markets? If so, it is an abuse of the system and I will be tightening the security settings to avoid that in the future. or is it for more sinister reasons than this?

Whatever the case, such use of contacts is equivalent to getting hold of the address book of a friend and starting to contact all in it. It ranges from illegitimate to weird and all the way to objectionable.

And so this Mudcatter is no longer my Facebook "friend", as he did not behave like one. He is now deleted from my FB contacts list.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Mo the caller
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 08:37 AM

Did you ask him why?


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 08:37 AM

In all the time I've been on FB, I've only had "random" friend requests from 2 people, both of whom seemed to be people who were just spraying requests out willy-nilly they had thousands of "friends".

Other than that, the only people who've asked to "friend" me have been people I've known. Maybe I've just ben lucky?


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 08:43 AM

I must admit I do occasionally send friend requests to folk musicians I don't personally know. I wouldn't send requests to their relatives though! I have actually made some genuine friends that way.

I also receive requests from people I don't know - if I can judge by their interests that they are into folk music then I would generally accept.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: DebC
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 08:47 AM

Hi George,

I must admit, that I use Facebook more for marketing than for personal use, though it's been really great for that as well.

My use priorities over the last couple of years has changed mainly because of the way FB is set up. At some point in the future I will probably try to get my "friends" to move to my professional page and I will keep a personal page for only people I know personally.

I am sure the motive for the person's attempting to "friend" your kids is probably quite innocent, though who am I to know what they are thinking?
"
For myself, I never go trolling for "friends"; they seem to come to me and I accept them as potential listeners to my music. I do ignore friend suggestions and I have had some queries from personal friends about others who *they* don't know asking "Why would this person want to "friend" me if I've never met them?" The "ignore" and "block" functions are extremely useful tools and I use them often.
s
I agree that "trolling" for friends is out of bounds for the reasons you state, George. I have the exact same feelings about musicians or venues putting me on their mailing lists when I did not ask to be there. Especially venues after I have asked about a booking, been told no thanks and I end up on their mailing list.

Your Facebook Friend,
Debra Cowan :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 08:48 AM

There can be no legitimate reason for the request Mo - at best it's a scattergun friend request, without prior permission being asked for, which abuses my trust in displaying my contacts list. In assuming this I am giving the individual the benefit of doubt, and this is why I am not naming their Mudcat persona.

There are additional circumstances which could feed suspicion about the person's motives, but again I have always given him the benefit of doubt in thread discussions. I will continue to do so, but I have now blocked that door for others too - they will not be able to see my contacts list.

In short - I am not messing around with my family's privacy. If I have got hold of the wrong end of the stick, the individual can contact me and explain. It'll have to be very good!


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 08:56 AM

Joe, Debra, my own approach to this function is very similar to yours, both in sending friend requests and in receiving them. For example, In October I am booked to do support for Chris Wood & Andy Cutting, so I sent a friend request to them to say "hi, I'm chuffed to run support for you and see you there". Similarly I get requests from people who see me at gigs, and like Debra, if they look like they are interested in folk anyway, I'll accept them. Weird ones though (and I have had several from white supremacists in the US who for some reason saw Empty Handed as a song that speaks for them (!!!) and from BNP supporters'faked "folkie" accounts) get short shrift.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: GUEST,The Villan
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 08:59 AM

Well George me old mucker, after all the goings on of mudcatters being spoofed by the BNP nutters etc (including me), I stopped and closed all my social networking sites and have never had the desire to use them again.
As I no longer run the venue anymore, I no longer have the need to use them like DebC does.

I agree with you, that if you have to have such accounts, put the very strongest security on.

Tot Ziens
Les


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Banjiman
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 09:17 AM

Hmmm.

Interesting one, I use FB for personal use and to advertise events, but I don't agressively seek "friends". I do sometimes seek "friendship" from people I haven't met in real life (George you're my FB "friend" but I've never met you) but almost always when I know there is a shared musical (or other) interest or a shared "friend", or following interaction on other forums (fora?).

However, these sites are set up to network, so I don't see a problem if users want to scout for "friends", "fans" or whatever. If you don't want to have any contact with that person, just say no!

That's what I do anyway.

Paul

p.s. George, happy to stay as your (FB)friend as well!


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Banjiman
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 09:18 AM

ooh, that sounds wrong. I'd be happy to meet you in "real life" as well George!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 09:35 AM

I have had anumber of 'friend' requests from people I dont know ! IF there is a Mutual friend I ask the mutual who they are ! IF I get a satisfactory reply ( MudCat names are not usually mentioned in F B }
fair enough , but if its someone whos is just going for maximum F B
friends , they can go whistle !!


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 10:22 AM

I am sure we will meet, Paul, looking forward to it!


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 10:44 AM

I've only turned down one friend (Mudcatter) request, because I'd never had any previous private communication with this person, and I couldn't figure out why he wanted to be my friend. Also, it was at the height of the Fakebook goings on.

One person I sent a request to sent me a message along the lines of "Do I know you?" I replied, and we're friends. I suppose it helps if the requester adds a bit of a message.

There's at least one person I sent a friend request to (in May) who has neither confirmed nor denied, so I'm in some weird Facebook limbo (is there an app for that?) where I get her newsfeed, but I'm not her friend. It might be a reasonable way to let others in on your doings without giving their friends access to your friends.

I've friend-requested a couple of performers I don't know that well because I like hearing their news, which sometimes includes new recordings or gig announcements.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Maryrrf
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 11:05 AM

George, what could have happened is that they receieved a "suggestion" and absent-mindedly clicked on it. I wish Facebook would not do this, but they do! It happened to me once that I clicked on a 'friend of a friend' - there were several other 'suggestions' that made sense and this person, whom I didn't know, was among them. I recieved a puzzled message "do I know you?". I explained what had happened and all was well. Maybe it wasn't sinister, just random and somebody getting overwhelmed with all the crap, suggestions, etc. that go along with Facebook. Not to mention that if you aren't careful Facebook will go through your address book and send friend requests to everybody - all it takes is a wrong click.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Tangledwood
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 06:17 PM

George, the fact that your daughter-in-law raised the question with you should be some reassurance. It shows that she has enough security awareness not to accept requests from all and sundry.

In the short time that I've been on facebook I've been surprised at how many people put a lot of their personal details on display, making easy targets for identity fraud I would think.
An example is birthdates - it may be nice to receive birthday greetings from FB friends but ones profile doesn't need to include the year for that to happen.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: JennieG
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 06:29 PM

I'm on fb but rarely ever use it, I forget to check it. My mudcat connection isn't on it either. I have never got into the whole "friends" thing.....my friends' friends' aren't necessarily my friends.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: GUEST,David E.
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 08:14 PM

I received a friend request from Blaze Foley the other evening. I never did meet him and don't expect that I will anytime soon. (I hope.)

David E.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: open mike
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 01:11 AM

well, the wonder of facebook is that you can continue to exists even though you are dead! I have gotten friend requests from people that seem to be "mining" mudcats and adding them as friends...i asked other catters if they knew him. They said "no, but it look like he has a lot of face book friends....so I will accept him as a friend." wierd.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Acme
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 01:17 AM

I've had a few off-the-wall requests, and if I couldn't figure out why they might be making the request, then I ignored them. A couple of them appear to come from folks who simply want to practice writing in English to someone here in the States. I don't usually accept those either, though I understand the interest. It's hard enough remembering who is who since on facebook they don't use Mudcat monikers/. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 02:04 AM

Facebook itself often contacts me trying to stir my interest by suggesting that I should accept my friends 'friends' as mine own.

Nope. Never met 'em, and never likely to. I think FB are trying trying to network the whole world.

Perhaps they think I'm lonely, having so few 'friends,' or perhaps they are just the ultimate social animals.

There was a scam a short time ago, where a popular young person was locked out of her connection and all her friends were sent begging messages purporting to come from her, saying she had been robbed in a foreign country and was stuck without money or passport. The perpetrator also kept blocking her attempts to get in through her real friends accounts.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Anne Lister
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 03:41 AM

George, I don't know if we're on the same wavelength here but I've recently had repeated "friend" requests from someone who is on Mudcat but it's someone I don't know personally and have never had Mudcat exchanges with. I'm a bit bothered by the repeated requests but I'm going to continue to ignore them as it's not someone I particularly feel friendly towards. And I know I could block them or report them to FB, but I'm not sure I feel quite that annoyed. Yet.
I've just had a request from someone in the US whose main interest appears to be God. I have no issue with someone whose religion is their main interest but I do question why they would want to be friends with me, unless they plan to convert me!


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: C-flat
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 04:29 AM

George, I think there's a chance that you may be being a little harsh on your Mudcat ex-friend.
From my limited experience of Facebook (and limited is how I prefer it!) it seems difficult to do anything on that site without alerting everyone you've ever known and all of their distant cousins, whilst, at the same time, automatically generating a request asking them to add you as a friend!!!
True, there's a lot of friend "collectors" on the site, who seem desperate to appear popular, but a lot of those "add me" invites are generated by Facebook in order to propogate their network.

C-flat


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 06:21 AM

With you Anne - my reaction to similar repeated request has been the same as yours, including the hesitation before blocking.

C-flat, I manage to use FB a lot without generating uncontrolled friendship requests, so other can too. I know FB pushes users to invite their friends, introduce them to each other etc, but one does not need to click the button that launches such requests... This includes playing all those damnable "games" and "apps" offered - they all first ask you to make your details accessible and then to invite your friends to play too! So I do not use such apps, I do not play Farmville or Pirates etc, and I confess that I am a little wary of friends who do, as they could inadvertedly infect themselves and others (if they accept invited from a dodgy app - and there are a few about).

Also - my ex-friend withdrew the friendship request to my daughter in law, before she had a chance to delete it, and after I posted this on Mudcat, which sort of confirms my course of action as the right one...

I wish that person well, and have no real reason to ascribe the worst possible motives to him. But he did wrong, and now he knows it. Let's leave it at that and we can still shake hands if ever we meet.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Ann N
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 06:34 AM

Quote: open mike

'well, the wonder of facebook is that you can continue to exists even though you are dead!'

Too true, I tried to close Stuart's FB account when he died and it wasn't possible. Was only able to 'suspend' it, no option on the 'why do wish to leave' for deceased.(I did mention it in the comments box)
Then FB sent an e-mail to the address he'd used encouraging him to re-activate FB to keep in touch with his friends !!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: buddhuu
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 06:50 AM

I have no particular objection to friend requests from people I don't know, especially if we share an interest or have friends in common. It is, potentially, a way of 'meeting' people in the same way as interacting on Mudcat or TheSession or Chiff&fipple.

And just because someone someone sends a friend request doesn't mean that I have to accept it. In fact, I ignore/decline most from people I don't actually know.

There are sinister/irrelevant/nuisance friend requests, but one is free to ignore them, just as one doesn't have to talk to the drunk in the bar who tries to strike up a conversation with anyone who goes near.

Some people just collect Facebook friends. I know people who have 500+ friends from all over the world. Don't see the point myself, but I expect there is nothing more sinister about most of the friend collectors than a bit of shallow competitiveness or insecurity. Certainly some kids seem to compete to get the most friends.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 07:07 AM

Hi George, remember that Facebook regularly prompts you to add friends of friends, so in all probability this is totally innocent, but as someone said earlier, the fact that your daughter in law had the good sense to query it should be a reassurance.

I use facebook as a tool to promote the band, so I do not have a facebook account in my own name, although it is of course not strictly anonymous as there are names, photos etc etc plastered all over, but as a result there are lots of friends who I do not know personally, but have expressed an interest in the band in one way or another. It is also a useful source of contacts, We, for instance, have only exchanged a very few brief words in the real world (At the excellent workshop you ran at Shrewsbury 2009)but because I was able to find you on FB I was able to send you a copy of the review of your last CD in our local folk magazine. Faceboog does have it's uses!

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 08:30 AM

Don't do MySpace. I have an account on Facebook under an alias - and I only have this because friends and colleagues sometimes post info or material on their Facebook pages and you have to be a member to see the stuff. I never contact anyone on Facebook. I don't do the "friends" thing on any of these social networking sites - particularly on YouTube, where I'm bombarded with "friend" requests. So I'm Norman No-Mates everywhere...


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Ann N
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 09:06 AM

Don't have either FB or MySpace, still living in the real world most of the time and either meeting friends face to face or chatting on the phone (do use Skype so I'm not entirely in the stone age :) )


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: GUEST,Tomi
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 12:00 PM

Good thread of answers above; I'll add a couple different ideas. I think it is good to ask the question why, and you should always trust your instincts and ingore or block anyone who acts inappropriately or who you aren't ready or willing to make a connection with. Having said that - there could be a hundred good reasons the person might have reached out, and an equal number of less than interesting ones, and yes, a few sinister...if the person isn't interesting to you, ignore it. Or if you want to know, ask them what their reasons

I've had friend requests from friends of friends just because of a great threaded conversation that sparked a dialogue or showed common interests. Some of those people, for me, have since become good FB friends who enrich my life with their posts, have turned me on to great resources. One in particular, who lives very far away, has become a regular writing partner and an inspiration. I've also had to

FB is evolving, and it's very quirky, and amazing. We are all figuring out how to use it. I say again, it's important to ask these questions, but don't throw out the baby, in the first bath anyway ; ).


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 04:39 PM

George - my recollection is that I asked you about a friend request from someone who was listed as a friend of yours, but whom I'd actually met and didn't think I'd want as a friend, and you'd just been less critical than me about accepting friend requests...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 04:50 PM

I refuse to join facebook. I have occasionally had invites from people to join and in some cases these came from people I know and trust, but I don't trust facebook, so I haven't joined.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister
From: Genie
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 04:53 PM

@ Tangledwood, Good point about not putting much personal data on FB, e.g., phone #, DOB, where you went to H S etc.    Even if you don't include the year, if you give your real name and birthday, it'd be pretty easy to track you unless you have a very common name.   I have very little such identifying info on my FB page (and even my home city is mis-identified), so I don't worry much about people using FB for ulterior purposes.

@ tomi, Yes, there can be various reasons for wanting to "friend" a "friend" of one of your FB friends - e.g., to be able to participate in "conversations" that your "friends" post on their "wall" by way of their "friends'" pages. As buddhuu points out, suggesting a FB "friend" to one of your friends is the virtual counterpart of introducing one RL ("real life") friend to another who has common interests, skills, etc.

Some of the most interesting and/or useful links and information I've gotten on FB has been from "friends" whom I've never met personally and probably never will.

But it's easy to ignore a "friend" request or to send a PM to someone who wants to "friend" you, asking for more info before you decide whether to accept or request.

That said, FB does seem to generate a lot of its own "friend suggestions" and I usually ignore them if it seems like they're only there because we have at least one FB "friend" in common.

Oh, and, C-flat, I agree about cutting folks a bit of slack on FB. I've even had another Mudcatter FB friend PM me to ask why I had "suggested" to them that they "friend" someone I didn't even know (virtually or otherwise).   I suspected the FB elves themselves, but at any rate, that suggestion didn't come from me.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 08:43 PM

You're right Kitty, I had been less critical in the past. I guess I "toughened up" a bit since then because of experiences like the one you mention...


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 09:38 PM

Oh, bother, Kitty, you got me thinking now...am I hypocritical for having changed my views over time on accepting friend requests? My first reaction is to say that I am not hypocritical, just more wary (world-weary?). But one thing is certain: If I was using my friends' contacts to issue friend invitations in order to expand my circle, I would stop at someone with the same surname as my friend, whom I did not know. Logic says that such a person would be a relative of my friend, who may, or may not, be interested in folk, but I would not want to "intrude" on a family relationship.

But I may have fallen foul of assuming that my friends would have exactly the same attitudes and reactions to such things as myself. That is of course unrealistic and unfair of me, not to mention patronising - people are people and long live the difference etc.
And needless to say, an FB friend is not the same as a real-life one and ascribing similar qualities to both can lead to weird and silly paths.

Ah, the weirdness of electronic relationships...


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: GUEST,David E.
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 01:05 AM

Well George, if nothing else, it's all good fodder for a topical song.

David E.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 04:30 AM

It's been written by Kate Miller-Heidke, David, see here.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 04:42 AM

Difficult one. A while ago my daughter was asked to be 'friends' by a middle-aged guy her mother and I both know. I didn't think it was appropriate and we blocked it.

Similarly, I was Chairman of our local branch of Comhaltas and I've had requests from some of the kids in the branch which I've ignored simply because I don't think it's appropriate for middle-aged men to have internet 'Friendships' with young kids. I've explained that to their parents and told them I'm not snubbing their kids and they're cool with it.

I have struck up friendships with musicians I've been a fan of and is some cases we've become quite pally. In other cases we haven't so I've kind of let it slide with those and not bothered them any more. I think if you enter that sort of arena you are, to some extent, compromising your own privacy and you have to accept that if you're going to play the game.

Where kids are concerned, though, it's another ball game entirely. If an adult (especially one whom your child doesn't regulary see) tries to contact your child then in my view, that's when the alarm bells ring.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 06:08 AM

I had a dicey one like that last year, Chris. A 14-year old girl (let's call her Mary) asked to be my "friend", and did so attaching a message that explained - her granddad had brought her and her (even younger) brother Mike toone of my gigs, and they loved the music and Mike was now learning the guitar and trying to play my "Empty Handed". All well and good, but when she asked if I could email her an attachment with the lyrics and chords I checked myself. In the end, I asked her to give me her granddad's email; I contacted him to explain, and sent him the stuff.

"Mary" and "Mike" are now my youngest "FB friends". Mike occasionally comments on my profile, but we leave it at that. One has to tread very carefully in such cases...


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: GUEST,Meggly
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 06:34 AM

George, your caution in correspondence with minors over the internet is proabably understandable in this day and age, but it is such a shame that even though she was approaching you, not the other way round, you felt unable to send her what she was asking for.

We're giving kids, and even adults it seems, the message that all contact with adults that you don't know is sinister and should be avoided at all cost when the evidence actually points to most abuse being carried out by relatives or other family aquaintances. I agree that parents need to teach their children to be wary of contact made over the internet, but surely in realation to when the contacts want to further their relationship by meeting. It's a tricky one, but a shame none the less.

Also with reference to your original problem. I got what I thought was a FB friend request from someone I'd sort of met once or twice. I thought about it for a while because I was surprised that he remembered me. It was only when I was nearly about to click on the 'Accept' button that I realised that it was just a recommended friend, i.e. one that had just been randomly recommended by FB because we had a mutual friend.

I'm just saying that what FB is doing is not always obvious; if I'd clicked on the button it would have sent a friend request to this chap who would then have thought 'I wonder who this is why is she sending me a friend request?'.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: evansakes
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 06:35 AM

I have a Facebook account which I primarily use as a tool to promote TwickFolk. It seems as if MySpace is pretty much dead in the water these days as a marketing tool (for venues and clubs anyway).

What annoys me with friend requests from total strangers is that in most cases you don't get a chance to check their suitability or find out more about them because you can't see their profile without acc3epting their request.

Is there any way around this? Or is there a way of leaving an automatic response asking them to explain how they know you or why they want to befriend you? (like an 'out of office' reply on email)


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 06:57 AM

You can set who can look you up and who can send you friend requests but it is still limited.

go to account top right
select privacy settings
under the basic directory information at the top click the link to view settings

It is in there that you can choose who can search for you, send you friend requests, messages etc. It is somewhat limited but better than nothing at all.

You can reply to a friend request without accepting or ignoring to find out exactly who the person is; you can send them a message.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: GUEST,Nicholas Waller
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 07:21 AM

@ Chris & George - Not being a musician, I don't have unknown 14-yos contacting me on FB (and I don't go round contacting them myself). But I do have youngster "friends" on FB, in all cases children of real-world friends, but they all had to ask me (prompted, presumably, by seeing me on their parents' own friends lists); and though I accept them if they ask, I never approach them. (They're all, as it happens, kids of people I know from living in France, where the social life is more outdoors and multi-generationally inclusive than in the UK.)

This rule of mine also applies to people who are now adults (including my niece) but who first met me in real life as kids dragged along by their parents. If I first happened to meet someone as a 9-yo kid or, in the case of my niece, a baby, even if they are now in their 20s that early contact was not their choice or idea, and so I just leave it to them to friend me if they want to.

There are occasions when FB suggests I friend someone who has 14 friends in common; if I only vaguely recognise the name I don't bother, but I can see how one could be absent-mindedly prompted to make a friend request to someone you actually don't know.

I also generally don't accept even direct friend requests from people I know who haven't posted a picture, though I do if the picture is of a hat or their dog or something. I'm not sure why I make the distinction... maybe I think blank, default silhouetted head requests are by some bot or chancer?

If I do send a friend request I always include a personal message.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: GUEST,callingbird
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 07:34 AM

'an FB friend is not the same as a real life one'

Spot on--so why do you need them at all?

Why not just keep in touch with 'real' friends via email and telephone calls? I think FB is a dangerous medium. People reveal far too much about themselves and family mostly to people who don't REALLY care and whom they don't REALLY know.

Anyway George, you are far too lovely to hide behind a screen.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: GUEST,Nicholas Waller
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 08:08 AM

@ callingbird - "Why not just keep in touch with 'real' friends via email and telephone calls?"

I think Facebook is useful in its own right... you don't need to put much personal info down if you don't want to, or play any of the games (I don't). But I find it a useful bit-bucket to keep people in, especially those from the past; and email addresses, like real addresses, are often changing.

A pair of brother FB-friends lives on the other side of the world and I haven't seen them in 40 years, since we were neighbours in Beirut as kids*; we don't have the time or inclination to do a series of emails (apart from a flurry of messages when we re-established contact) but it is still good to know see what they up to, see pics of the family and in one case, see pics of a return visit to Beirut one of them made in 2008.

A former friend and colleague in England lives in the US, has 200+ "friends" and a new baby and is about to move into a new house; I haven't seen him in 15-20 years and it is interesting to know these things without forcing him to email 200+ people at this busy time on top of the genuinely close to him he must be phoning anyway.

But if I was in Indianapolis or New York or all those three people were over here, we could easily make contact and arrangements to meet through FB without a lot of hassle.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 08:37 AM

'an FB friend is not the same as a real life one'

Spot on--so why do you need them at all?


I disagree. I know personally almost all my FB friends. There are a couple that I haven't met (yet), but whom I've "known" on various internet forums for a considerable time, so accepted friend requests from them.

For me, without the internet, my social life would be much more impoverished, certainly much more local, than it is. FB is just a continuation of the methods I use to stay in touch with many people I have contact with mainly over the internet and to a greater or lesser extent in real life.

The first time I met someone in real life who I'd first corresponded with over the net was in 1991...an American lady I corresponded with through Compuserve Forums. We met in he UK in a very public place and we're still friends. Since then I've met IRL literally hundreds of people who I first encountered on-line, and many have become firm friends. In the next month I'll be ging to a house-party in Derbyshire, a climbing meet in Elterwater, a drinks meet in Huddersfield and a walking break in Wales, all with people I first met on-line who have now become real-life friends.

In the last 2 years I've been to 4 gatherings each of 50 plus people who first "knew" each other through on-line forums for people with shared interests. Several have become friends who I visit when I'm in another part of the country, or who visit me when they're nearby

Since joining Mudcat I've met maybe 10-12 'catters in the flesh, at events that I mainly wouldn't have known about if I hadn't been on the forum here. One or two may become real friends in time.

Much of this social life is now arranged via FB. Far from things like FB turning me into a reclusive nerd who only communicates virtually, they've enriched my life immeasurably. I now go to far more climbing, walking, music, running and general "fitness" events around the country (and have places to stay near them) than I'd have been able to if I hadn't developed this extensive network of virtual friends who've morphed ito real ones. I can post on one (non-running) Forum that I'll be attending, say, the Reading Half Marathon and immediately get "me too" posts from maybe 10 others who are up for a pre-race meet, mutual support during the run and a drink and natter afterwards. I'll have met maybe 6 or 7 before but there'll be new faces too....known to one of the others who I *do* know.

I'm reasonably careful with security, I think, and not all the personal info I post on some forums in necessarily 100% accurate, but in 20 years of using internet forums, newsgroups and bulletin boards I've never had a problem. And I can count on the fingers of one hand the people I've "liked" on-line who I subsequently didn't like after meeting them IRL.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: GUEST,David E.
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 11:36 AM

"It's been written by Kate Miller-Heidke..."

Thanks for the link George. Yeah, I think it would be difficult to compete with that. Just goes to show that people who date songwriters always need to be on their best behavior.

David E.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 02:53 PM

I was surprised to read of George's reluctance to have any fb-friend-type contact with younger people. Maybe I'm just not as paranoid as I should be, but MOST of my facebook friends are contemporaries of my kids.

Now, I'm in my 60s and these "youngsters" are late-20s-early-30s types, so there isn't much danger of anyone being accused of pedophilia ~ which is, I suppose, the basis for so much cyber-caution. (Second only to fear of identity theft, of course.)

I occasionally find that I have a "friend" whom I don't remember either requesting or accepting. In each such case, however, there has always proved to be some mutual interest and/or mutual friend to explain the connection. Perhaps the only real problem is with my memory...


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Anne Lister
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 03:27 PM

I'm puzzled by the various contributors to this thread who seem to think that FB is somehow instead of phone calls and meetings. It isn't, for me. It's as well as. And it's far easier to keep my friends in touch with what's happening for me through FB than making loads of phone calls - far less disruptive to their lives, too, as they can choose to read the short updates or not and whether to respond or not. I still have a real social life and FB adds to this, rather than detracts from or replaces it.
Through FB I have been able to follow my nephew's year abroad (sometimes in rather too much detail, perhaps, but it's nearly always entertaining) and re-made contact with friends I had otherwise almost lost touch with.
What's not to like? Yes, you need to be adult about security issues and which apps to follow or not, but otherwise it's all good fun. I'm even able to play games of Scrabble with some fellow performers who I would otherwise only see in the occasiona festival green room.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Tangledwood
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 11:14 PM

Sadly, we do have to be careful with contact with youngsters but I wonder how real the FB risk is? FB has security settings controlling what contact information is visible in the way of emails, phone numbers etc. If these settings are appropriately strong the only contacts possible would be public to all registered friends. Anything inappropriate should send alarm bells.


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: C-flat
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 03:42 AM

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I use FB very rarely although I can see how it could be a useful network to some.
Having added my friends and family I then became privvy to the constant "chatter" between my 13 year-old daughter, her cousins and their friends. All too young to be part of my "network" and mostly always talking the same inane drivel that we must have done at their age (although I can't remember being so banal, haha).
I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as though eavesdropping, and decided to un-invite myself from these exchanges.
As a parent it's a great temptation to go prying, especially when teenagers can be so uncommunicative, but I decided that I prefer not to know, or at least not to find out by snooping.
What was clear was that these kids seem unaware, or have forgotten who is on their network and who is, potentially, looking.
What was also clear was that, if I was so minded, I could trawl through the contents, photos and conversations of people with the most remote connection to me (friends of friends etc) which seems entirely wrong and inappropriate.
Yes, there are the options in your settings to limit access to friends only, but, given the culture of friend-collecting and the percieved kudos of having hundreds of names on your pages that exists on FB, security seems to be furthest from their minds.
It feels that we've probably gone a little too far down the road to turn back, but I'm left feeling uncomfortable by the sudden rush to on-line social networking.
Admittedly, we've been doing a similar thing here on Mudcat for years, but, in the main, contributors are of mature age, considered in their postings and at no time do we send or receive invites to each other or share personal information unless we really choose to.
Maybe I'm just feeling my age......


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: bfdk
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 04:16 AM

I came across this piece of news yesterday, and I must admit I find it rather sinister, having always been very private about whom I share what information with.

In combination with the other new feature, where you can no longer block, but merely 'postpone', accepting a friend's request, I see loads of possibilities for various kinds of abuse. The Danish article where I first found the information states that the features haven't as yet been introduced here, but are expected to be in the near future. It should, however, be up and running in the USA already.

Does anybody have any experience with these new features? I'm of a mind to close my account completely, if I can no longer control who has access to my information.

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 04:42 AM

C-Flat: I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as though eavesdropping, and decided to un-invite myself from these exchanges.
As a parent it's a great temptation to go prying, especially when teenagers can be so uncommunicative, but I decided that I prefer not to know, or at least not to find out by snooping.


I'm "friended" with one of my daughters, but not with my son (who doesn't use FB) or my other daughter (who uses it but prefers not to have me as a "friend". However, the daughter I'm friends with has set her security levels with me so that I can only see wall posts between her and me, and the explicit and foul-mouthed banter she has with other 18-21 year olds is invisible to me. Except that one of her friends who also friended me initially didnt set her settings to match, so I got a few rounds of some stuff I'd rather not have read until she got her security sorted out :-)

I have no problem with having relative youngsters as friends. Most of my climbing partners are in their late 20s and 30s, and some of the people I enjoy interacting with on the local music scene are in the 18-21 bracket. I'd draw the line at friending under 16s who are not relatives. I don't have ANY work colleagues as friends, though several former colleagues are...I socialise to a very limited extent with work colleagues. I've seen too many near contemporaries who bound up their social lives with work colleagues and were absolutely bereft when they retired!


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Subject: RE: Tech: When FB friend reqs become sinister...
From: C-flat
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 05:00 AM

Rob,
That's a useful tip. Thanks.
I'm not too familiar with the security-settings options but I'm sure I can ask my daughter to investigate.
C-flat


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