Categories
Funny

Im not sure whats wrong

Spotted on Facebook recently.

Categories
Tech

Just use Signal

Just use Signal, the privacy first messaging system.

What’s in it for Signal? They’re a non-profit. Money isn’t their main goal. Read about their very interesting history on Wikipedia.

(But if they ever break that trust I’m going back to SMS texts!)

Update a few days later: This post was obviously prompted by the move WhatsApp made to change their privacy policy and ultimatum they gave users to “accept it or go away”. They have since announced the changes won’t take effect until May this year.

This Gizmodo post is the best yet at explaining what changes are to come. It’s a long article worth reading but in summary (and I’m open to correction if I get this wrong), your messages to friends and family were never in danger of being revealed to Facebook. Businesses who use WhatsApp have a special way of using the platform (a business API) and they may use an outside agency to help them deal with this messaging. As soon as that happens the outside agency can see the messages back forth between you and the business so the messages could in theory be stored by that agency. Someone else can see those messages then.

What I’m left wondering about is if companies have been doing this for years already why is a change in the privacy policy required now? Is it because a business can manage this messaging through Facebook.com?

I checked and I didn’t opt out of WhatsApp sending “anonymous data” (which is never really anonymous) to Facebook in 2016 for whatever reason. Maybe I didn’t start using WhatsApp until after this date. I wonder if the GDPR stops this data transfer?

Categories
Facebook

I was permanently banned by Facebook

My Facebook account was permanently banned on Wednesday along with all the people who take care of the Cork Skeptics page. We’re still not sure why but it might have something to do with the Facebook algorithm used to detect far-right conspiracy groups.

When your account is disabled you’re given the opportunity to upload some form of ID. That is the price of requesting a review. Unfortunately if you are permanently banned you will only be informed after uploading the photo that permanently banned accounts cannot be unbanned. It’s a particularly evil but clever way for Facebook to gather real world identifiable information about a user who may be desperate to get back into their account.

The good news is that our accounts were restored last night after two days in which we tweeted about it and contacted everyone we knew who might be able to help. Thank you to everyone who RTed, liked or commented on those tweets, or helped in other ways behind the scenes. I really do not know how this decision was reversed so don’t bother asking, sorry. We’re not the only group to be banned in error. It happened to a group of seventeenth century historical re-enactors who were banned but then unbanned.

The first thing I did when I logged in again? I downloaded all my information so if it happens again at least I have a copy of what I posted there. I haven’t come across the photo of my ID in my downloaded information however, though it might be there. I haven’t looked at all of it yet. Thank you GDPR.

If you have a Facebook account you should download your information too because it could happen to you too, even though you did nothing wrong. Go here and click the “Create File” button now.

Yeah, I know you won’t do it but you really should.

People say the age of personal blogging is over because everyone is on social media but I beg to differ. At least I won’t be banned from my own self-hosted blog any time soon.

Inchydonney Beach, December 12th 2020.

Update: All the admin users of Cork Skeptics were once again banned from Facebook on Friday, January 22nd 2021. If you know anyone in Facebook I would appreciate a word with them!

Update: Much later. Our accounts were restored and the Cork Skeptics page was restored but that’s twice now so we have deleted the page to avoid any more problems.

Make sure you do regular backups of your Facebook data!

Categories
WordPress

Integrate Google+ and Facebook Comments in your WordPress blog

screenshot-1

If posts are the life blood of a successful blog, then comments are probably the heart as they encourage the author and provide a discussion mechanism around a story*. The problem is that blogs can be seen as an island in the ocean surrounded by social media continents such as Google Plus and Facebook. The islands may not get much attention.

That’s where the plugin Google+ Comments for WordPress comes in. It’s simple to install and adds a tabbed comment interface at the end of each post where visitors can comment using their identities on their favourite social media site.

I left a Google Plus comment on a previous post and allowed it to be shared on Google Plus. I got a few replies on that post which also appeared on my blogh. I wouldn’t go sharing every comment you make from your blog. Spamming is spamming, whatever way you do it.

* On Youtube of course it’s usually the reverse. Never read the comments on a popular Youtube video. It’ll hurt your brain.

Categories
Ireland

Facebook SMS Spam?

Since early September Facebook has been spamming me by text message. Each message comes from “FACEBOOK”, but I don’t have them in my phone contacts. By ringing them I found out the SMS message came from 32232665, apparently a number they use in many countries. The call never connected so I don’t know if there’s a human at the other end.

The first message read

Over 150 million people have used the Facebook friend finder. Find the people you care about: http://fb.me/….

while the following three messages are like the one pictured above:

There are 9 people you may know on Facebook. Send them friend requests: http://fb.me/…

I was travelling when I received most of the other ones. I’m sure I received at least 1 of them while in Heathrow. I don’t have the Facebook app on my phone, but I had created a test Facebook account. It was many months ago and I had forgotten I added my phone number there to try out their sms integration.

If I had noticed those settings I guessed I wouldn’t be contacted. After all, the account wasn’t under my name and I had used a x+yyyy@gmail.com account to signup so people wouldn’t find it by searching for that my email addresses.

Lastly, any SMS communication to someone in Ireland has to be accompanied by instructions for stopping them. Also go read A Consumer Guide to Dealing with Unsolicited Direct Marketing by the Data Commissioner:

you were given a simple cost-free means of refusing the use of your contact details for direct marketing purposes at the time your details were initially collected, and where you did not initially refuse the use of those details, you are given a similar option at the time of each subsequent communication.

The creepy thing about Facebook is that they have matched that account with my main account. Maybe it’s because I may have logged into it with a browser I used for my main one, or because of the gmail address I used. I get regular emails from them saying, “John, you have more friends on Facebook than you think…” or “Do you know X, Y, Z?” where x, y and z are people on my friend’s list. It’s really, really unsettling, even when I have a notion of how they do it.

So, should I make a complaint to the Irish Data Commissioner? Maybe they can convince Facebook to add STOP instructions to their SMS texts.

Categories
Funny

That “girlfriend gets tattoo of her boyfriend on her arm” guy

If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen me tweet this picture, a Facebook thread made by one Sara Hartley for her boyfriend Austin Knill.

It’s hilarious, it’s cringe worthy. It had all the hallmarks of being a hoax. The first paragraph dragging the reader in with an insane story and positive replies. You just knew it was going to end badly.

Hey baby, I wanted to show you in person, but I’m gonna be in Calgary a little longer than I expected. But anyways, Surprise!!! Thanks again so much for paying for it, the spa was the best valentine’s gift a girl could ask for.

Of course it’s a hoax. But it’s golden viral material. Good job Austin!

But Knill says he is taking some steps to stop the prank going further: “Her account has been deactivated for fear that some of the fake photos could be traced back to real people. Though I was in this to troll, the last thing I want to do is cause people grief for being mistaken as my psychotic ex.” (openfile)

Categories
blogging Ireland

On Tuesday I join the Bebo Generation at BlogTalk

Sigh. The local free newspaper, The Cork Independent, covered BlogTalk 2008 here in Cork and lead with the headline, “Bebo Generation descend on Cork”. Bebo? *mutter* *mutter*

Anyway, I’ll be sitting on a panel titled, From blog-style commentary to conversational social media which pretty much spans the entire blogging and social media experiences. On the panel with me will be Stephanie Booth who I have conversed with a few times on IRC but never met, Bernie Goldbach who I have met a number of times and always has something interesting to say, and finally, Jan Schmidt who I had never heard of but his bio suggests someone who will know a lot about the topic of social media!

How do I feel about the current crop of social media sites? I quit Facebook! Well, no I didn’t, but I will, soon!

Categories
Ireland Web

Facebook advertising on a shoestring

You’ve got an interesting project to advertise but your advertising budget is, nil, nada, nothing. An empty box of air is worth more than you can spend on getting the word out.

That’s sort of what Frank said when he asked me (and I presume a number of his friends, the Facebook email is generic) to help get the word out about the new play in the Granary Theatre, They Never Froze Walt Disney.

I was wondering if you would help me out with an experiment… you may have noticed I am trying to get the word out about ‘They Never Froze Walt Disney’ – and I would love your help!

Would you mind changing your status on Facebook to read:

<your name> is letting people know about They Never Froze Walt Disney. See theatremakers. net for more details!

Always eager to help friends if I can, I updated my Facebook status. Will it help? Does anyone look at my profile? I doubt it, but it can’t hurt.

The latest teaser trailer is really, err, strange. Can’t we see a bit more please? TBH, it looks depressing!

Here’s what Frank said before the original production last year in the summer:

Funny and poignant, dark and yet light hearted, the writing is really tight and the story unfolds beautifully. Also the two performers (Jody O’Neill and John McCarthy) are excellent actors, and though I personally haven’t seen Jack Healy direct before he is extremely well known in the Cork theatre scene, and I have a lot of respect for him from acting with him and attending his workshops.

Check out my photos from one of Frank’s previous shows, The Importance of Being Earnest. We really enjoyed that show, but getting out to the theatre is a little harder to do these days with a small baby around!

They Never Froze Walt Disney
The Granary Theatre, Cork
8th-12th January at 8pm (preview January 7th)
Bookings & Info: 021 490 4275

Categories
Web

We dated on Facebook

The Facebook “Friend Confirmation” page always unsettles me. I have never met some of the people who send me a friend request. Sometimes I don’t recall those I have met or bumped into at a conference. I knew a small minority before the whole “Internet” thing took off. Of the rest, I read their blogs and meet a couple of times during the year.

And Facebook keeps asking if we dated?

We dated on Facebook

How many of your Facebook friends have you gone out drinking with or socialized with or sent baby photos to or talked with about “ordinary things” besides Web 2.0?

Says me who’s getting really bad at keeping in touch with friends ..

Categories
Web

Oh Facebook! I feel so dirty!

I finally joined. I’m always the last one in. I haven’t even got a myspace or a bebo account, but that’s probably a good thing. Apparently Facebook is a popular site. Bah! Where’s my Orkut login?

Anyway, thanks Nicole for the invite!

I’ve been really adventurous today. I also took a peek at Tumblr and set up an account to track Holy Shmoly!, In Photos, del.icio.us, donncha.stumbleupon.com (not sure if that’s working), and it might finally make me use Twitter again as my Twitter account is added too, with friends. (Which leads me to another problem, do I have permission to post twitters from other people there?)

Blame Damien for blogging about it in the first place.