May 14 2010

Will the insults never cease?


So, got a little email from “The Facebook Team”, saying that a facebook friend suggested I would like a page called “Is this Real!?!” They named the friend, by first and last name (I won’t name him myself – let’s call him BL), so I figured, might be legit…

When I got to the page [I forgot to include the fact that I had to log into Facebook and that it was a Facebook page], it told me “I’m about to show you the craziest thing! Is it real? Decide for yourself…. to see what I’m talking about, click the code in the following box copy and paste it into your browser’s URL box and hit enter…”

And I’m already getting suspicious, because if they have something to show me, why isn’t it on the page? Plus: the quoted comments by other viewers have that whiff of insincerity, the way a moderately skilled ad-writer sounds when faking the enthusiasm of several ostensibly different persons. Also: the one photo displayed, of a previous “crazy thing” example, was a cross between a pig and a human being… And although I don’t know BL so well as to entirely rule out the possibility that he might have a weakness for National Enquirer-style sensationalist photojournalism, it strikes me as unlikely that a man of his intelligence, wit, breadth of knowledge and social responsibility would wish to share faked pictures of pig-babies with me.

But here’s the kicker: Above the box it said: “Note: please be patient, it might take a few moments if you have a lot of friends.”

Wait, what?

If I have a lot of friends? How could my number of friends affect the loading time of a web page? And remember, we are inside Facebook at this point…

Well, there you are, you see. That’s not a web page URL they want you to copy and paste. It’s a Java script. And although I do not know enough about Java to be able to tell what a script is going to do just by looking at it, I can’t help but notice that it does refer to a “SocialGraphManager”.

Yep. They’re just trying to capture my Friends list. Which probably already happened to some friend of BL. And they’re using BL’s friends list to try get access to his friends, all the way down the line.

I have no curiosity about what photo they would show me, should I foolishly decide to actually put that script into my browser. Probably involves extremely large breasts.

All this thanks to Facebook sharing your personal connections with the whole world — unless you search out and click on that “Do Not Abuse Me and My Friends” box.

End of rant.