Friday, 11 January 2008

Facebook applications' use, abuse

As two friends noted in one day, I do have a lot of shit on my Facebook page; more and more has accumulated as applications have begun to force you to bother twenty friends (by inviting them) in order to use them (and for them, potentially, to abuse you).

In order to know that I had to invite twenty friends in order to use the application, however, I had first to agree to the Facebook platform terms and conditions, where I '[a]llow this application to... [k]now who I am and access my information[; p]ut a box in my profile[; p]lace a link in my left-hand navigation[; p]ublish stories in my Newsfeed and Mini-Feed[; and p]lace a link below the profile picture on any profile'.

In addition, in some, but not all of the applications, you have to agree to their developers' own terms and conditions, again in advance: "what dictator are you?" did not have any of its own, but "who were you in a past life?" did.

"Who were you in a past life?", however, provided a dead link to those unknown terms and conditions, concluding that, '[t]he page you were looking for doesn't exist. You may have mistyped the address or the page may have moved.'

In fact, Google searches for "quizzes hungrysanchez" produced no results. (I did a few searches, set apart in time, just in case there was a problem at some point, but there wasn't, except for the site's non-existence.)

That now galls me almost as much as my original objection, which was the advertising that Facebook presented (but with Facebook - like a parent chastising their child - I'm not angry, I'm disappointed).

In fact, both of the applications that I added, then promptly deleted today carried the same advert: "You are the 999,999th visitor: Congratulations you WON! Your claim #893443 CLICK HERE TO CLAIM."

Now, for a variety of reasons, I would never click on these things anyway, but really, the 999,999th claim has the 893,443rd claim number... twice, on different pages, opened at different times? How shit can you get?

Is Facebook choosing these adverts, or is it running these ads automatically, like Google AdWords runs on blogs? Either way, who are they (directly or indirectly) employing to accept or reject these adverts and how are they choosing which they accept and which they reject? (At some point down the line, someone does choose to accept or reject these.)

I'm still unwilling to follow the link to find out what it goes to and I don't want to criticise its provider unfairly, but it gives every impression of being a scam that should be shut down.

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