Facebook Prank Lands Man in Prison

February 7, 2008

Concerned that your fake Facebook profile got deleted? At least you did not end up in prison. As reported by CNN:

Moroccan authorities arrested an engineer Wednesday for allegedly stealing the identity of the king’s younger brother on the social networking Web site, Facebook, the state news agency said. Fouad Mourtada, 26, was arrested in Casablanca for “villainous practices” in connection with the theft of Prince Moulay Rachid’s identity, Maghreb Arabe Presse reported.

It’s a great day to be in America today.

Update: a website has been set up to campaign for Fouad Mourtada’s release.


Facebook Terms of Service Do Not Apply to All

October 31, 2007

Facebook Terms of Service specifically state that no user may “impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity”. Regular readers should know this blog is already familiar with this policy (see here, here, or here).

Well, it appears certain people are above the law. Sean Parker is an early employee and a major shareholder. He is also a member of numerous networks:

It appears he graduated from Columbia, Sarah Lawrence, Pepperdine, USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, New York University, and Stanford. All in 2002. He is also in four regional networks while regular users are limited to one.

Via Valleywag.

Facebook Employees Check Which Profiles You View

October 28, 2007

Over a year ago, a piece of source code was leaked revealing that Facebook is tracking who views any profile. The information was posted on someone’s personal website, so its credibility was questionable.

Now there are additional reports that this really is the case. Valleywag reports:

Turns out Facebook employees can (and do) check out anyone’s profile. Not only that, but they also see which profiles a user has viewed — a major privacy violation. If you’ve been obsessed with a workmate or classmate, Facebook employees know. If Barack Obama’s intern has been using the campaign account to troll for hotties, Facebook employees know. Within the company, it’s considered a job perk, and employees check this data for fun.

It is not especially surprising that employees of a company have access to the data stored by that company. More shocking is that the profiles views are secretly monitored and the records are easily accessible by anyone at Facebook.

Facebook Used by College Admissions Offices

September 10, 2007

Companies have been using Facebook when making hiring decisions. As Facebook spreads beyond just college students, so are its uses.

The Brown Daily Herald reports:

“We don’t use Facebook unless someone says there’s something we should look at,” said Dean of Admission James Miller ’73. But Miller conceded that admission officers take outside tips seriously. “Anything we get, we follow up on,” he said. Associate Director of College Admission Elisha Anderson ’98 agreed with Miller. There is a “limit to what we can appropriately judge people on,” he said, but added, “You have to remember (Facebook) is a public place.” He said there was “maybe one case” in which Facebook yielded information that affected an admission decision.

It should be noted, though, that certain applicants are actually trying to show off their profiles:

Sometimes admission officers receive friend requests on Facebook from applicants, Anderson said, noting that accepting the requests “would appear weird.”

Sending those requests in the first place is probably more weird.

Losing Facebook Is Worse Than Losing a Job

March 10, 2007

Charlie, a Goldman Sachs trader in London, was sent a warning by his employer for spending over 500 hours on Facebook over the course of six months:

It has come to our attention that you have been spending a considerable amount of time on a website known as ‘The Facebook’. This is unacceptable since firm regulations do not permit usage of social networking sites. Moreover, your combined total usage time over the past six months has now exceeded 500 hours (the equivalent of over four hours daily), which we feel would normally be sufficiently high to render us duty-bound to inform your manager. As a gesture of goodwill, we will not forward this email on this time, but would ask that you stop utilising this site, and in addition would advise you that this is your final warning and subsequent offences will be treated with more severity and through the appropriate official channels.

So what does he do? He posts it on his Facebook profile. Screenshot:

The fascinating part is his reaction:

It’s a measure of how warped I’ve become that, not only am I surprisingly proud of this, but in addition, the first thing I did was to post it here, and that losing my job worries me far less than losing facebook ever could.

Via TechCrunch.

First Facebook Spam Received

January 6, 2007

This is far from newsworthy, but it marks a new era in the evolution of Facebook. A week ago, I received my first spam message within Facebook. It came from “Luaz Vieria (no network)” and this is a small section of it:

Before I go further, I will like to give you a brief profile
about myself..Mr Luíz Gonzaga Vieira by name 35 years of age,
English,french man married with 3 kids. Due to the nature of my work, I
travel a lot. But my Family resides in Paris, France. I just resigned my
job as a Research Analyst for CIRAD (Agricultural Research and
Development Institute based in France ) but I still work as a freelance
consultant for the institute which gives me very much time to do my own work
which is basically being a freelance researcher who could be employed by
research institutes to do research projects anywhere in the world.
Presently, I have just been granted a funding to head a
research project in the Cocoa Rich regions of West Africa regarding the
growing and handling of cocoa for the benefit of the cocoa community as a
whole – investors , the growers, traders, users and consumers. This
research program will be funded and sponsored by some of my American
counterparts interested in Investing in the Production and Trade. But the only
set back is that the American counterparts want to make payments for
the research informs of US money orders/ cashier’s check only. And its a
known fact that money in such forms cant be cashed outside the US.
Getting an accountant in the states or opening an account would have been
my best choice but I have a deadline to meet and taking any of those
choices would cost me time and a whole lot of other requirements, which I
am not ready to deal with. There is where is need your assistant and

When Facebook began allowing anyone to register, the move was widely criticized in part because it would lead to various abuses of the system. Perhaps the predictions were correct.

Facebook Has a Post Limit

October 16, 2006

I received an interesting email back in August:

My name is A*** M***, my account was recently disabled by facebook. I felt alone in my situation until I found people in the same boat as me, thanks to your interesting facebook blog. I was disabled because I have lively discussions on the largest facebook group ever’s wall. Before I came it was not a very nice place, however as a bunch of regulars will note, (regular meaning on atleast 4 hours a day), I changed the discussion to postive. Quickly, I began getting warnings I was reaching the post limit, not realized I had 3 strikes and your out. So, I got the warning, went to bed, and the in the morning I had been given another strike for some reason, a red message appered saying that my account was in jeporday of being deleted. So I made, a joke with my sense humor, and my skills of turning the wall around, and i made a group and invited the wonderful friends I had made on largest group ever to join! But, BAM with in 5 seconds of making it, I was disabled. I’m impulsive when I get pissed off, (thanks to my adhd)..and so i wrote really sketchy/weird and angry emails probably not the best idea.

So yeah, that’s how I got disabled. 12 hours still nothing from facebook.
I tried to explain them how important it was to me, since I am not intellectually simulated in my school, and how meeting other smart colege students was imporant to me. But it probably didn’t come out that way, in fact right now..facebook is probably reading my emails and laughing.

Well, sorry for bothering you with my story,
but your blog was very interesting, and gave me hope
that maybe my account will come back.

It seems Facebook has limits for how many posts one can submit. Seems a little odd for a social networking website to create activity limits, but Facebook is known for its surprises.