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Wednesday, July 07, 2010


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Bill G


Terrific research. Thanks for the effort.

It's seems like the only short term workaround would be to keep two different browsers running (IE | Safari | Firefox | Chrome) and keep Facebook quarantined in one and do all your other surfing in the other.




That's how I have used FB. I visit FB using MSIE and go everywhere else in Firefox. This approach won't prevent others from seeing your FB Likes and FB status messages in social plugins around the web. There's no opting out of that.


c. m. cato-louis

Excellent Job, George!
I have had similar Q's, but no time to research.
Thanks for keeping us informed & up-to-date!
PS: what happens if I share/sign in on FB from this site?!?!


It's an IFRAME. The provider (Boston Globe in this case) cannot see the content. The content comes directly from Facebook to your browser; they just put markup in the page to designate a rectangular area as a Facebook area with a backing URL that resides on Facebook. It doesn't expose anything to anyone that can't already see it on Facebook.


Antibozo: thanks for the comment. I do realize it is an iFrame. That misses the point. It is not about the technology. It is about the fact that many consumers want notification and control... and they feel they are getting neither with Facebook (and other companies).

And, the average user should not have to be a web developer to understand things.



I disagree with your point of view. Average users should have Facebook in their face everywhere possible in order to hammer home the fact that when they share things on Facebook they are exposing the information. If it falsely appears to users that they're also sharing info with the Boston Globe, that's all the better. It helps to dispel the apparently widespread myth that sharing things on Facebook is somehow compatible with any form of privacy.


Nice post, George! Even though I knew about this issue it's nice to read all the research you've done.
Apart from the privacy issue, i'm not sure what value this is adding on Boston.com's site because the way I see it when I visit FB I get to see what you've shared with your friends, so then the same info being displayed on Boston.com is plain redundant and an annoying waste of real estate. Just my 2 cents.



One one thing we seem to agree on: the sooner all Facebook members realize that they have no privacy with Facebook, the better off they will be -- and can adjust their behaviors on Facebook accordingly.

About iFrames: in my experience, consumers don't buy technology. They buy benefits. Some will like the benefits they believe social plugins may provide (with their Facebook posts published all over the web). Some won't like it and will see more disadvantages than advantages.

We shall see which view dominates among Facebook members as they begin to realize what social plugins are. Using my group of friends (some of whom have replied to me privately via email), most don't know what social plugins are, are discovering its privacy implications, and are deciding whether it has any benefits.

Hopefully, more readers will share their opinions below.



Just experienced a social plug-in.

I signed a petition about the Gulf oil spill. A pop-up appeared with an offer to say "join me in signing this petition." It included my FB photo! My FB profile has a different last name and email address than I use for public, political and professional venues.

I wrote to the petition distributor and told them what happened. I told them that I found this to be so violating that I would unsubscribe, remove their cookies and let everyone I could know what happened.

Facebook is out of control and this is more than unacceptable.


Huffington Post has had this same social plug in for months now. It shows me what articles my friends have read and vice versa.

My motto is, don't do or say anything in social media that you don't want shared. If you want to share info privately with your friends and collegues, do it the old fashioned way by sending an email or god forbid, snail mail.


Check out http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150210521510484


Thanks for sharing the link. Perhaps you work for Facebook, or maybe you don't. A couple points:

1) Users have no control over what gets displayed via social plugins in these sites. FB **says** consumers have control but it is all or nothing. Either you share it or you don't.

2) There is no guarantee or filtering that the FB posts by your friends will be relevant to the pages viewed at the site. That's why I used the Boston Globe example above. There is such a wide variety of content at the Globe site, that the few FB posts that the social plugin displays are bound to be IRrelevant.

3) I am not so vain that my FB posts need to be displayed in social plugins on thousands of sites. If my friends want to find me, they easily can on FB. If they have a question about a site, they'll ask me directly, and don't need a FB social plugin as a go-between.

Frankly, this FB feature and the video are a load of bulls---. I want much more and more finer control than the crumbs of control FB provides. That's why I am reducing the amount of content I share via FB. Once, a solid alternative launches, I'm switching.


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