back to article Facebook slaps faces on ads

The appearance of Facebook users' photos in ads that crop up on their friends' pages has once again raised questions about the social networking website's privacy policies. Presenting images of a surfer's friends alongside ads makes an online pitch stand out and makes it far more likely that surfers will check out the goods on …


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  1. The First Dave


    "the tactic backfired spectacularly after one Facebook user was confronted by an ad for a dating website ("Hot singles are waiting for you!") that came accompanied by a photo of his missus"

    Is that a subtle way of saying that she is a bit of a minger?

  2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Simplest answer: see Slashdot

    I think this is apt:

  3. Gordon Ross Silver badge

    Am I the last person left..

    ..who hasn't uploaded their private life onto the 'net ? Call me an old fart, but I kinda like having my private life, well, sorta, private !

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    @Gordon Ross

    Me too! Although it means I'll never be as cool as other people my age or those "hip" journalists that write in The Guardian.

    B.B. because talking about Facebook makes me feel like a bit of a Winston.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And that's why

    you don't just accept every application on Facebook on the off chance the lame quiz they're pitching actually keeps you entertained for longer than a minute.

    Am I the only one who sees the "this app will have access to all your personal information" disclaimer and decides whether to add an app accordingly?

    tbh putting your personal information on Facebook is a stupid thing to do in the first place. Unfortunately I have stupid friends and they put my personal information on Facebook, which means I have to have an account just so I can see what other people are doing with my info.

    Social networking? More like Social engineering.

    At the end of the day these sites are manipulating people and need to be outlawed. Or at least heavily restricted. Everyone should have a friend limit of 20. You don't need everyone you've ever met knowing everything you do all the time, you simple minded prick.

  6. Peter Mc Aulay


    FB has been doing this since like forever. Evidently still not everyone has the "advertising = lies" instinctive reflex, even on the internet.

  7. W

    Myriad options. Difficult to stay on top.

    I signed up and thought it a bit dodgy that you could put in your web email address and web email account password and it'd be able to extract all your contacts. Most undesirable. But it was how it got to be so popular so quickly. People just jumped right in and spewed an invite out to their whole address book (and it'd be scary to think how man yfolk have the same password for facebook and web email). Me? I just created a 'standalone' account and then uploaded a carefully edited list of close contacts as a csv file after signing up and having a nosey around.

    I stopped adding folk long ago, but the odd person I know pops up and adds me. If I know them in person and would be willing to sit down for a drink with them, I'll add 'em to a list with restricted viewing rights. 'Friends' total so far: 78.

    I've actively blocked every daft zombie/quiz/etc app that has cropped up lately. Total so far: nigh on 300 applications blocked.

    Beacon is blocked, so no outside sites can look into my profile.

    No credit card added to buy virtual gifts.

    Haven't confirmed gender just because they asked.

    Haven't blindly signed up for a 'custom URL'.

    No linked accounts have been added.

    Not 'activated' my mobile or registered for texts. Or added a mobile app. I just went to m.facebook in my mobile browser under my own steam.

    Public Search listings is turned off

    My 'Wall' is turned off. You want to chat? Send me a message. I'm not one for having my nattering open to all, recorded, and displayed for all and sundry.

    Search within facebook returns resticted info on me.

    Had it set to email me of any activity in relation to me (tagging, poking etc.) though they seem to have given up on that one.

    Can't stop friends tagging me in their own photos (or other people viewing those photos, which is fair enough), but it's set to let me know when it happens, and set not to be browsable by anyone but me. The odd incidental photo as part of a random set is fine, but I want to be the one in control of who's able to specifically browse through a catalogue of my mugshots.


    I've just had a rummage through the privacy settings for any stuff they've decided to add lately...

    A select few apps that I'd messed with and thought I'd uninstalled had not been uninstalled and fully denied access to my profile. Now done, so no API-based non-inbuilt facebook functions at all are installed. Although I'd unchecked all the boxes in the list of stuff to share with apps via 'facebook platform' anyways, I'm now able to select the elusive "Do not share any information about me through the Facebook API" radio button.

    Facebook Connect - hadn't seen that one. Now blocked.

    "Show my social actions in Facebook Ads" (Option hidden behind Adblock Plus!)? Er, no thanks.

    -I suppose you can't claim they don't offer enough options. But it's all getting a bit insidious, tbh. And after blocking out all the advertising crud, what you're left with is a wannabe Address Book / Twitter / Flickr / Youtube combo. But just of your friends' stuff. Which is actually a relatively compelling proposition. Especially seeing as it's almost easier to be sure of reaching a friend via facebook than via email these days because:

    a- they're all on there

    b - no need to keep track of what email address to use

    c- not everyone is comfortable with using an RSS feed of a Flickr account or a Picasa URLs for sharing photos).

    So I'd maybe be prepared to pay a modest fee for (couple of quid a month). But only on the condition that they go ad-free and guarantee not to share ANY personal info with ANY third parties. But they won't do that cos it's easier to sell ads based on details provided by folk who don't really care about any of the above.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Drop down menu on "Face Book Ads"

    My daughter has just discovered the drop down menu no longer exists!

    Paris because .... oh c'mon, drop down menu...?

  9. Tom Maddox Silver badge

    Facebook usage

    I just wanted to take the time to point out that the way I use and configure Facebook is superior to the way everyone else does it, and all those people are clearly idiots.

  10. N2

    @ Gordon Ross & Fe203

    Me too!

    For the very few sites I have registered with, My terms & conditions state

    "I reserve the right to lie regarding my identity that way, Im going to keep it" along with

    "I reserve the right to use an email alias, so I can dump it if I start to receive unwanted mail"

    a clear case of cunning old farts

  11. Dangerous Dave

    I've also noticed...

    if you have facebook logged in on one tab and browse certain sites in another, your friends pics sometimes appear in certain banners (I think it was Pirate Bay/Isohunt where i saw it last)

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @old farts

    me 3, crapbook is for losers.

    i had to get an account after i discovered someone with my name in my location was friends with a bunch of my friends and relatives.

    i sent them all mails telling them i am the real me and this guy is not (and by the way can't you tell from photo...), i had to include an extra bit of out-of-band info to prove that i was not impersonating myself.

    i also love the way my friends can tell the internet what i look like, thanks to the tagging feature.

    my latest problem with it is how to deal with the fact that all my ex-girlfriends are likely to meet each other, and even worse a new girlfriend will be able to meet and chat with all those ex's, if i let them all be friends with me of course.

    how lame...

    i am now going to do as W has done and review all the settings.

    as for the guy who said, "they're all on there; no need to keep track of email addresses" ... you are in for a nasty shock. What will you do when Facebook goes offline? You will have no way to contact your 10,003,543 "friends"! It will go down you know. Did you ever hear of Geocities?

  13. Anonymous Coward


    Anyone that uses facetube, twatter or any of the so-called social networking sites is a complete fuckwit retarded moron imho. Why would you want the whole world knowing wtf you are up to? Or anything private about yourself is beyond my comprehension. Get a grip you bunch of sad socially depraved half wits and get down the pub with your real friends.

    Anonymous, for obvious reasons.

  14. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Fukwits!

    Aw. I love it when you guys get all fluffy and non-judgemental and gentle as kittens. I mean, I'm welling up here. It's just so *sweet*. And clever, too.

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