Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Facebook Grief

In June I posted about some issues I was having with Facebook. Well yesterday I received a note from Deirdre Bonnycastle that really takes the cake. She wanted to let me know that she has been deleted from Facebook!

Deirdre is editor of the Active Learning Blog, an idea that emerged following the Active Learning Strategies for Online Learning seminar she facilitated at SCoPE. Her blog is collaborative, with each issue inviting articles and encouraging guest editors. As part of that process she sends out notices through Facebook to her friends, all educational professionals like herself, to let them know about upcoming themes, to request articles, and to advise when a new issue is available. She also pops into relevant groups to leave a messages about the Active Learning Blog on walls.

I find it interesting that you can be superpoked all all day long (I don't really know what that means! LOL), toss pumpkins at all your friends, and notify everybody about your results on the Likeness Quiz, but using the existing educational groups and your friend list to broadcast information about something they might care about counts as spam.

Deirdre is not knocking on the doors to get back in:
I'm not all that upset about the deletion because I think Facebook is a disappointing method of social and professional connection. The only thing I find useful is the notification about upcoming events.
But nevertheless the control factor is disturbing. She received email to say that spamming is not allowed in Facebook and her account will be deleted. A couple minutes later POOF it was gone. What about the time and energy she may have invested into contributing content and organizing information -- bookmarking, book reviews, events, discussions? We've been warned that Facebook owns our data. Careful folks! It can be wiped out in 2 minutes!


  1. Hi Sylvia,

    I stopped using Facebook for several years for this exact reason. The user management policies are highly questionable and cause for tremendous concern. Ultimately it was the student presence from my institution that pulled me back.

    As lukewarm as my feeling is for the app, when there are thousands of students interacting with one another voluntarily in an online space it's something worth paying attention to. You just don't get that sort of engagement in most circumstances. I'm really curious to find out the motivators that drive this usage, and there's only one way to research that as far as I'm concerned - use it yourself :)



  2. The most disturbing thing for me has been Facebook's refusal to answer my very polite e-mail about what happenned

  3. Oh, I had never heard of that! :(
    My first reaction is to gather some people and complain.
    I hope they provide some sort of explanation.

  4. It's an interesting dilemma. I've enjoyed FB for the silly stuff, for connecting with people on a different level (like finding out what books they read), and for being notified about events and hot topics. But I don't think I'll contribute anything I care about, knowing it can be yanked away from me in a minute. As Mike says, "the user management policies are ...cause for tremendous concern."

    It's really disturbing that Deirdre hasn't received a reply.

  5. Thanks for the info. I've never had any problems with them and find the service has really allowed me to connect with people in my social circle in really nice ways. For example lots of people I don't chat with on msn but they are on Facebook and we chat there.

    But I definitely keep it seperate and I don't participate in groups for study. It doesn't feel like the right place to talk about learning, research etc.

  6. Facebook booted me from their service days after creating a group which was intended to be a watchdog against antisemitic facebook groups. Does Facebook support antisemitism & racism? They would not give me any reason for booting me, and have not yet responded to my requests to be reinstated. I have noticed quite a lot of racist, antisemitic and pro terrorist groups posted on Facebook, it seems odd that Facebook would boot me shortly after creating a group to defend civil liberties and safeguard a public service. Can anyone give me advice on what I can do to get them to reinstate me?

  7. @Anonymous From what I've heard it's impossible to even get a response from the Facebook folks to questions like yours. Let us know if you have any success getting the group re-established!