Does Not Play Well With Others

I’m going to explain this here. Once. And then I’m walking away from it. There is a Facebook Page named ‘Infants’ which is causing a huge parental storm in a teacup online (ironically, mostly on Facebook!).

Why am I ranting? Because I’ve tried putting people’s minds at rest on a variety of places but people insist on running around like headless chickens shouting “what about the children?!?”. Any attempt to explain calmly and logically how the Facebook API works is met with further hysterics about photos of children being stolen.

For once and for all, please people of the Internet, stop being morons.

Firstly, your images have NOT been stolen, rather they have been linked to. And the link shows itself as a thumbnail of your photo on a webpage.

Secondly, Facebook uses your own user settings to decide who can view these pages. If you set your photo to friends only, ONLY friends will see it.

This is known as dynamically created content and is coming to a browser near you. We’ve already got used to targeted marketing – why is every advert I see online about shoes and tech? Take a wild guess. It’s based on the stuff I post about and like online.

Scared that they are linking to your private content? How many of you use an app to view your facebook account? Does it scare you that this app can show you all your private stuff? No? Why not? It uses exactly the same technology as the generated page. Or in clearer terms, a generated page is no more evil than using an app to log into your Facebook account.

Users of the Internet, the sky is not falling. Please calm down. And if you are still hugely concerned about child safety online, have a good long read through this site: which is set up and run by CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection UK). Whilst you’re there, get your kids to read the kids section.


3 thoughts on “Does Not Play Well With Others

  1. Oh boy…sounds like something I will have to explain to my paranoid mother. I got a funny story. She had “liked” an article from a Washington newspaper and completely freaked out when it appeared on her FB timeline that she liked it. She was ranting about how she woul dnever had wanted that on her timeline and demanded that someone had hacked her.
    I calmed her down and told her to re-trace her tracks. It turns out, she finally remember to pushing the FB button at the bottom of the article.
    Needless to say, this rant of hers happened at my kids birthday and required me to stop making my kid’s birthday fun and attend to HER needs. It was ridiculous.


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