Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 15th Feb 2018 11:17 UTC
Internet & Networking

Facebook is bleeding users, with external researchers estimating that the social network lost 2.8 million US users under 25 last year. Those losses have prompted Facebook to get more aggressive in its efforts to win users back - and the company has started using security prompts to encourage users to log into their accounts.

Sometimes, Facebook will send emails to users warning them that they're having problems logging into their accounts, Bloomberg reported last month. "Just click the button below and we'll log you in. If you weren't trying to log in, let us know," the emails reportedly read. Other times, Facebook will ask for a user's phone number to set up two-factor authentication - then spam the number with notification texts.

Raise your hand if you're surprised Facebook would do this.

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Facebook spyware
by sj87 on Thu 15th Feb 2018 11:29 UTC
sj87
Member since:
2007-12-16

Facebook is whining for the phone number for a myriad of reasons. Another one is that they can then use the phone number to couple you with your Whatsapp account – another service that Facebook owns. They will parse through your messages or contacts or whatever for advertising purposes.

FB already got flak for this after they lied to the EU about their intentions (upon acquiring Whatsapp) and later wanted to pair Whatsapp data with Facebook accounts. But of course the EU cannot do shit because they already allowed the deal to happen.

But I had no idea they would also spam my phone with useless crap, should I allow them to know my number. Initially my reasoning for not supplying FB with my phone number what purely of security issues: anyone could find my account just by entering my phone number into the search box at facebook.com. This is a big deal if my number is not available publicly and I don't want people to be able to trace me based on the number I'm calling from.

Edited 2018-02-15 11:31 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: Facebook spyware
by franzrogar on Thu 15th Feb 2018 11:34 UTC in reply to "Facebook spyware"
franzrogar Member since:
2012-05-17

But of course the EU cannot do shit because they already allowed the deal to happen.


Here I think you're completely wrong. There are countless company merges/absorptions that were later forced to split due to legal reasons (primary monopoly). So just give them time to have proof they violated one of the regulations and we'll see what happens.

Reply Score: 6

v RE: Facebook spyware
by leech on Thu 15th Feb 2018 20:21 UTC in reply to "Facebook spyware"
RE[2]: Facebook spyware
by zima on Thu 15th Feb 2018 23:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Facebook spyware"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Why anyone would create a Facebook account under their real name is beyond me...

So that, you know, the part of "social networking" that is about networking with the people you know could work / that your buddies would know who you are?

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Facebook spyware
by leech on Fri 16th Feb 2018 00:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Facebook spyware"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

" Why anyone would create a Facebook account under their real name is beyond me...

So that, you know, the part of "social networking" that is about networking with the people you know could work / that your buddies would know who you are?
"

I live by the rule that if I want you to know who I am on Facebook, I will let you know.

It is like LinkedIn. A site which caters to networking business associates and is used by many as a recruiting tool. Yet so many people I know set it up with their work emails.... and then assume they can tey to connect to me through my work email... blows my mind.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Facebook spyware
by zima on Sun 18th Feb 2018 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Facebook spyware"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I live by the rule that if I want you to know who I am on Facebook, I will let you know.

If enough people on FB would do like you, the site would be unusuable / you'd have to remember large number of meaningless pseudonyms.

Edited 2018-02-18 23:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Facebook spyware
by Alfman on Fri 16th Feb 2018 14:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Facebook spyware"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

zima,

So that, you know, the part of "social networking" that is about networking with the people you know could work / that your buddies would know who you are?


My real name isn't Alfman, and I'm guessing your real name isn't zima either. Perhaps it's strange that there's a culture of using pseudonames online, but for me it's always been to protest datamining and employers making work decisions based on what goes on in our personal lives. Having them watch over us through social media, as many of them do, is just way too invasive IMHO.

http://time.com/3894276/social-media-monitoring-work/


The things companies are doing is incredibly creepy, just this year it came out that some insurance companies are raising rates based on one's email account:

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/910479/car-insurance-email...

Edited 2018-02-16 14:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Facebook spyware
by zima on Mon 19th Feb 2018 00:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Facebook spyware"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

My real name isn't Alfman, and I'm guessing your real name isn't zima either

Actually, it's closely derived from my real name, a nickname I had since the kindergarten ;) - just how people know me (which was kinda the point; not a random pseudonym), often more than by my name.

Anyway, you know well that OSNews and FB are somewhat different, the latter largely for connecting with people who we know from real life, where we function under real names...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Facebook spyware
by Alfman on Mon 19th Feb 2018 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Facebook spyware"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

zima,

Anyway, you know well that OSNews and FB are somewhat different, the latter largely for connecting with people who we know from real life, where we function under real names...


Meh, irc, geocities, facebook, osnews, etc all serve(d) the same purpose for me anyways, main difference being the crowd & culture. Our mainstream platforms today are too corrupt. Sure it's true you aren't likely to encounter anyone here in real life, and maybe being a member of a larger group isn't always a bad thing, but personally I've lost interest in mainstream platforms and prefer niche as we get to avoid the huge crowds ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Facebook spyware
by zima on Thu 22nd Feb 2018 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Facebook spyware"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Different sites are different. ;) And aye, I think I sort of settled on OSNews largely because we're a rather small community so one can follow virtually _everything_ ;) ...not so on, say, /.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Facebook spyware
by Ford Prefect on Fri 16th Feb 2018 14:12 UTC in reply to "Facebook spyware"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

But of course the EU cannot do shit because they already allowed the deal to happen.


The European Commission fined Facebook afterwards for a modest amount of €110 million. Truth is that this was always part of the deal. Everybody could tell that Facebook's claim that "it would be unable to establish reliable automated matching between Facebook users' accounts and WhatsApp users' accounts" was utter bullshit back then.

If you asked any technically literate person they would smell it. However assholes like Oettinger earn most of their income and career by selective ignorance. You just need to find a good way to sell it to the public, and this is how it sounds:

The Commission has found that, contrary to Facebook's statements in the 2014 merger review process, the technical possibility of automatically matching Facebook and WhatsApp users' identities already existed in 2014, and that Facebook staff were aware of such a possibility.

Today's decision has no impact on the Commission's October 2014 decision to authorise the transaction under the EU Merger Regulation. Indeed, the clearance decision was based on a number of elements going beyond automated user matching.


http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-1369_en.htm

Edited 2018-02-16 14:13 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by avgalen
by avgalen on Thu 15th Feb 2018 16:52 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

Facebook is bleeding users, with external researchers estimating that the social network lost 2.8 million US users under 25 last year.


If FaceBook is bleeding users that must be a very tiny splinter in their one hand while they are getting massive infusions directly into the main artery:
"Worldwide, there are over 2.13 billion monthly active Facebook users for Q4 2017 (Facebook MAUs) which is a 14 percent increase year over year."
(source: https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/)

Not commenting on the actual facts in the rest of this post which seem BAD

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by avgalen
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 15th Feb 2018 22:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by avgalen"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Not all users are worth the same. Young users with ample disposable income are worth a lot more to advertisers and hence to Facebook.

Its losing a lot of rich kids from the US. So, its really concerned.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by avgalen
by avgalen on Fri 16th Feb 2018 09:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by avgalen"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Not all users are worth the same. Young users with ample disposable income are worth a lot more to advertisers and hence to Facebook.

Its losing a lot of rich kids from the US. So, its really concerned.

Oh, there is no doubt that not all users are worth the same, but the only thing that we know for sure is that FaceBook grew by 300 million users last year. Everything else is just speculation by eMarketer which seems to be a pretty reputable company but the few facts that I could find out didn't point to any reliable predictions. I cannot analyse in detail because all of their reports are payed-only, but I found this:
1) An eMarketer spokesperson sent along prior growth estimates from Q1. The firm originally expected Facebook’s 12- to 17-year-old audience to grow by 0.7 percent this year. It predicted Facebook’s 18- to 24-year-old user base would grow by 0.8 percent. (source https://www.recode.net/2017/8/21/16181348/teenagers-millennials-user...)
2) The study estimates that Facebook’s user base among 12- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. will shrink by 3.4 percent in 2017, the first time eMarketer has predicted a decline in Facebook usage for any age group. (same source)
3) The reality: The number of U.S. Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic declined by 9.9 percent in 2017 (https://www.recode.net/2017/8/21/16181348/teenagers-millennials-user...)
So in the span of 6 months eMarketer changed their estimations from 1 percent growth to 10 percent decline. It is completely unclear to me if they have any real numbers or if they are just guessing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by avgalen
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 16th Feb 2018 15:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by avgalen"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, I can't vouch for their research or methods. I can say that the young folk I volunteer with have a Facebook account, but rarely use it. Its mostly instagram/snapchat. However, as Instagram is facebook, I don't think they have much concern.

The real drama for me, is what will happen to twitter. its not profitable, not growing userbase, but very popular with some important people, and very susceptible to abuse. I have no idea how long it will survive as it is as a stand alone company. I kind of feel like its yahoo five years ago.

Reply Score: 3

Wow
by darknexus on Thu 15th Feb 2018 16:56 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Those emails even look like they're fake. Come on, the old "you're having trouble with your account, just click here" trick? Really? Couldn't they have at least made the emails a little less... well, spammy-looking?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Wow
by zima on Thu 15th Feb 2018 23:31 UTC in reply to "Wow"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Hm, a mail from FB that I received a week ago:

Did you log in to Facebook from somewhere new?

Hi (name)

It looks like someone tried to log in to your account on 8 February at 15:55 using Firefox for Linux. Your account is safe; we just wanted to make sure that it was you who tried to log in from somewhere new.

If you don't think that this was you, please log in to Facebook so that we can walk you through a few steps to keep your account safe.

Thanks,
The Facebook Team

Maybe just a coincidence, but I don't recall ever getting a similar message (notable that supposedly someone tried logging in from "Linux" ;) ). But then, I never was a very active FB user...

Edited 2018-02-15 23:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Wow
by zima on Mon 19th Feb 2018 00:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Another email, yesterday...

Your account has been unlocked

Hi (name),
On 8 February at 15:55, someone tried to log in to your account from a device, browser or location that our systems thought was suspicious. To keep your account safe, we have temporarily locked access to your account.
However, we haven't observed any suspicious activity on your account since then, so we've unlocked your account.
You can now log in and use Facebook again. If you think that someone else may know your password, you can reset it.

Log In Reset Password

Thanks,
The Facebook Security Team

If not a coincidence - maybe FB is getting desperate ;) , maybe I'll finally log in... (haven't done so in months at least)

Edited 2018-02-19 00:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by yoshi314@gmail.com
by yoshi314@gmail.com on Fri 16th Feb 2018 05:32 UTC
yoshi314@gmail.com
Member since:
2009-12-14

i am surprised they would do this, as this will just annoy some people. How is that going to bring people back?

Even more odd thing is, that they randomly lock down people's accounts and demand to send a face photo for verification.

You cannot skip this step, and if you don't you have no access to your account.

Reply Score: 2

Sure...
by MarkHughes on Fri 16th Feb 2018 07:42 UTC
MarkHughes
Member since:
2013-11-14

I only check my FB maybe once a month (sometimes less) and the very second I get a text from them about anything that isn't to do with 2FA I will erase my account.

In fact I am probably going to do just that later in the year anyway once everyone learns it's a bad way to contact me.

It's a horribly toxic environment and I can't imagine what I was thinking of when I signed up.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sure...
by The123king on Fri 16th Feb 2018 19:20 UTC in reply to "Sure..."
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

I didn't realise this was a thing. Most services i've signed up for use my old yahoo email address, and i'm lucky if i check that even once a month

Reply Score: 1

Ah Facebook
by Darkmage on Sat 17th Feb 2018 05:21 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

Facebook needs to die. I recently used an online hookup service to meet a few girls. Now most of these women were hiding their real identities for personal safety reasons (meeting random men on the internet is not exactly safe). Anyway, as soon as they sent me their mobile numbers Facebook would de-mask their account/contact information, and link their profiles in messenger, and I could have easily gotten real names, and other information about their private lives. Facebook is actually becoming dangerous for people.

Edited 2018-02-17 05:22 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ah Facebook
by grat on Sun 18th Feb 2018 02:47 UTC in reply to "Ah Facebook"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Facebook is actually becoming dangerous for people.


Becoming? Ha! Wrong tense.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Phloptical
by Phloptical on Sun 18th Feb 2018 18:54 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

Time to send Facebook the way of MySpace

Reply Score: 1

RE: Apparently it was a bug?
by grat on Mon 19th Feb 2018 19:55 UTC in reply to "Apparently it was a bug?"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Now, now... Pointing out that it was a bug has no place in an unreasonable hatefest on the internet.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Apparently it was a bug?
by avgalen on Tue 20th Feb 2018 06:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Apparently it was a bug?"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Now, now... Pointing out that it was a bug has no place in an unreasonable hatefest on the internet.

Which is why I added a questionmark ;)

The FaceBook explanation at least makes more sense than the "they are bleeding users so they are going to try to bond those users by annoying them with very technical questions". So although I cannot be sure about FaceBooks explanation I will give them the benefit of the doubt

Reply Score: 2