Facebook monitors unposted comments

Matthew says: "Facebook says it is within its terms of service to see what users are typing even when the status or comment is never posted on the social network.

Facebook has confirmed it tracks users' unpublished posts after two Facebook researchers disclosed that they had tracked the activity of about 5 million random users."

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  1. IS it covered by the ToS?

    I see stuff like

    Your information is the information that's required when you sign up for the site, as well as the information you choose to share.

    and

    Your information also includes the information you choose to share on Facebook, such as when you post a status update, upload a photo, or comment on a friend's story.

    but all big with that "choose" to share language.

    Then there's

    We receive data about you whenever you use or are running Facebook, such as when you look at another person's timeline, send or receive a message, search for a friend or a Page, click on, view or otherwise interact with things, use a Facebook mobile app, or make purchases through Facebook.

    So, apparently users were supposed to assume that Facebook was gathering info on unpublished posts thanks to that all-encompassing "otherwise interact with things" phrase.

  2. This headline is quite misleading. For a small portion of the userbase, Facebook only detect if they self-censor and just transmit that as a yes/no value. They only see metadata, and not the actual contents of the message. You can see this by opening the browser developer tools and watching network traffic.

  3. Have they considered adding passive-aggressive javascript popups that belittle and harass you about what you aren't sharing, and how you never communicate, and what are you keeping from me?

    I figure that, in the brave new world where 'social' no longer refers to interpersonal connections; but to their exploitation, you might as well cram in as much abuse as possible.

  4. I am General Keith B. Alexander and I approve this message.

  5. Where does the confirmation that Facebook reads what users type come from?

    I can't see it in the linked article, where Facebook confirms that they tracked any cancellation event after 5 chars had been written. That itself may be not okay, but it is a magnitude less invasive than what has been implied.

    By the way, BoingBoing does something similar, when I'm not mistaken. When I abandon this browser window on my Mac Pro and switch to iOS, the current content of the comment magically appears.

    I'd love to hear an explanation how this happens without passing this information through servers authorized or even run by Boing Boing, I can't find anything about this in the FAQ or privacy statement.

    Ooooh, lookie here.... HttpScoop tells me that my draft gets sent unencrypted (plain http, unencrypted json) to http://bbs.boingboing.net/draft.json. Wow, I'm so glad that this is totally not monitoring what I do in my browser…

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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