Is Facebook Impersonating You in Your Friends’ News Feed?

Facebook’s gone and done what!? It’s a question a lot of people are asking.

Notorious for making changes without any formal announcement, Facebook has done it again. This time, the social site has seemingly taken liberties with your name, attaching it to promoted stories. Watch the YouTube video for a demonstration.

For those of you who skipped the video, keep reading.

The creator of the above-mentioned video, Craig Condon, a Minneapolis developer, accuses Facebook of “impersonating people without their consent.” Condon says most people don’t even know it’s happening. But it is, and Condon gives example after example in his video demonstration.

Condon claims any post Facebook makes on your behalf is invisible to you and only appears in your friends’ news feed. So if Facebook posts you’ve liked “The Book of Mormon” and you’re a devote Muslim, it looks peculiar to your friends, but you won’t know about the post unless a friend asks you about it.

Condon isn’t the only one to catch on to Facebook’s secret shenanigans. In December 2011, multimedia guru Bernard Meisler wrote an article about dead people liking stuff on Facebook. In an article posted on ReadWrite.com Meisler details an incident that left some puzzled.

“Last month, while wasting a few moments on Facebook, my pal Brendan O’Malley was surprised to see that his old friend Alex Gomez had “liked” Discover,” Meisler writes. “This was surprising not only because Alex hated mega-corporations but even more so because Alex had passed away six months earlier.”

Meisler added a screenshot for full effect. He soon learned others were experiencing the same thing — dead (and alive) people liking things on Facebook they didn’t really like.

So what does Facebook have to say about this? According to Meisler, a Facebook spokesman said the “likes” from dead people can happen if an account doesn’t get “memorialized.” To do this, someone has to inform Facebook the person has died.

As for “living” people liking things they don’t actually like, Facebook said it’s possible the person “accidentally” liked the brand, post, etc. without realizing it — possibly on a mobile device. Condon would strongly disagree, as he created a fake Facebook account with no posts and found the account had “liked” things without his knowledge until after the fact.

What do you think? Have you seen strange posts you considered out of character for your friends in your news feed? Leave us a comment below or sound off on Facebook or Twitter.


Find Sarah Clark on Facebook | Twitter | Email

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