FaceBook Friend F***up

Written by Nexcerpt on December 7th, 2010 in Patterns & News.
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Danny Sullivan asks: Why does Facebook have to F with everything?

Danny makes a number of stinging observations about the perverse distortions of reality euphemistically called “FaceBook Upgrades,” concluding:

It’s f’ing simple. Ask people. Ask people what they want. Hey, you want a strip of pictures at the top of your page? No? Click this X to get rid of it. Want this box of friends to show? Here’s an X to get rid of it. Is this stuff linked to privacy settings? Then make the X or whatever take you directly to those controls.

Facebook exhaustion. I swear, this is what’s killing you for me.

Danny, it gets worse: the F’s at FB took away the only [X] that had any real value.

Go now to [See All] of the “People You May Know.” Previously, if you realized you did not know someone, or did not want to see them suggested again, you could click [X] to delete them permanently from among your suggestions.

It seems that option has been eliminated. Beginning with this “FaceBook Upgrade,” you are doomed to view suggested “friends” no matter how much you want them to go away.

Now, instead of seeing about three dozen suggestions (as in the previous interface), you must scroll through hundreds and hundreds — in my case, 962 on my first walk through. I can no longer get rid of any of those friend suggestions — no matter how irrelevant that person may be to me, or how unpleasant, or even downright disturbing. FaceBook insists on showing them to me… what, forever?

So, rejoice! If you share a few fringe connections with an ex, a colleague from a business that went sour, or a member of a social circle that offends you — or an entire phalanx of family that irritates the hell out of you — FaceBook will keep showing them to you, over and over and over and over…

At least, until the F’s at FB change the interface again — configuring and disfiguring your profile in some other, even more perverse way.

Update: 2010-12-07 0:30 EDT A friend of mine — a self-acknowledged FaceBook Whore — is now offered 1,024 potential “friends.” (One can only hope 2^10 is somehow a magic boundary.) His most “connected” friend is suggested for having “179 mutual friends.”

Consider what that universe must contain. Dozens of his suggestions share more than 100 “mutual friends.” Thus, there may be tens of thousands of potential suggestions having only one, or two, or a handful of mutual friends. However, among FaceBook’s suggestions to him now, the lowest of the low still have “8 mutual friends.” How will he ever find people who have a measly five or six mutual friends? Facebook will not allow him to discard “popular” suggestions, to make room for them.

This seems utterly the opposite of what Facebook would want: we must indefinitely view and re-view images of (very popular) people with whom we do not want to be friends. However, we are unable to plumb the FaceBook space for (less well connected) people with whom we might want to be friends. Brilliant.


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