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Friggin' Facebook and the auto-tagging of Obama et al.

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posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 04:14 AM
Facebook. need i say more? haha! here's the deal: facebook now how this grouping technique (?), where if you post your status about a certain subject, and others have posted about the same subject... in the "newsfeed" it will say "so and so and 5 other friends posted about such and such" - it could be Disney, an example would be "Michelle Friend and 5 other friends have posted about Disney" and the word "Disney" will be a tagged link to the Disney facebook page. Pretty intrusive, in my opinion, as even if i DID post about Disney, i would think it would be up to me if I wanted to "tag" Disney in the deal or not. But NO... facebook decides FOR me to tag them...AND to group me with others who have made whatever posts about Disney they have made ( positive OR negative). Oddly, only so far that i have noticed this is only the case with a few topics. Disney is one of them. Lucille Ball is another. (and actually i haven't "noticed" this, i have had others tell me this after i posted my note, read on for clarification) Apparently Ron Paul hasn't made the list, or Slayer.. because several of my friends have made posts about both and have yet to be grouped or to be shown in the newsfeed as "so-and-so and 5 other friends have posted about Slayer" (Slayer is a band, for those who don't know)

Here is where i have the REAL problem. the one that tags you and groups you that i have the biggest problem with: If you post ANYTHING about Obama... it tags him and groups you in to a newsfeed "post" of "people who have posted about 'Barrack Obama.'" - now even still, this may seem innocent enough (which by all rights, it really isn't) BUT.... you don't even have to use his name in the post for it to tag him and claim that your post is ABOUT him. Some of my friends did and i can see how they were tagged. But, you can simply use wordage that is revolution-esque, or post song lyrics that seem to be anti-establishment and apparently certain words in those phrases are flagged to auto tag him and say that your post is ABOUT him! (As follows

My best friends daughter was included in this and she never once mentioned Obama in her post. So i posted a "note" about this atrocity, and of course, i ended up in the list of people who posted about Obama (which is TAGGED) - talk about them keeping track of who says what about Obama! it's ridiculous. especially when we already know that 7th graders have been pulled out of class and interrogated by CIA/Secret Service (without parental consent OR a parent present) for posting about Obama. ( )

now before you say "oh if you put it on the internet its out there for the public blah blah." - thats crap. i should be able to post a darn political joke, amongst my friends, on the internet, that i pay for (service - my connection. but i know FB is free and all that, but STILL, they use me and sell me as their product to advertisers, they can at LEAST give me THIS) without the freakin president of the United States being TAGGED in the darn post. period.

So - because of this, i say goodbye to facebook. i have plans to create an event on facebook, in which all of my friends and anyone else who wants to join in on the event, will cut and paste a status update - simultaneously - that uses the name Obama - so they will all be tagged and grouped - that states what a crap new feature this is and an invasion of privacy as well as a Constitutional infringement using bullying tactics. Once my event is done. i will be deleting that crap social network.

I know... it's JUST facebook... but still... it's just WRONG. BUT - Thank you, facebook, for making it so easy to get rid of you.

bearing in mind that i did not know prior to posting the following note that this was going on with other topics and not just Obama (albeit i haven't seen it myself, i am only being told it is - i have heard that Disney gets tagged and Lucille Ball and the Texas Rangers (team) - but i have yet to see anything but Obama), i STILL think it is wrong, on every level. here's is the note i posted earlier on facebook, along with the screenshots:

"Be aware, if you post about Obama on your facebook page – it will inform all of your friends that you have posted about Barack Obama, and it will TAG Barrack Obama. As I was scrolling through my newsfeed today I noticed that there was blurb on my newsfeed that said “Terri (last name) and 3 other friends have posted about Barrack Obama” - and the words Barack Obama are tagged (linked) to the Barrack Obama facebook page – even though I am NOT friends with Barrack Obama, nor have I “liked” any Barrack Obama pages.

The four friends of mine are not friends with each other and their posts were independent of each other's - meaning these were separate posts made by the individuals on their own pages, and not a “thread” of comments on one of their status's. (Much like if me and three other people posted on Jane Doe's page for her birthday. You know how it says “Barbara and 4 other friends posted on Jane Doe's wall for her birthday” (such is not the case here, Barrack Obama is NOT a "mutual friend" between me and these friends who made the posts)

I have taken screenshot so that you can all see what I am talking about. What I find to be even more atrocious than finding out that facebook AND the Obama Administration is keeping track of who posts about Obama – is the fact that my friend Morgan never said one word about Obama in her post. The word “Obama” is not even used. She simply posted lyrics that seem to be revolution-esque or anti-establishment in nature. So because the FB bot that automatically does this has deemed her words to be anti-Obama, it took it upon itself to state that she posted ABOUT Barrack Obama. You look at her post in the screenshot below and tell me where you see anything about her status to be ABOUT Barrack Obama.

When me and several friends post about Slayer, or even Ron Paul, there is NO NOTIFICATION in the newsfeed that “barbara and 5 other friends posted about Slayer” - so WHY Obama? One can only assume that it is because they are keeping track. I find this tactic by Facebook and the Obama administration to be a HUGE abuse of power and a violation of our Constitutional rights to freedom of speech (using fear and intimidation to strong-arm people into not saying anything negative about Obama).

This is disgusting and I will be deleting my facebook account very soon (as soon as all my friends have the opportunity to read this note).

I urge you all to do some research on Obama's “internet kill switch” bill and familiarize yourself with it... this facebook bullying tactic is a step in that direction – in the direction of Obama shutting Americans off from the internet.

Please see attached screenshot of the newsfeed item regarding posts about Barrack Obama (i have removed the last names of my friends from the screenshot, because i thought it only fair to them)."

Please take special note that Morgan's post said this:

"Make no mistake, We are not afraid To bear the burden of repeating What they're thinking anyway. Let's raise the stakes On the bet we made. Let's decide to be the architects, The masters of our fate. Rise Against."

someone PLEASE explain to me WHY her post was tagged and grouped as being "about Barrack Obama" ?!?!? the others i can understand, as they actually said the word "Obama"... but hers?!? makes NO SENSE to me, and leads me to believe that they are flagging more words to be associated with Obama than just simply his name.

whew. end. rant. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

i know there will be trolls here. i don't expect everyone to agree with me. but nonetheless, this DOES irritate me and i felt the need to rant. thank you

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 04:22 AM
reply to post by highpriestess

Thats good to know and I agree with you!
For me this has some dark overtones to it.

People just dont seem to care though!
Cheers man

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 04:35 AM
my sister, who is an information architect for superpages (formerly Verizon), says it is called "sentiment analysis" and she says "it looks like FB is scary good at it!"

i call it intrusive and presumptuous.

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 04:40 AM
reply to post by highpriestess

Nice find! I only noticed this happen on "Happy Birthday" posts, Never noticed it happen for something else...

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 05:22 AM
If Google and Facebook had their way:

They would post what I am THINKING.


posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 05:37 AM

Originally posted by spav5
If Google and Facebook had their way:

They would post what I am THINKING.


perhaps this very post you made WAS posted by Google+ and Facebook, and you are acually sleeping right now?

The plot THICKENS!

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 06:28 AM
reply to post by highpriestess

one of many issues that are completely ignored by the flocks
have you seen this?
the arguing alone makes me think any efforts we make are hopeless

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 08:26 AM
reply to post by highpriestess

I think what they are doing is like what wikipedia started doing and linking certain words so that people will follow them and lead somewhere else. It is for the advertisers and I don't think it is intended to read or speak your mind.

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 01:49 PM

Originally posted by newcovenant
reply to post by highpriestess

I think what they are doing is like what wikipedia started doing and linking certain words so that people will follow them and lead somewhere else. It is for the advertisers and I don't think it is intended to read or speak your mind.

yeah, i know that you are right. my sister and i had a huge conversation last night after i posted this and i will paste it below. she does this for a living and the way she explained it makes sense... but STILL... when little kids are being taken out of class and questioned by federal agents over fairly innocent facebook remarks, you gotta wonder whose side facebook is on when they roll out changes like this that they haven't really fully finished developing. read the below conversation between me and my sister and tell me what YOU think. while i "get it," i still and very uncomfortable with it. to me it's like the mailman taking a postcard out of my mailbox, making a copy of it and sending it to every one i may mention on the postcard before delivering it to my intended recipient. i say postcard because a postcard is pretty much open for every one to see and read, but it is still being sent to a specific, intended recipient (just like if i post something on your wall on facebook - our friends can see it, but it really isnt TO them) whereas an email or private message is more like a letter in an envelope, its "sealed." - now just because my postcard is not sealed in an envelope AND others MAY be able to read it, doesn't mean that the mailman has the right to copy it and send it to other recipients. If i wanted to tag barrack Obama in my post, i would have tagged him.

and i still do not feel good about how Morgan's post got tagged as being about Obama. It was lyrics, from a song... never even mentions the name Obama. Again, this is my sisters explanation below:

Denise - FWIW, I'm seeing this feature for all sorts of topics. It just so happens a lot of your friends talk about Obama. On my page, it's things like Disney and NPR.

Barbara - actually most of my friends talk about ron paul. this doesnt happen when we talk about ron paul or slayer or ANY other topic. maybe because disney is a corporate giant - but either way, it is NOT right. people should NOT be grouped up and categorized this way. especially tagging the POTUS in facebook posts about him. way wrong.

Barbara - FYI Disney isn't sending the CIA and Secret Service after 7th graders (at school, without their parents present) over their facebook posts:​/feds-question-13-year-old​-over-facebook-posting-201​1-05

Barbara - also, it doesnt explain why Morgan's post was tagged as being about Obama. she never once said Obama... it was lyrics that were i guess a little revolution-esque, so CLEARLY they have words other than just "obama" flagged to tag him. Morgans status that got tagged as being about Obama says this: "Make no mistake, We are not afraid To bear the burden of repeating What they're thinking anyway. Let's raise the stakes On the bet we made. Let's decide to be the architects, The masters of our fate. Rise Against." --- where in there do you see that is about Obama?!?

Denise - It's called sentiment analysis and it looks like FB is scary good about it!

Denise - Or at it...

Barbara - its invasive and presumptuous.

Denise - It certainly is, but even if it's not displayed to you, the user, it's still going on in the background all over the internet for behavioral ad targeting. That's just a fact whether anyone likes it or not. The only way to avoid it is to use software to ensure "safe" browsing. You will not ever avoid being involved in it on FB because it's FB's policy to always opt users in and force them to opt themselves out, which is the complete opposite of how I would design any system, but they have a goal and that's to make $$$ so the more they know about you, your friends, and your social circles, the better!

Barbara - ug. thanks for the info.

Barbara - what did morgan say that made them assume her post was ABOUT barrack obama?

Denise -​ki/Semantic_targeting
It may be that those song lyrics have been used in conversations about Obama by other people, or "rise against" could be associated with being against the government, who ever it is. Think about all the data FB has available to crunch? Every conversation by millions of people. The more data they have, and they have a hell of a lot of data, the better they can be at it. Same is true of Google.

Denise - This article, btw, has a LOT to do with everything I do at work, just on a much lesser scale than FB's social sentiment analysis targeting. Maybe I should just send people this page when they ask what the hell I do.

Barbara - its awful, though, that they include politics in this method on FB. i mean, fine... target me to someone who wants to sell me crap... but tag me to the friggin president over a joke about him, or about my dissenting opinion about his politics? its just WRONG. makes you want to not utilize your freedom of speech.

Denise - I know what you mean. The tagging happens no matter who it is and I'll bet they publish these groupings of friends comments based on trending or popular topics. Think about all the data they have - they do not have the ability to initially say, "Let's do it with this, but not with this". Most likely they will gradually dial it down and eliminate stuff they didn't expect to show up and don't want to show up. Usually tech companies want to be bleeding edge and roll out new things quickly and then there is a giant "oops" or "gotcha" that makes them roll it back or parts of it back. Does that make sense? My former boss wrote an article about this topic when Google rolled out displaying user review commentary along with small business information for Google Maps:​its/google-maps-launching-​folksonomy-descriptive-ter​ms/

Barbara - makes sense. i get it. but i HATE it and i am so going to create my event and then get rid of facebook.

thoughts? contributions?

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:45 PM
reply to post by highpriestess

I think they are starting out innocuous....deliberately giving the impression privacy is maintained and as much as they HAVE TO it is - but they are turning over information people (by not opting out of this or that) offer to them for free.

And yes, already they are gathering information which after it reaches the third party (games and hearts etc) they don't control but they tell you that in the sign up contract.
And people always knew what is online is public information for the most part. Privacy in most cases is assumed but never guaranteed. Many websites have those sneaky features where they say in small print, check this box if you do NOT want an onslaught of 3rd party advertising we think you might like. And you do join FB after all, optionally.
But they are setting themselves up now to do legal things and doing them. Things marketers and telemarketers are already doing. Based on purchases you make online advertising is geared toward you and your preferences. We knew they were going to do that eventually. Advertising is legal. I remember telling my mailman 'You know I shouldn't be obligated to accept and sift through all this garbage you send me' but he said the people who mailed it to me PAID for it to be mailed to me and so he has no choice. Their right to send me things should not be trod on either. Part and parcel of capitalism and free speech or something like that.
I do agree we should be very concerned and not complacent since what do I know they could be spying right now, they have the capabilities and whether it is intentional or not they are quietly and quickly becoming able to access whatever the hell they want about any of us. When they sell the company we should worry, since the new owners will have none of the same restrictions or implied obligations to respect the little bit of privacy they are pretending to respect now.

posted on Aug, 11 2011 @ 09:58 AM
the facial recognition freaks me out more than the advertising links

and the fact that we found John Proffitt on facebook AFTER he deleted his FB account

everything posted online goes somewhere

its never truly deleted

they may not be actively watching - but I guarantee they have something like a "webbot" that picks up keywords and if you say something wrong - then they start watching - like "I'm going to kill the president"
I'm not really - but I said it - its out there - now they might be watching me

::waves to the spies::
Fair warning, I'M SO BORING - you'll get sick of me after a day or so, I promise

posted on Aug, 11 2011 @ 02:51 PM
yeah, i am so not cool with the facial recognition thing. or the fact that your are automatically opted in to things and have to opt out - yet they don't inform you when you have been opted in on something. how can you opt out of something that you are not even aware of. sneaky, sneaky. i am so getting rid of facebook. i have a few people i ant to get contact info from so i can stay in touch via other methods of communication, but facebook is NOT one of them.

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