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Social Networks The Internet Censorship Your Rights Online

Facebook Blocks Users From Mentioning BugMeNot.com 448

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sorry-charlie dept.
ThinkingInBinary writes "The other day, I was trying to mention bugmenot.com in my Facebook status, and I discovered to my horror that Facebook blocks the phrase 'bugmenot.com' as "abusive" in status updates, messages, and presumably any other communications on the site. Facebook isn't even listed on BugMeNot, as they requested that logins for Facebook be blocked. This is pretty ridiculous, as I can't even send my friends a message mentioning bugmenot.com!"
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Facebook Blocks Users From Mentioning BugMeNot.com

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  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:02PM (#24890919) Journal

    On Slashdot, I can mention [abusive language filtered] or even [abusive language filtered], why can't I do it on [abusive language filtered]?

    Total [abusive language filtered], I say.

  • Yes you can (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:02PM (#24890921) Journal

    This is pretty ridiculous, as I can't even send my friends a message mentioning bugmenot.com!

    Of course you can, you just can't use Facebook. Which is probably for the best anyway.

    • Good point, parent (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kludge (13653) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:07PM (#24891017)

      Allowing a single corporate entity to control your communication is a bad idea. I suggest this new thing called "email", which is offered by a large number of different providers, and not censored by most.

    • Re:Yes you can (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <<akaimbatman> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:09PM (#24891051) Homepage Journal

      Indeed. I'm trying very hard to get incensed here, but I just can't work up a reason to care. Oh noes! I must say "Bug Me Not website" when talking about BugMeNot! Horror of horrors! Shocker of Shockers! Quick, make a comparison to Nazi totalitarism! Facebook is like... Hitler, that's it!

      Conspicuously absent is any mention of negative actions taken by Facebook. They didn't close his account, they didn't sue him, they didn't kick his dog. They didn't do anything other than remove a link to a site. Whoop de do. Try typing a URL into Youtube comments sometime and see how far you get.

      • by Net_fiend (811742) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:31PM (#24891393)

        Why does a dog always have to be kicked? Why can't it be a cat or a rabbit?

        Now, I understand why it wouldn't be a snake or a lizard. One a snake would a)slither away or b)bite the bejesus out of you and a lizard would probably just flick its tongue and scamper off.

        But can we just leave the dogs out of it? This message is not brought by PETA.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Well at least it is getting better, it used to be puppies getting kicked...
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by FatdogHaiku (978357)
          Because a cat will turn around and kick your butt or die trying and a rabbit... well... Look at the BONES! [youtube.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by scipiodog (1265802)

          Why does a dog always have to be kicked? Why can't it be a cat or a rabbit?

          The purpose of the dog being kicked is to show how bad something is... Dogs are awesome, so anyone who kicks dogs is bad. QED.

          Cats, on the other hand, are demon spawn of Satan, and should be kicked.

      • by amRadioHed (463061) on Friday September 05, 2008 @03:04PM (#24891961)

        Quick, make a comparison to Nazi totalitarism! Facebook is like... Hitler, that's it!

        Oh sure you joke about it, but if you read anything written in Germany while the Nazis were in charge you'll find that bugmenot.com is missing from all those writings as well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Vectronic (1221470)

      It's not the best filter anyways... as you are still (currently) allowed to use "bugmenot" without the .com so you can still say "bugmenot website" etc...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hogwash McFly (678207)

      Exactly. If you don't have a person's email address, then they're not exactly your 'friend', are they? Yeah, everyone has 500 friends these, they're just that popular! Yet how many of these friends would they trust their housekeys to?

    • Is they filter out other sites as well, like evite. Try setting up an event using evite, then posting a message to your friends, the evite url gets ripped out of the message. Try obscuring it by running it through tinyurl, THAT gets stripped as well. It forces you to use THEIR invite system, which sucks, cause you then have to duplicate the damn thing to myspace to get the people that are only there, and create the evite anyway, since alot of people dont use either, and just have email...and then go back th
  • by 2.7182 (819680) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:02PM (#24890923)
    You can't block someone from saying something like
    • by halivar (535827) <bfelger@@@gmail...com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:06PM (#24890985) Homepage

      30 seconds is the different between (Score:5, Funny) and (Score:-1, Redundant).

      I think moderation should switch to (Score:Gold Medal) and (Score:Silver Medal) so late punsters don't feel so bad.

      • by Hogwash McFly (678207) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:24PM (#24891293)

        Yeah, but do we take away the (Score: Gold Medal) from the Chinese posters who lied about their karma bonus?

      • by sm62704 (957197) on Friday September 05, 2008 @03:05PM (#24891967) Journal

        I think moderation should switch to (Score:Gold Medal) and (Score:Silver Medal) so late punsters don't feel so bad.

        The trouble is if your karma's not the best; "funny" will neither increase nor decrease your karma, while iinm "redundant" is bad for your karma. So if you're going to joke, it's best to make sure you have damned good karma. Not only is there the "redundant" danger, you can (and I often do) get modded "troll" or "flamebait" by the humor-impaired (or maybe because the joke's just not funny).

        If you just got done metamoderating you can post anything you damned well please ;)

        I don't understand the term "karma whore", whouldn't a karma whore be someone selling karma by modding people up for money? If you're trying to gain karma wouldn't that make you a karma john? According to some arsewaddles in town called PORA who are trying to stamp out prostitution, the poor little whores are victims. So please, stop victimising karma whores by modding them up!

        Oops... I'm offtopic. Damned prostitution union will kick me out!

        Do we have any karma pimps?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by edalytical (671270)
          Damn you! Anytime I meta comment on moderation I get sent to karma hell. Even worse if I mention the specific moderation I'm expecting to get. Maybe I just attract modders with attitudes, but regardless the system is broken because a modder isn't really accountable for their mods and doesn't have to justify why they modded something the way they did. Thus the person receiving the moderation doesn't get any real feedback such as why they're a troll or why they're offtopic or why they're flamebait. So wha
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Hatta (162192)

          You have to try really really hard to get bad karma. I've told a lot of bad jokes that get modded down and I've never seen my karma drop below excellent. So yuk it up, if you ever have anything marginally worthwhile to say, you're karma will be pegged at exellent.

  • by bigtallmofo (695287) * on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:02PM (#24890931)
    Everyone seems to have a problem with it. It's really bugged me that I've never been able to get to bugmenot from work:

    Access to this web page is restricted at this time.

    Reason:
    The Websense category "Hacking" is filtered.

    URL:
    http://www.bugmenot.com/ [bugmenot.com]
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Bypassing 15 pages of annoying registration to read a newspaper online is 'hacking'? Who knew.

  • So of course I'm trying to load bugmenot.com to see what it is and true to form ... it appears to be slashdotted already.
    • I take that back ... it's responding now.
    • What Bug Me Not is (Score:5, Informative)

      by KingSkippus (799657) * on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:25PM (#24891307) Homepage Journal

      Just for reference for those who may also be blocked or otherwise can't get to it...

      You know all those sites where you have to register for a free account in order to access the content, sites where there's no real logical reason why you should have to register for an account except for the purpose of them harvesting your e-mail and personal information?

      What Bug Me Not does is provide usernames and passwords for registrations that people have created and uploaded to their site that you can use to access content without giving up your personal information.

      Perhaps a simple example would make it more clear. Let's say you go to some news site, and they insist that in order to access the site, you register for a free account. Of course, they want your name, address, and e-mail address. Even after you fill out your information, they drop you a registration e-mail that you have to validate. Then, and only then, you can access the site.

      If you don't want to go through these hoops or give up your information to them, what you can do instead is go to Bug Me Not. Punch in the site name, and voila, you get a username and password you can use to access the site that someone else has already registered. If one doesn't exist and you're motivated enough, you can register one (probably using a service like Mailinator) and provide the username and password so that the next schmoe that comes along that needs one will have it.

      There's also a nice Bug Me Not Firefox extension [mozilla.org] that will automagically fill in the information for you so that you don't even have to bother going to the web site.

      The only problem, as someone else mentioned, is that if you're behind a content filter, some companies tag Bug Me Not as a "hacking" site. (As is Mailinator, usually.) Obviously, some people have trouble with the concept of people who don't like giving out their personal e-mail addresses or other personal information just to read a frickin' article.

  • FBmenot.com (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bigdaddyhame (623739)
    Your life is not limited to FB. If you want to tell a friend about bugmenot.com then send them a proper email, not a social marketing tool.
    • Re:FBmenot.com (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mustafap (452510) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:12PM (#24891103) Homepage

      or write a letter.

      Try it, it's fun. I even bought a fountain pen. It feels nicer than a biro, or typing on the keyboard.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by AndrewNeo (979708)
        Dear [friend],

        I'm writing to inform you that you should visit this very useful website called bugmenot.com. You can visit it by going over to your computer, opening a browser window, typing in "http://www.bugmenot.com/" (without the quotes!) in the address bar and hitting enter.

        I hope you enjoy it!

        Sincerely,
        KewlDude1774
      • by couchslug (175151) on Friday September 05, 2008 @03:43PM (#24892609)

        "Try it, it's fun. I even bought a fountain pen. It feels nicer than a biro, or typing on the keyboard."

        I would, but my scanner is broken so I have no way to email letters.

  • by bunratty (545641) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:03PM (#24890955)
    They don't anyone to know this, but the way around it is to
  • by peter303 (12292) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:04PM (#24890961)
    The bigger they get, the more arrogant they get.
    • by Bieeanda (961632) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:34PM (#24891433)
      Since when has Facebook been about anything but data mining and user tracking?
    • by globaljustin (574257) <justinglobal.gmail@com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:34PM (#24891443) Homepage Journal

      another "Do more evil" clone?

      Yes. If you've looked at their redesign that will be implemented soon, you know what I mean. They basically split the functions of the site across 4 or 5 pages instead of just the one, so now you have to click more to see the same amount of content. The whole redesign is made to get more page views of their ads.

      I hate it, but I'm old. I remember when the internet and the WWW came to suburbia back in the mid 90s. Almost all internet sites were free, if you had the hardware to access them, just like facebook.com is right now. It's free.

      Somehow, someone who has no understanding of economics managed to convince themselves that facebook.com was worth hundreds of millions for investment. It's not. It never will be. It's a free website that has some cool widgets and lets you keep up with your friends. It's not like they have a patent on social networking.

      Here's what will happen. Facebook will have to continually make its interface more intrusive in order to please their investors and advertisers. As that happens, they will loose users. Eventually another site will pop up that has the same functionality as facebook.com only without all the BS. People will begin to use it, and the internet circle of life continues.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by edmicman (830206)
        You're right - I much preferred the previous layout where everything was on a single page and you had to scroll *forever* to find something. The old (current) design was beginning to look like MySpace with badges of flair; the new design helps fix that.
  • It's great that they're trying to reduce abuse but I had no problem posting about YouVacuousCoffeeNosedMaloderousPervert.com [orangecow.org] on my FaceBook profile. They sure do have a strange definition of what is & isn't abusive.
  • Not true? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I just updated my current status to "bugmenot.com" and posted a note with the title and content of "bugmenot.com" and both got through fine.

    Maybe Facebook saw this post and did some fast damage control.

    • Re:Not true? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:08PM (#24892973)

      I wrote a long note about BugMeNot and facebook's censorship, and it posted just fine.

      An hour later (now), I checked facebook and my published note has vanished. Gone without a trace. No warning, no e-mails, nothing, it's just not there. I'm putting up another note about censorship (without using the BugMeNot phrase this time) to see what happens.

      Regardless of what happens, I will be cancelling my facebook account by the end of next week. This is absolutely ridiculous.

  • Just as many people who are ProChoice and will never have an abortion, or even advocate that anyone should. It is more about principal then actuality. It is about the rights of the site owners, if they want a login page and not have full anonymous access that is their choice. The Old BBS's of the 80's and 90's almost all required you to create a login account and sometimes call verified you back. BugMeNot is an attempt to bypass the website owners will to use the site. As well it also has logins for many P

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hedwards (940851)

      That's their prerogative, but it's kind of ridiculous to expect somebody that just needs to read one answer on one occasion to have to create a log in.

      It's not like sites covered by bugmenot are typically pay sites anyways, most of them just have the arrogance to think that somebody is going to come back after being treated like that.

      As far as I'm concerned it's perfectly understandable why sites that allow posting would require a log in to post. But to require a log in to read free articles is a bit tough

    • by Whuffo (1043790) on Friday September 05, 2008 @03:19PM (#24892205) Homepage Journal
      Being someone who ran a large BBS back in the olden days I can offer some insight into why we verified each new account.

      There were some significant expenses involved in supplying the service. An incoming phone line and high speed modem for each "node", rows of computers, file servers, networking - and all of this could only support a limited number of simultaneous users.

      What we were trying to stop were the people who would register several accounts in order to use more online time - preventing others from being able to log in. The whole point of verified user accounts was just that - to insure that the resources of the BBS were shared fairly.

      Things are different now; not many of us here remember when a good 9600 baud modem cost $1000. Multiply that by 25, then add the monthly charges for 25 phone lines, etc.

      We couldn't just "add more lines" to support every person who wanted to use the system for as long as they wanted, so limiting the amount of online time was necessary. Verified user accounts were there to insure that everyone got their share because some felt it was their right to take more for themselves.

      These days you can put up a website that does most of what a BBS did, support thousands of simultaneous users - and do it for far less than the cost of one of those modems. The sites that require registration (and don't verify that the registration is legitimate)- their motives are questionable at best. The information they're collecting has a very low signal to noise ratio due to services like Bug Me Not and the basic truth that most people fill those registration forms out with false information. Sometimes I suspect that those news sites require registration "because all the other news sites do it"...

  • honestly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:09PM (#24891049) Homepage Journal

    there is no reason why they cannot do this. it is their website, their policy. of course they will piss some people off, of course they went ahead with this filter fully aware it would bother some people

    on the flip side, you are not a zombie craven to facebook. it is entirely in your power to use some other service. facebook is not the end all be all.

    there was geocities, tripod, xanga, friendster, myspace, and now facebook. it is time for you to simply discover the next social networking app in a long line of apps that come and go every couple of years

    • Re:honestly (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Osurak (1013927) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:11PM (#24891085)
      Of course they *can* do it. The issue is whether they *should* do it.
    • Re:honestly (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rakishi (759894) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:19PM (#24891235)

      They can do whatever they want. Likewise we can complain and make fun of them for what they do all we want. If nothing else it lets others know about what the companies policies are and sometimes it may even make the company change their policies.

      Companies are run by humans and sometimes they make mistakes or underestimate how much people don't like something. If you don't let them know then how do expect them to know? Magic? Telepathic elves trapped in the basement?

    • Re:honestly (Score:5, Funny)

      by Jay L (74152) * <{mf.yaj} {ta} {hsals+yaj}> on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:33PM (#24891419) Homepage

      I, personally, agree 100% with circletimessquare when he says:

      there is no reason why they cannot do this. it is their website, their policy.

      But some would beg to differ. For a counterpoint from a simpler era, let's turn to a user named "circletimessquare", back in early September, 2008, who wrote [slashdot.org]:

      shun chrome. i don't care if its the best thing since sliced bread. the problem is what it represents in terms of power and dominance in the hands of one company. that's bad for everyone

      Clearly, the debate over corporate dominance has bitterly divided friends, families, and even individuals.

  • who the fuck? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DerWulf (782458)
    who the fuck cares? The amount of utterly trivial "stories" on slashdot is unbelievably high at the moment. Could the editors please put a stop to this?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sm62704 (957197)

      There's this thing called the "firehose", where you can actually VOTE STORIES UP OR DOWN. Of course, it doesn't work in IE6 but then again, what does?

  • Well, their traffic is up. I can ping them, but HTTP connections are timing out.

  • Lots of messaging systems filter links to sites.
    For instance MSN Messenger will outright reject any message with 'mediafire.com' in it.

    The answer is to just not use Facebook. Ever.
  • Right, because simple text blocks always are enough to prevent people from sending dicey messages. That stopped the spammers, right?

    If you'll excuse me, I have to check out this bugm3n0t.c0m site, I hear Facebook just Streisanded it into higher popularity. (What? Oh, that's been a verb since 1987 [newspaperarchive.com] actually)

  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Swift Kick (240510) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:17PM (#24891197)

    From your 'blog':

    "... it's appalling for Facebook to block anyone from even mentioning the site -- it's plain and simple censorship, and it's unacceptable!"?

    Why is it 'appalling' and 'unacceptable'? You do not own Facebook, and when you created an account, you pretty much waived your rights. If I recall correctly, Facebook is still a privately-owned company. They can block whatever they want, whenever they want, for as long as they want.

    If you don't like this policy, familiarize yourself with the Terms of Service [facebook.com] before you sign up to similar services.

    You're always free to build your own alternative to Facebook; until then, you want to play in their playground, you play by their rules.

  • type b u g m e n o t . c o m

    or moc.tonemgub (specify that it should be typed backwards)

    or, the first letters of:
    better understand great monstrosities explicating new otherworldly titrations
    plus a period
    plus the first letters of:
    commotion obfuscates mysteries

  • works for me (Score:4, Informative)

    by djdead (135363) <seth@nOsPam.wenchel.com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:24PM (#24891295)

    I just tried throwing "bugmenot.com" into my status update and it showed up on my wife's account.

    perhaps the best way to unblock things is to submit them to /.

  • The also ban .. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Idimmu Xul (204345) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:26PM (#24891319) Homepage Journal

    bugmenot isnt the only site they refuse, they also have censored BME Zine .com [bmezine.com]

    im so glad facebook looks out for us.. i wonder if lemonparty is banned?

  • by cenonce (597067) <anthony_t.mac@com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:30PM (#24891371)

    8u9mEn0t.C0m

    or

    bu6m3n07.c0m

    or (really throw Facebook)

    |}|_|6|\/|3|\|0+.(0|\/|

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by BobMcD (601576)

      |}|_|6|\/|3|\|0+.(0|\/|

      Or, perhaps, the even more leet

      bugmenot (dot) com

  • by drDugan (219551) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:43PM (#24891569) Homepage

    Facebook users seem so confused. Facebook, Inc. *OWNS* the website facebook.com - they can do basically whatever they want with it. tough cookies.

    the basic premise of physical property is that if you do work on something and make a new thing, then you own it. own meaning society agrees you have exclusive rights to control where and how a thing is used. we have all sorts of other modern day legal and monetary things that also mean you own things, like titles and deeds and receipts. largely, these ideas of ownership have spilled over into the information, too, and rightly so - controlling the use and application of certain information for limited time helps society a lot. many of the current out-of-control IP systems are a bit slanted toward big organizations, but still, all in all IP is a good thing.

    people own their personal connections to other people. you made them. an individual is the only person who know how another has treated them, how well they like them or hate them, if they would invite them over to a party next Friday. except, of course, if a person decided to give that information away by publishing it on a global communication system. once you do that, you don't own it any more, then it's like loose change on the sidewalk.

    so when you join facebook, you give away your information, your connections to other people. and this is valuable stuff - it's no wonder pie-in-the-sky valuations for facebook are over $15B and growing. If asked to sell the same information, people simply wouldn't, they would and have simply keep it private, and rightly so.

    that said, I made a facebook profile. I resisted it for years, but when we wanted to build a app to reach people, the facebook platform worked really well. I still see it as an inequitable exchange, though - Facebook makes explicit and public the information that is valuable to the individual when held private. In doing so, most users give far more to Facebook than they receive in return. it's just business.

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted @ s l a s h d ot.org> on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:44PM (#24891583)

    ...as soon as they allowed others to block sites from bugmenot.

    They killed the point of using them.
    Nowadays more and more sites are blocked on bugmenot.
    So much in fact that I uninstalled the Firefox* add-on.

    Does anyone know an alternative?
    Preferably one that's offshore and will not bow to any idiot sending them a complaint.

    * The Firefox spell checker does not know the word "Firefox"? WTF? ;)

  • by onlysolution (941392) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:45PM (#24891623)
    Did anyone else notice the little iframe in the bugmenot page? That links back to the ttuttle.com site the original blog post is on? According to Chrome's nifty element inspector it's pointing back to http://www.ttuttle.net/396jdw.php [ttuttle.net], though it's obviously slashdotted by now so I have no idea what it's supposed to do or if that address is unique.
  • by assassinator42 (844848) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:52PM (#24891729)
    As of now, Facebook offers users the ability to switch between the new layout (new.facebook.com) and the previous layout. I can switch my status to "Matt likes bugmenot.com" on the old layout but trying to do so on the new layout pops up a box stating "Warning: This Message Contains Blocked Content".
  • UsefulNot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spiffy (16623) on Friday September 05, 2008 @03:32PM (#24892415)

    Now that BugMeNot will block logins for web sites that request it, what good are they? Why mention them at all?

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