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Facebook Abstainers Could Be Labeled Suspicious 625

Posted by samzenpus
from the why-are-you-different? dept.
bs0d3 writes "According to this article printed in tagesspiegel.de, not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer.(German) As examples they use Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik, who used MySpace instead of Facebook and the newer Aurora shooter who used adultfriendfinder instead of Facebook. They already consider those with Facebook accounts, who lack friends to be suspicious, but now they are suggesting that anyone who abstains from Facebook altogether may be even more suspicious."
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Facebook Abstainers Could Be Labeled Suspicious

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  • Hogwash (Score:5, Funny)

    by rwa2 (4391) * on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:22PM (#40808869) Homepage Journal

    I submit: https://www.facebook.com/dexter [facebook.com]

    (OTOH, I unfriended the account because disappointingly it wasn't even a little bit in-character)

  • by fermion (181285) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:27PM (#40808905) Homepage Journal
    While there may be overlaps, my understanding is the primary objective of FaceBook and Adultfriendfinder are not precisely the same. For example, it seems that many more photos on facebook involves clothing, and I am sure many of the people on facebook do not intend to have sex with everyone who friends them.
    • LinkedIn (Score:5, Funny)

      by Z00L00K (682162) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:40PM (#40809077) Homepage

      And I don't use FB, only LinkedIn - what does that make me? Potential murderer for hire?

      • I underuse them both (FB LI) - going on once every 2 years or so, it seems.

        Does that mean I'm mostly psychopathic and only really "safe for society" when I'm out of work and have time for social internet sites?

      • Re:LinkedIn (Score:5, Funny)

        by morcego (260031) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:47PM (#40809143)

        Negative. I tried hiring some murderers through LinkedIn, and didn't get any applicants ... I'm pretty sure Craigslist will have a much better return ...

        • Re:LinkedIn (Score:5, Funny)

          by EdIII (1114411) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @03:46PM (#40810203)

          I'm pretty sure Craigslist will have a much better return ...

          Ohhh.. you'll get applicants all right. Not what you are looking for though.

          Try it. If you sell an "antique writing desk with hutch" it will get instantly translated into, "I'm desperate for vagina. Call or email me at all hours of the fucking night if you have vagina to sell me".

          Craigslist should just renamed to questionablehookuplists.com

  • Overblown (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jbmartin6 (1232050) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:28PM (#40808911)
    I submit that this sort of story is overblown.Yes, this is one out of hundreds of characteristics on a list. Just having one or even fifty from the list doesn't mean any individual has crossed the threshold of "suspicious". Everyone on /. should be familiar with this sort of thing from spam filters.
    • by Xtense (1075847)

      Your post advocates a
      ( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based (X) vigilante
      approach to fighting spam. Your idea will...

      Oh, sorry, you tripped my anti-anti-spam filter. Added you to the whitelist!

    • Re:Overblown (Score:5, Interesting)

      by iamhassi (659463) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:46PM (#40809129) Journal

      I submit that this sort of story is overblown.Yes, this is one out of hundreds of characteristics on a list. Just having one or even fifty from the list doesn't mean any individual has crossed the threshold of "suspicious". Everyone on /. should be familiar with this sort of thing from spam filters.

      Agreed - sort of. This is just one out of hundreds of characteristics, but the title is correct: Facebook Abstainers Could Be Labeled Suspicious.

      And it makes sense, why would someone not want to join a site where all your friends are? It's 2012 equivalent to a shut-in or recluse. [wikipedia.org] People are naturally suspicious of someone that chooses not to join normal society.

      And it's going to get worse before it gets better, even if Facebook is replaced, there will be another website most people join. Facebook has been popular for what, 6, 7 years? There are teenagers today that don't remember life without Facebook, and as those teens become adults it's going to sound more perverse to hear someone say "I do not have a Facebook account"

      Even now, I know people who have been denied jobs, apartments and loans because they do not have a Facebook account, because Facebook is a great tool to contact everyone you "know" to check background and try and reach you if something happens i.e. steal and skip town, etc

      • here's how to blow their minds.

        if anyone asks why you don't have an FB acct, tell them that you understand computers pretty well, are aware of security problems and that FB is just not secure enough to use. and don't say a word more than that.

        in essence, its true, but not the way they may think of it. and it makes them wonder.

        which is a good thing.

        (did I say 'security' instead of 'privacy'? oh dear! well, it is what it is.)

  • by hawks5999 (588198) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:28PM (#40808917)
    That you are old.
    • by EdIII (1114411) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:53PM (#40809221)

      Or have principles which prevent you from engaging in such behavior.

      Valuing privacy and refusing to participate in information sharing with a company that will only use it in ways you don't approve of hardly makes you suspicious. If some people really do find that suspicious and can't understand the reasons... screw em. You will have as much success changing their minds as changing ultra-religious fanatics minds about their intolerance and bigotry.

      The real concern is if businesses or governments start using the lack of social networking presence as grounds for investigations or refusal to be employed.

    • by Teun (17872)
      Maybe older but certainly wiser.
    • by QuasiEvil (74356) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @02:41PM (#40809645)

      Or that you don't give a rat's ass about 99% of the stupid shit your "friends" post on FB. Most of those people who instantly tried to friend me were people from high school, many of whom were too cool to talk to my nerdy self back then. I didn't like them then, and they've been out of my life for 15 years. I couldn't care less that their baby did something today. Heck, my aunts, uncles, and grandparents use it all the time, so I don't think age is the delineating factor. It's more that I have way more things in my real life than I can keep up with, and I'd much rather be social over a pint at a pub or a MakerFaire or a reprap get-together than on some website with people that don't matter in my life anymore.

      I kept my account for about three months, mostly to see if I could find a couple old girlfriends and see what they were up to after my ex and I split. After that, I removed any content I could (I basically only ever uploaded one bland picture and some trivial details) and then told them to delete it. It was just adding to the noise side of the SNR in my life, so I just decided I was done with it. It does seem to be deactivated, but I suspect the Eagles were right on this one - you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

      Oh, and just for good measure...
      GET OFF MY LAWN, YA DAMN KIDS!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:29PM (#40808923)

    They're a commercial enterprise making their money off profiting from the private data of others. I've had libertarians proclaim the company to be an example of the value of the free market, but I consider them an example of how a private company will manage to find something valuable about others and get money for it with a higher cost than you might realize.

    Now maybe you consider the service Facebook provides worth it, but I consider the cost of being on Facebook not worth any service.

    So...count me out of it. I could even be convinced to shut them down, though it would probably take some serious abuses before enough public support could trump the propaganda for it.

    • Now maybe you consider the service Facebook provides worth it, but I consider the cost of being on Facebook not worth any service.

      I have to admit that I value the service that Facebook provides more than I worry about the (very real) privacy concerns. It's just so ubiquitous and therefore so powerful for reaching people. Sigh...

  • Summary is wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:29PM (#40808929)

    Breivik most certainly did have a Facebook account. He networked with anti-immigration and anti-Islam groups on Facebook. His address list for his manifesto was compiled from Facebook profiles that he had friended.

  • by Freddybear (1805256) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:30PM (#40808931)

    You know who else never used Facebook? Hitler!

  • FB (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pitchpipe (708843) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:30PM (#40808933)

    This line of thinking could sure help Facebook's stock value.

    Uhm ... no. The more that Facebook is seen as something that you need to do (institutionalization) instead of something you do because it is cool, the less cool it will be. In fact this line of thinking may even make it cool to 'rebel' against the establishment (Facebook). This is how these social networking sites die. The cool kids leave first, everyone else follows soon after.

  • Hmm well Jeffrey Dahmer didn't have facebook, Charles Manson didn't have book :O OMG!!!!!! Hmmm but Jesus didn't have book either ....... Glad pesudo science still rules!
  • Sorry, but I have no desire to have my personal information shared on FaceBook, nor do I care about the status updates of 'friends". I was on there, and deleted my account. I see no value in it. If people want to get ahold of me, they can text, email, IM me. If they want to know what I'm up to, they can ask or check out my website for info.

    If that labels me as "suspicious" so be it. I have no desire to see Fuckerberg make money from his hodge-podge system.

    • I see no value in it. If people want to get ahold of me, they can text, email, IM me. If they want to know what I'm up to, they can ask or check out my website for info.

      There's the problem. People might perceive the methods you suggest so clunky that they might not ultimately contact you at all.

  • by allanw (842185) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:32PM (#40808963)
    This guy has been circulating around the internet as the profile of the next mass murderer on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ld=2582718763 [facebook.com]
  • by bhunachchicken (834243) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:32PM (#40808971) Homepage

    I've had a Facebook account for years. I've even made one for each of the little voices in my head, too :)

  • Does the article have some more evidence than those two unrelated cases?

  • by Jahf (21968) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:34PM (#40808993) Journal

    I'll admit the MySpace to Facebook comparison was closer. However ... comparing Facebook to AdultFriendFinder? Either I don't hang out in the "right" Facebook groups or this is total bull. They are not even close to interchangeable in purpose, audience nor function.

    I suppose the reason I find the concept of this article sad is that we're moving to a place where instead of an expectation of privacy ... we now have an expectation of no privacy. I post photos, sure, and status updates and events. But I'm careful about the permissions on them and I don't post EVERYTHING nor will I. If that makes me suspect, well, I guess suspect me. But it -should- show I have a reasonable level of intelligence on what I keep private.

    While I do use Facebook, I have a number of friends, neighbors and co-workers who do not. And I don't consider them suspect. Why would I? I don't go "oh, my neighbor is always frequenting that gaming site but refuses to use Facebook, he must have something to hide".

    I also have a number of friends who either maintain multiple accounts (because they hate dealing with permissions) OR keep their account obscured so that you have to know that it is their account (different name, odd profile photo, different email account, etc). Purely because we ALL have people in our lives we don't want to know EVERYTHING. Is that the next step for being suspected?

    Glass walls. You don't want them. At least not until everyone in power can give up their judgements about peoples' personal lives.

  • "not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer."

    All I can say to that is: "SIlence! I kill you!" :P

    In all honesty, I don't want to be friends with anyone who live their lives on Facebook. I have a few friends who post photos there from time to time, I can live with that, but otherwise...

    It seems funny to think people - who saw the intended application, the target audience, the main purpose and the negative properties of facebook-like sites, and decided not to be an
    • Nobody is considering people without Facebook mass-murderers. They're considering it a statistical feature among many others.

  • I thought most parents teach their kids "don't give your personal info to strangers".

    Remember, Zuckerberg's a stranger to your kids no matter how many free things (services) he offers them, just as much as some guy offering free candy from an unmarked van.

  • because I have a barebones Facebook account with almost nothing on it and I never use it. I think I created it some years ago so I could get tickets to a comedy club, or something. I do networking through LinkedIn and that's about it. I guess I'm a mass murderer.
  • Lisa: "By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away."
    • Homer: “Hmm; how does it work?” Lisa: “It doesn’t work; it’s just a stupid rock!” Homer: “Uh-huh.” Lisa: “ but I don’t see any tigers around, do you?” Homer: “...Lisa, I want to buy your rock.” The question not answered by the article - or at least the shorter translation since I don't read German - is who exactly is making this assumption. Is it the German government? Or is, in fact, just this newspaper?
  • Many of my real-life friends have no Facebook presence because they have cleared software jobs and have been instructed to not have social profiles or blogs in order to maintain their clearance.

    Just another clue that Holmes was a CIA asset.

  • by dryriver (1010635) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:44PM (#40809111)
    So using megadoses of peer-pressure to get everyone on Facebook isn't enough anymore... Now not being on Facebook is actually considered to be a serious clue that there is something seriously wrong with you? What a load of bullshit. What a load of bullshit. What a load of bullshit. ------ Many ordinary people who are smart about privacy do not put their lives on Facebook for a very good reason: Zuckerbook exists purely to make money, and cannot be TRUSTED with the details of your life, however mundane they may be. 3 cheers for everyone who abstains from Facebook for privacy reasons. Hip-Hip-Hooray. Hip-Hip-Hooray. Hip-Hip-Hooray. ------- End of message -----------
  • Sociopathy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stevegee58 (1179505) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:44PM (#40809113) Journal
    I get funny looks all the time when I say I know all about FacePlace and consciously refuse to join.
    My sister worked on me for months (we're both "old") to join before I finally got testy and told her under no circumstances would I join. I think she thought I just didn't understand it and just needed to be shown how wonderful it was. She was genuinely hurt by my reaction.
    It's like belonging to a religion in many ways. True believers have trouble understanding how others don't share their beliefs; clearly they just need the right explanation to bring them around.
  • Just like the car commercial I go out and do things, with real people, not sit at my table cyber stalking 682 people at the same time watching dumb shit puppy videos. I also am not a 20 something living at my parents house and actually have work and responsibilities.

    So tagesspiegel.de, fuck you, I have a life

  • by caffiend666 (598633) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:47PM (#40809145) Homepage

    Today's Dilbert is right on topic: SHHHH! It hears you. [dilbert.com] .

    I don't like being packaged and sold as a commodity.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:50PM (#40809171) Homepage

    I know that the story CIA's 'Facebook' Program Dramatically Cut Agency's Costs [theonion.com] was in the onion, but I would be surprised if the CIA did not tap into Facebook's data. Those of us who do not have a Facebook account must be a pain ... how to encourage us to tell the CIA^h^h^h Facebook all that they need to know .... how about make them feel worried that they might fall under increased suspicion ? Well: it will work with a few people, so a cheap and effective way of gathering information about more people.

  • by DERoss (1919496) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:56PM (#40809261)

    I consider my self a pioneer in the use of computers but also modern. My experience covers the range from plug boards and punched cards to client-server networks and remote operation of PCs.

    I do not participate in any social network. I have little interest in "friending" someone I never met face-to-face. I do not tweet. Now retired, I have no real use for LinkedIn. See my http://www.rossde.com/internet/surf.html#missing [rossde.com].

  • Bad Translation! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 29, 2012 @02:13PM (#40809421)

    As a native German I just read the German article, and have to say it was a quite a good article. It just said not leaving any traces online(Facebook, MySpace etc.) makes you look suspicous in the eyes of HR departments, and you will probably not get the Job, because you might try to hide something. It also quted Dr. Christoph Möller that being addicted to Social Network can deepen Basic Mental Health Problems and also strengthen fear. Dr. Möller also said that he DOES NOT believe that absence from the Internet can lead to mass murders as committed by Anders Breivik and the Shooter from Aurora.

    tl;dr Basically the activepolitic.com article got it backwards.

  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @02:47PM (#40809681)
    It's strange that a German publication would be so quick to make these sorts of suggestions. Did they learn nothing from the examples of the Stasi and East Germany? If the leaders of East Germany and the Stasi could have seen the Facebook of today they probably would have be green with envy. How else to describe billions of people willingly and naively participating in their own mass surveillance? To what sinister purpose might this information be put in the future? It's impossible to believe that the governments of this world, even those who claim to be democratic, will not be sorely tempted to acquire and misuse the information currently being gathered by the likes of Facebook. That's a pretty high price to pay, in my opinion, for keeping up with your friends. To those using Facebook: Have you not considered the long term consequences of what your doing? Are you nuts? Delete the Facebook account and pick up some good history books instead. You will see that history has not been kind to the gullible and the naive.
  • by Skapare (16644) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @03:17PM (#40809905) Homepage

    ... we will have to hand over Facebook account password just to get past airline security. What? No Facebook? Under arrest!

  • by hoggoth (414195) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @03:55PM (#40810277) Journal

    Adultfriendfinder instead of Facebook?! Are those really considered to fulfill equivalent niches?

    That's like saying 'He uses K-Y Lubricant instead of WD-40'.

  • by jader3rd (2222716) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @04:20PM (#40810471)
    Historically someone who behaves differently than everyone else could be labeled suspicious. It's how those in control suppressed rebelious thoughts. It's the same reason why the masses generally concider scientists to be suspicious.
  • If I'm not a customer of a particularly large corporation, then I'll be investigated by the police?

    I'm not a good citizen if I don't use a certain service?

    What if I don't drink coke, I don't use windows, and I don't buy prada? Is that suspicious too?

    Part of /etc/hosts in my computer:

    127.0.0.1 hotmail.com
    127.0.0.1 facebook.com
    127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com
    127.0.0.1 live.com
    127.0.0.1 google-analytics.com
    127.0.0.1 platform.twitter.com
    127.0.0.1 www.twitter.com
    127.0.0.1 twitter.com
    127.0.0.1 plusone.google.com

    Social anything is bullshit. I don't need big corporations to track who I speak to. Why am I expected to have 200 friends? Anybody that says they have more than a handful of friends doesn't really understand the meaning of the word friend. Acquaintances, buddies, coworkers ... sure. But friends? Quite a different thing. So, why would I publish my life online so that anybody can find out about it from the comfort of their homes? I don't hide my activities. If you want to know anything about my life, it's enough to call and ask. But publishing them is altogether a different thing.

    Ultimately, my rejection of social.* isn't because I'm a privacy nut. My google account is tied to just about every service they have, and they've run my email since 2004 or so (I got my account very early in the invite-only era of gmail). My company's mail goes through google for your domain (now google apps). It's not tracking that bothers me the most, it's just that I find the whole concept of the social web stupid. If I'm interested in knowing something about you, I'll call you and we'll catch up over a beer. I don't need twitter or facebook or whatever. The reason I block everything is it just pisses me off how they creep around you and stalk you all the time into creating an account.

    So, yeah, Fuck facebook, fuck twitter, fuck myspace, fuck google plus, and fuck every other asshole doing anything labeled social. Leave me the fuck alone.

  • I'm Just A Liar (Score:4, Interesting)

    by assertation (1255714) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @06:18PM (#40811755)

    My Facebook account is under a fake name, set to unsearchable and "private" every way FB will let me do it.

    I don't tell anyone related to a job that I have a FB account.

    If they ask, I tell them the half truth that I deleted my FB page a few years ago when they started exposing people's info without asking.

  • by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @06:41PM (#40811973)

    Facebook claims to have 800 million users. That means 6.1 billion serial killers are out there!

"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970

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