I’ve eventually found out that the only way you can see a page – anyone’s page – on Facebook is if you join. The only way I was able to find this basic bit of information was by asking someone who is on Facebook.
In other words they won’t even tell you that you can’t find out anything unless you sign up! How’s that for secrecy?
It’s as though the WI – or any other membership organisation – were to refuse to tell you anything about the organisation, the meeting times, venues etc unless and until you had joined and paid your subscription! OK I know Facebook is free to join and “subscribe” doesn’t have quite the same meaning in computer-speak as it does in everyday life. If I subscribe to “The Oldie” magazine or “The Lady” I pay an annual fee and get them posted to my home.
As far as I have been able to find out I would be required to provide my name, email address and date of birth to join Facebook. (Some doubt about whether the date of birth is relevant, they claim it is to prove that you are who you say you are. Can’t see how that works. Adding – or more likely subtracting – 10 years from my age doesn’t really invalidate any other data given. If I ever did join I’d certainly put my age down as 99 just to see what the system made of it!)
What worries me is that Facebook end up with a massive list of names and email addresses. What do they do with these? What might they do with them? Sell them to retailers? The date of birth will give sellers a good pointer as to what sort of ads to target at an individual.
Quote from Facebook Log in page:
For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
Perhaps I am being paranoid. I think not. Anyway I am used to being the odd one out. I don’t have a television either!