Facebook Groups

And this is why I never will join Facebook and will do everything I can to prevent people at work from pushing me into it:

Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues have set things up so that anyone on Facebook can create a “group,” and can sign you up to the group without asking your permission. You then get the discussions at the group by email, and if you want to opt out, you have to go to the group page and ask to be removed or adjust the settings so that you don’t get email from it.

Juan Cole is right, this is ridiculous. Anybody can just sign you into any group of their choice without asking your permission, and then you’ll have to make efforts to unsubscribe and offer explanations as to why you don’t want to be included.

I understand that Facebook is a useful resource that many people like and use all the time. However, I find it appalling that so many efforts are being made, both inside and outside of Facebook, to make sure that people join.

14 thoughts on “Facebook Groups

  1. And there are people in my physics class who cheat on the homework using these groups. They post solutions to the questions with all the work done out.

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  2. Let me say, my comments are based on my best knowledge of Facebook at this time. But as any Facebook user knows, things are changing almost daily. You are correct that, unless you pre-empt all of your friends and adjust your privacy settings, any or all of your FRIENDS can enlist you into any groups of which they are an ADMINISTRATOR. But, as far as I know, you must be a friend, and an admin of the group, to add a person to any group. Having created about 7 groups myself, I can tell you that I have created the groups’ initial member lists from my own fb friend list. At the same time, I have issued blanket apologies to any one who may not have wanted to be in the group. However, the only feedback I have ever received has been “why are you apologizing?” or “There is no need to apologize.” So, even though I invited criticism, I have never received any. If someone decides they don’t want to be a member, fb provides a link called, “Leave This Group.” So, it only takes a single click to depart from a group that you do not wish to belong to. If it is possible to send a fb friend an invitation to join your group, I do not know how to do that…

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  3. From my observations Facebook is one of the greatest time sinks known to man. You only need to look at any university computer lab to gather the evidence for this.

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    1. That’s true. When I go to the library to print, half the people on computers are on Facebook. This generally means I have to get there at least a half hour before my next class just to secure a computer in time.

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    2. Clarissa, if you are giving a practical in the lab they are still using facebook all the while, unless you go back to kindergarten style methods you can’t make them do anything.

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      1. Oh, I know. I have a student who is Facebooking like crazy during every class. I never say anything because I respect his choice to get no education for his money. 🙂 But the lab is different. When I was a student, I once had to wait for 50 minutes while another student kept perusing porn websites. What’s the joy of looking at porn in such an environment is a mystery to me.

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  4. bloggerclarissa :
    Somebody needs to be enforcing no-Facebook rules at the computer lab. It’s unfair towards students who actually want to do some work.

    I agree. But it can be difficult where I live, because the wi-fi is spotty in the dorms, which means that people must go elsewhere to do any online activity.

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  5. bloggerclarissa :
    Oh, I know. I have a student who is Facebooking like crazy during every class. I never say anything because I respect his choice to get no education for his money. But the lab is different. When I was a student, I once had to wait for 50 minutes while another student kept perusing porn websites. What’s the joy of looking at porn in such an environment is a mystery to me.

    So in this case I give practicals in the computer labs. There are enough computers for each student enrolled in the class. If other students want to use the free computers they can but if there is a single enrolled student without a computer I have the authority to kick out an arbitrary non enrolled student (I generally pick somebody using facebook). My issue is that all the enrolled students have facebook open too. It seems so waste full of an opportunity. I can assure you that many of them need the extra knowledge that they are avoiding.

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    1. For tests and quizzes in physics we use what’s called a “Lock-Down Browser.” It only allows the test to be open–a student would have to close the browser to peruse any other sites.

      Perhaps this might be something to consider?

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      1. Many profs use a similar thing for their own research. They turn it on and it prevents them from opening their blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. while they are working on research. 🙂 So it isn’t just the students who suffer from a Facebook addiction. 🙂

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  6. Since you never use Facebook, why is there a Facebook link at the bottom of your post?

    In the early Spring of 2007 a real friend (not a Facebook fantasy) suggested that I join Facebook because she was going to be posting all of her photos from her thesis project at the Università di Bologna on the Right Whale migration along the eastern coast of North America on it. I had read about Facebook and this seemed like a good excuse to join and become part of the latest fad. Who knows, it might become something important? Well it certainly has. After a few months of looking at my friend’s wonderful photos, I found Facebook too insubstantial and boring to be worth my time. I stopped going there in the Fall of 2007 and have never gone back even to attempt to remove my account. I don’t trust that logging on to remove my account would not activate something even more inimical.

    I am disturbed that an increasing number of companies are providing marketing discounts and consumer information exclusively through Facebook links. The other day I heard an advertisement on the radio for some major company building a scam that said all you had to do was go to their Facebook page and “like” them and you would be entered in some lottery for a prize. About 18 months ago I found out that my 7 year old grandchild had a Facebook page so that he could play Farmville with some older friends. His parents thought it was innocuous. I did intervene in that case.

    It is clear to me, and I think it is becoming more clear to many others, that Mr. Zuckerberg is an amoral, narcissistic commercial genius and that Facebook reflects this. I don’t trust him, I don’t trust his company and I would be very happy if both entities would disappear into the aether.

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    1. I’m trying to accommodate those who do have Facebook and enjoy it. It isn’t up to me to decide what people do or do not use. As long as they don’t impose their preferences on me, of course. 🙂

      I think you were right in not going back to remove your account. Because now Facebook follows you around the Internet after you have left their website and gathers info on your browsing habits. And then it sells the info.

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      1. Oh, I did not know that, but I’ve resisted joining. I do not want to get ridiculous updates. An older friend of mine told me that his daughter complained to him about someone stealing her password and having access to her account with her baby’s pics on it. He called the police and they basically told him of a form to fill out and to send to Facebook. He said he had to fax it and said that he was out all day and when he returned hom the fax was still trying to deliver the fax. What good is having a fax number if no one can get through.

        I also received an invitation to join from someone I’ve never heard of and have no diea who they are and I don’t appreicate it.

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