The explosive growth of Facebook has birthed it’s share of delusions, fabrications and urban myths. With more than 2.38 billion monthly active users it’s not a huge surprise that some of these urban myths have taken shape as a solid piece of (mis)information that some people believe to be real facts.
If you’ve been hanging around the social network for a while now, you’re probably familiar with the hundreds of hoaxes that are floating about in the cyberspace. Working in marketing, the number of times I hear the word ‘Facebook’ in a day are countless. I decided to round up a few of these ridiculous myths about Facebook that’s still going around, and debunk them, so that business owners and companies can maintain an authentic presence on the platform, by knowing which facts are authentic, and which ones are total BS.
You Can See Who Viewed Your Profile
You’ve fallen for this hoax at least once – clicking on the apps that let claim to let you find out your “secret admirers.” I did some really extensive research and the ultimate truth is this – you cannot know who’s viewed your Facebook profile no matter what! There is no algorithm ‘trick’ which can do that or no app which will magically show you who viewed your profile in the last one week, and that’s the end of that.
Is you ex still stalking you? Is the creepy guy from HR scrolling through and saving all your photos? Nope. No one can really tell you.
If there’s anyone who’s absolutely done with this hoax – it’s Facebook. They’ve been constantly putting up disclaimers: “No, Facebook doesn’t let people track who views their profile. Third-party apps also can’t provide this functionality.”
They’ve even created a forum to report such scammers. If you see an app claiming they have this ability, take the right step and report the app!
2. Copy Pasting “Legal” Notices Changes Things
Legal notices on Facebook look something like this:
As of October 15, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me.
If you believe this is how law works, I am very very sorry to inform you that you could not be more wrong!
Publishing rubbish like this will do just one thing: it announces to the whole world the degree of your ignorance.
Here’s how the law actually works.
Before you sign up for Facebook, you agree to their terms and conditions and only then is your account actually created. And as several lawyers have repeatedly alleged, posting things like this on your Facebook wall does not nullify the agreement. Are you really concerned about what Facebook can use and what it cannot? Individually negotiate with them in a court of law, although we can pretty much assure you, the only way anybody can control all their data is by quitting Facebook entirely.
3. Facebook Is Limiting Your News Feed To 26 People
A while ago, someone posted this fake information and others have shared it, copied and pasted it and spread it so much that it’s now viral.
Yes, you may see some changes to your News Feed every now and then because Facebook really does regularly modify its algorithms, but what you’re likely to see are more posts from friends — and perhaps the same posts when you log in within the next day or so, but you are by no means limited to 26 friends.
The specifics of how Facebook’s algorithm and what exactly is going on with them is hard to know. The company merely only drops broad hints. This is just a long line of Urban myths that’s infested the Internet.. If you see something on social media that you’re tempted to share, investigate before you do. So, if you see any message of this sort – here’s how you can help. Ignore it don’t spread it.
A little bit of critical thinking can go a long way. You are responsible for what you spread..
4. If I Don’t Use Facebook, It Doesn’t Know Anything About Me
Oh, you sweet summer child, how naive!
Here’s the catch with Facebook. It’s a social NETWORK. If you know a lot of people who use Facebook, chances are that the company has information about you!
There’s even a name for this (creepy) process. It’s called creation of a ‘shadow profile.’
Here’s how it works.
If a significant number of your friends are using Facebook, some give it access to their contact book and personal information. Facebook collects this informtation. Now let’s say another friend has your email id and phone number stored in their contact book. Facebook matches this to the first information, and stores it. Suppose your professor has your name and contact saved, Facebook gets that too. And without you ever knowing it, Facebook makes a “shadow profile” for you, which contains your name, your phone number, your address, and your email—even though you never gave it any of that information.
This is just a very rough and superficial example of how data is stitched together at Facebook. The company has much more intricate algorithims, that they can match even more sensitive information!
Well unfortunately for us, we live in a connected world and there is almost nothing you can do to escape. Perhaps you can cut all contact with your friends, not have a phone number, refuse any pictures being taken – and completely get off the grid.
But honestly, I do not think even that would work.
Make yourself Scam Proof:
You can actually keep yourself immune to most of the ridiculous myths if you try to have a basic understanding of the Anatomy of a Facebook Scam.
There is help available online in the form of a lot of resources that debunk falsehoods on the Internet. Snopes is a good site that you can do some research on.
Even if that doesn’t help, you can always get in touch with someone who works in tech, to verify information.