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Dear Facebook,

Yesterday, as I was checking my news feed, one of the posts made me sit up in my seat. According to you, my cousin now LIKES an internet wine company from one of your ads.

Facebook, what you obviously don't know, is that my cousin is dead. He died this past summer (2012).

Now granted, when my cousin was alive, he certainly liked his share of photos of beautiful models in swim suits. I'd occasionally find one of them waiting in my news feed with his firm endorsement of her shapely ... assets.

So, if the specific ad my cousin had endorsed had been related in some way to pinup girls, I might not have given it a second thought. Perhaps he'd endorsed it sometime in the last year, and you, Facebook, were simply recycling his Like.

But, Facebook, what you also don't know is that my cousin was a recovering alcoholic.

So a wine company? Really?

I had serious doubts, but since I figured it was time to let my cousin's FB presence go as we had his body here on earth, I unfriended his phantom account.

And yet the ad remained in my news feed, except without the ghostly endorsement. Exactly in the same spot in my news feed as it was before. Whatever algorithms you use, Facebook, had erased all presence of my cousin, just like that. And if you could remove someone so easily from an ad, it made me start to wonder ... could you also add someone like me just as easily as you had a dead man.

I posted a message to my wall, telling my friends what had happened. I also asked them if I had ever liked a company in an ad on their news feed.

Another (living) relative wrote back: "You've liked Walmart several times."

WALMART??!!!

Freakin' - A - WALMART??!!!

Now, here's something you also don't know, Facebook. In the history of my time on your service, I have only once liked a national company, or anything approaching a company that would advertise on your site.

And let me assure you that if I ever did again, over my dead body would I ever, EVER endorse a sleazy company like Walmart!

What will be next, Facebook? What other companies and groups that I abhore will my FB phantom self endorse next? The Tea Party? Fox News? Oil Companies?

Your service is free, Facebook, so I expect to be exposed to ads. You have to make money somehow, I get that. But this ... this shows that you see your user base as nothing more than chattel, to be used however you see fit.

Not only is it false advertising. It is despicable, and it must stop.

Signed,

Mike D. Jones

UPDATE 3:
lineatus down stream has an interesting suggestion (Thanks, lineatus!). FB may be finding people with the same name as your friend, who HAS liked the product/company in question. So, technically, I suppose they'd be covering their ass. But the end result is the same since their goal is the endorsement of the product/company by someone you do (or think you do) know.

UPDATE 2:
Some commentors have suggested hacked accounts, or wondered why you wouldn't know if you were liking something. As a web developer by profession, it's much easier than that. Facebook knows the power of recommended products. It's a well-known marketing dynamic that people will consider products that are recommended by people they know. Facebook is merely tapping into that dynamic for these ads, and by doing so you're more likely to investigate a "liked" product or company.  They don't have to do anything to your account or modify your recorded "likes". They just have to know who your friends' names are and use that data in their ads.

Update 1: Wow!  Thanks for the Reclist everyone!

As some people point out in the comments. Despite its behavior, FB is still a useful tool for many of us. I feel like I need to do something, though, so each day I'm going to post to my page the names of friends with sponsored likes and see how many of them are legit. I'm also going to encourage my friends to do the same. If we take away the power that "endorsements" have on these ads by showing them to be a fraud, then they won't be of any use to FB.

Discuss

Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:36 AM PST

Dawn of the Lemons

by indyjones48

Just a bit of levity to brighten your day. The Republicans have surrounded the house. Tell them to "Suck on that, sourpuss!"  If you find the video funny, please rate it up and share it.

http://www.funnyordie.com/...

Thanks!

Discuss

Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 05:46 AM PST

I did not vote for the black man

by indyjones48

This is a note to all the punditocracy and the news shows and the increasingly irrelevant right-wing mouth-pieces --

-- who this morning are already talking about celebrations from "Egypt to Kenya".

As if they're not celebrating in France and Germany and God knows where else.

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Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 05:09 PM PDT

Big Steaming Equity!

by indyjones48

Yes folks, step right up, step right up. I have right here an amazing investment opportunity that you just can't pass by. Equity -- yes, that's right, genu-ine, 100% real equity -- in this here steaming pile.

Learn more after the jump!

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Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:48 PM PST

Pls! Stop Using "Harm's Way"!!

by indyjones48

Please, I beg you.  If you don't want to keep perpetuating GW's and the right-wing's propaganda, stop using the phrase harm's way immediately.  I'll explain why and give you examples of what to use instead, on the other side...

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I know everyone here will be stunned and shocked to learn that FEMA's damage is still ravaging our country. This time, it's Texas that is currently feeling the full, howling gale of Chertoff-force incompetence. Governor Goodhair has sent out a plea:

I write to you today concerning serious problems in Texas' recovery efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. My concern is that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has engaged in inconsistent and disparate treatment of Texas on several important fronts.

These FEMA storm winds have pummelled Texas on several fronts, as Perry goes on to describe.

Full FEMA storm warning after the break...

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Ok, so I'm not a legal expert and I haven't seem the full transcript.

However, based on this quote:

I agree with the Griswold court's conclusion that marital privacy extends to contraception and availability of that.

many have said Roberts is affirming a Constitutional right to privacy.  But does what he said really mean that?

My reasoning after the jump...

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A couple months ago, I wrote about the Just In Time Revolution. In essence, it's the idea that the emergence of the Internet has fueled people's expectation to be able to get what they want, when they want it; and to have the power to obtain it.

It's the convergence of both these forces on a large scale that creates fundamental change, and in some cases could make many of our existing institutions irrelavant.

Follow with me to the flip for more...

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Just like our Dear Leader, New York's governor Pataki has proposed a budget this year that slashes Medicaid funding and other services.  Here's some info on it from a local activist group's newsletter. It's not avaialable on the Web, so I'm posting it here in it's entirety:


Pataki's Budget: The Latest Conservative Assault on Working New Yorkers
By Jon Greenbaum, Metro Justice Newsletter, March `05

Pataki has released his budget proposal.

It's a budget that the other George (George W. Bush) would be proud of. Embracing Grover Norquist's ideal to "get government down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub," Pataki is excusing corporations and the wealth from such onerous civic responsibilities as paying taxes and is using the $4 billion budget shortfall as an excuse to rev up his chainsaw in preparation for some "budget trimming."

More on the flip.

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Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 05:30 PM PST

The "Just In Time" Revolution

by indyjones48

(revolution, as in Industrial Revolution, not American Revolution...)

I work for a small IT publishing company, and we spend a lot of time talking about "just in time" learning. No surprise to anyone here: the print market has been undercut over the last five years by the Internet. Many in the industry point to all the 'free' content out there as the root of the problem. But, it really goes beyond mere free content. Instead, it's really about "just in time" problem solving.  That is, it's really about people's desire to have the answer to the problem they want solved at their disposal without having to wade through content they don't need.

Personally, I see this dynamic happening across many levels of our society, and I believe that we're really on the cusp of a societal revoluton of sorts: the JIT Revolution, if you will.

So, what do I mean by JIT Revolution?  Follow me on the flip:

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I just received a telephone call from some Repug hate group in sanctity of marriage clothing.  After the robo-message, the woman who finally answered the phone wouldn't tell me who it was from and how they'd gotten my phone number.

I *66 them after she hung up on me and got:

800-394-2611

And thought I'd post it here.  Wondering if anyone knew how to trace this to the original company and jack up their 800 fees by calling it...

Update [2005-2-23 19:4:56 by indyjones48]: Over the blood rushing in my ears I managed to hear the robo-call say something about OK Rep. Lance Cargill. Probably a group affiliated with this: http://www.lsb.state.ok.us/house/NEWS6636.html

Discuss

Taking a page from the great work done by Frameshop, I thought I'd take some of the framing techniques I've learned and apply it to something I know--my daughter's Medicaid. Recently, I sent a letter into the local newspaper that serves a county of about 730K+.

Not only did it make it in once, but they chose it to run again with some extended information. In large part, I think it was so well received because I reframed the issue... See how below the fold.

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