Facebook has recently changed it’s group settings, revamping it and “improving” certain aspects of it. They also seem to have sneaked in something quite dubious right under our noses.
Now, anyone who is your friend (or depending on your privacy settings) or a friend of a friend, can add you to a group they created without your approval or consent.
Aside from the fact that anyone who does this to you isn’t really your friend anyway and should be deleted, this does beg the issue of third parties adding you to their groups. Political parties adding you when you don’t support them, Real Estate Agencies spamming you with offers, or worse, opinionated groups adding you to their cause when you don’t take their stance.
This is just inching me closer to the decision to completely delete my account. One more invasion of my privacy and security settings like this is all I need to forgo Facebook altogether (and yes I am inherent of the hypocrisy of this being posted on my Facebook wall). The worst part of all of this is there is absolutely no way to stop people from adding you to a group without your consent. You can control it by making it so only your friends are allowed to view your facebook content, but this isn’t a setting that is specifically related to this groups plugin. I highly recommend everyone changes their security settings to maximum regardless however. As of right now though, even with those settings maxed out, anyone you have added as a friend (and let’s face it, most of us have “friends” we haven’t talked to once since adding), can put you in a group without you knowing.
Facebook is a company that got too big too fast and is constantly struggling to keep up with the ever changing ebb and flow that is the internet. It is no easy task, and few companies, or quite arguably none, do it well. Over the years we’ve seen ICQ get replaced by MSN, Yahoo by Google, Myspace by Facebook…Eventually, something will come along that does what Facebook does, only better, replacing it. This is the way of the internets.
Then again, as my sister said last night:
“If it wasn’t for Farmville, I wouldn’t even have a Facebook account”.
I’ll stick to my Starcraft 2 though.