When FB first went public in the UK I signed up, tested it, invited a few friends and family and wrote about it for a computer magazine. A few years later I decided it was getting too invasive and managed to extricate myself from it. It wasn’t easy to delete posts but I managed it and wrote about that too. Since then I’ve resolutely refused to get involved and felt a bit smug when the various horror stories of data breaches have emerged.
But there’s a snag with not using FB, a lot of people who don’t know any better do use it and don’t want to use anything else. The Great Ouse Boating Association is a case in point. A lot of boaters use various FB pages/groups and so the GOBA committee decided it should too.
I refused initially, then had an idea. I know FB claim that only ‘real people’ can join but if they can’t be bothered to check all the hateful content that gets posted how likely is it that they will check the actual name of each subscriber? So I used my GOBA email address and a fake name to create a FB account. I’ve used about three times I think, to find info about people and things on the river.
Today was the first time this year and I’d got a LOT of notifications. Most of them are ‘friend’ recommendations, some I recognise from GOBA or from river/waterway connections. Fair enough. But a lot of the others are my real friends and family none of whom know anything about my subterfuge. Somehow CreepBook has figured out who I really am. Now it looks like I’ll have to leave it all over again.