How Justin Bieber almost ended up on my Facebook Wall

Oh my God. “This is scary”, she said while turning the laptop towards me so I can see the screen. I glanced at it and saw her Facebook Wall shouting:

Sabina and Peter Ward are now friends after both attending Langer & Wardy’s fancy dress & pool party birthday extravaganza.

Now, Sabina met Pete some time ago, but after seeing him at Langer’s party the night before she decided to connect online as well. Facebook very intelligently (albeit wrongly this time) guessed that they might have met at the party. Which is scary. Not because of this particular harmless association, but because it points towards how much effort Zuck and the team put into making use of every single bit of data they have about us.

I guess it’s all fine when you voluntarily decide what you’re going to share. The problem, however, is that Facebook’s newest open graph protocol enables app developers to share anything we do in their apps, automatically, in the background. For example, every now and then I entertain myself with a bit of Justin Bieber, which is what I wanted to do this morning on Spotify. Luckily, I remembered that everything I do in Spotify is now automatically posted on my Facebook Wall (and Timeline) – right before pressing play (so I didn’t). I wouldn’t have minded the banter and pokes I would’ve gotten from my friends for doing such an atrocity, but I would go crazy if Facebook started inviting me to Justin Bieber concerts in London. Now THAT would be scary (not to mention stupid) so I’m starting to wonder if the new open graph protocol is such a good idea after all.

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