Friday, October 02, 2009

Open Letter to Facebook Spammers

I posted this letter as a note on Facebook, in a desperate attempt to get people to stop spamming my Facebook stream. Considering the zilch effect it had on them, I suspect it was drowned out by the very spam it was supposed to fight. Posting it here because it's sort of a continuation of this post.

Dear Facebook Spammer,

I know this letter of mine is going to cause some strain in our relationship, but I can't help it. Trust me, I've thought long and hard about this. The decision to write this letter was a painful one.

So I'll get straight to the topic.

Stop spamming - just stop. Desist. Refrain. Please.

I know it's tough, and I know I have no right to be ordering you about. It's a free country after all. But still.

I do understand that you feel the need to consult your daily horoscope every day on Facebook. And of course I can accept the fact that you must ask Mystical Meg a whole bunch of questions before you can make a decision of any sort. And believe me - I too want to know how many people have a crush on me and who my Enemy of the Day is. And when I get bored, I take random Facebook quizzes too, just like you.

After all, Facebook is all about the mindless entertainment.

But when these applications ask me whether I want to publish the results on my page -  now that's where I pause. I think about it. I weigh my options.

Do I WANT people to know that I just took the 'How well do you know your Harry Potter' quiz? Will the results of my consultation with Anita the Online Psychic interest them at ALL? Will they WANT to know what my Fortune Cookie (which, by the way, looks like something else entirely) just foretold?

I think these things through. And then I very deliberately click the 'Skip' button.

The problem is that you just don't seem to! And in choosing not to, you clutter up my Facebook stream! In desperation, I even tried Facebook Lite. The lack of spam was simply awesome for two days, but then the usability was kinda meh. So I came back to normal Facebook.

My second problem is with status messages. Don't get me wrong - they're awesome in general. They tell me what my friends have been up to recently. And even when they don't, the people on my friends' list are generally clever/witty/interesting enough for the status messages to be worth reading.


Why oh why, dear FB Spammer, do you insist on linking  your Twitter account to your Facebook profile? Yes, I do know it must be a pain to have to post your awesome status messages separately on Facebook and Twitter each time. But there's this awesome app called Selective Twitter - the premise is that you can 'select' which of your tweets becomes your Facebook status message.

I think the problem is that you don't quite understand the difference between Twitter and Facebook, dear FBS. I won't mind if you spam me on Twitter, because I can always un-follow you there. Yes yes - I know I can hide you from my Facebook stream too - but then I DO want to know what you're up to, FBS. Just not every five minutes is all. I'm sure you understand.

Now now. Don't think I'm deaf - I can hear you wondering why the *BLEEP* I'm on Facebook in the first place, if it pisses me off so much?

I'll admit it's all about the entertainment for me. I like reading people's status messages. I like the videos they post and the photos they put up. I like staying updated with XL news. And of course I can stalk people by visiting their profiles and checking what they've been up to. Okay fine, I guess I might be slightly addicted.

But that's precisely why I really need you to stop ruining the experience for me, FBS. Please.

Love as usual,
Regular Facebook User

• • •


viplav said...

i totally agree...

how many times 'online Psychic' got my future wrong

so many times they said i'll get fortune..just to get my credit bills :(

Heathcliffs Girl said...

Inspired by this i put something up lke this on fb too.d mafia wars are still there but i found a lot of fellow cribbers n also SOLUTIONS!
i am in control again.

R said...

NOTHING works with these people. I have had status messages saying "What is my death agent of the day? YOU, asshole, the one with all the time in the world for quizzes."

Alas, nothing works. I hide at least twenty results of all kinds on my stream every day. It's unfortunate how they never stop trying out new things and the application maniacs never stop inventing more.

Jade said...

Viplav: Not exactly my point, but heh. :)

Heathcliff's Girl: Oh good. At least it worked for you. I have 20 'likes' on my post, but no decrease in the spam. :(

Rohit: Lol.. You've actually done that? Nice. :D Wish I had the guts to do that. By the way, do try FB Lite - it's nice for a bit.

anonimo said...

ola yo solo quiero saber como agrandar la pecera de facebook en la aplicacion fish friends me dice que con guijarros pero nose como porfavor ayudame

Veena said...

Love that comment on the fortune cookie! :)