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Censorship Facebook Communications Social Networks Spam Your Rights Online

Facebook Says It's Filtering Comments For Spam, Not Censoring Them 155

Posted by timothy
from the you're-not-worthy-you're-not-worthy dept.
bhagwad writes "Apparently Robert Scoble tried to post a long comment on Facebook only to have a message pop up saying 'This comment seems irrelevant or inappropriate and can't be posted. To avoid having your comments blocked, please make sure they contribute to the post in a positive way.' If true, this is huge. For one the self-moderating system of comments has always been the rule so far. And with countries like India rooting for the pre-screening of content and comments, is Facebook thinking of caving into these demands?" Facebook says there's a more innocuous explanation: namely, that the comment triggered a spam filter.
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Facebook Says It's Filtering Comments For Spam, Not Censoring Them

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  • From the TFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by commlinx (1068272) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:22AM (#39906791) Journal

    Not sure how old this story is, but from among other things from TFA (well blog entry) that appear to be have updated over time:

    2. My comment included three @ links. That probably is what triggered the spam classification system.

    I don't use Facebook / Twitter but that along with other a few other characteristics of the message in question sound like a pretty reasonable way to set up a spam filter.

    • Re:From the TFA (Score:5, Informative)

      by jouassou (1854178) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:37AM (#39906829) Homepage
      On Facebook, you use @ links to mention friends in a post or comment. So if you say something innocent like "I went to the movies with @Jane, @Peter and @Bob", that would trigger such a spam filter.
      • by Auroch (1403671)

        On Facebook, you use @ links to mention friends in a post or comment. So if you say something innocent like "I went to the movies with @Jane, @Peter and @Bob", that would trigger such a spam filter.

        ... only if you didn't habitually link to large numbers of people, AND if those people never interacted back.

        • That's still completely arbitrary. Essentially that's saying that if I'm not a complete drone and posting the same kinds of things all the time, I'll get flagged as Spam.

          That's an even worse kind of censorship, because it is so insidious.
        • by fatphil (181876)
          Since when has "never interacted back" been a way of detecting link spammers? Such a rule will never detect the most troublesome spammers. In my experience cross-refering is very common. It was massively exploited in earlier versions of google's page rank by spammers.
    • If only. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:46AM (#39906857)

      Oh, you must not remember the goatse ascii stuff the trolls made prolific here in the early days of Slashdot.

      To illustrate Slashdot's own comment filtering system, Try pasing the following into a Slashdot comment three times and hit preview.
      @}-,-`-
      You'll get:
      Filter error: Please use fewer 'junk' characters.

      Try typing something like "OMG PONIES OMG OMG OMG" without quotes and you'll get:
      Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

      Yet, a quarter of the people I know on FB use both forms *extensively*. If only they'd filter those out.

  • Myleen Klbutt applied to the Mrumpachusetts Insbreastute of Technology, but she didn't get in so she went to Svaginahorpe instead.

    • by Canazza (1428553)

      You forgot her day trips to Ladypartheroe and Chickenburnspath

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Megane (129182)
      Good comment! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a great day! P.S. MicrosoftUggLiveBoots!
  • by OzUnsane (55826) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:30AM (#39906811)

    Try exchanging even private messages using the term 'xtube'. Yes, they censor.

    • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:51AM (#39906885)
      It's not always clear what motives are. For example, on MSN, you can't mention any address ending in no-ip.org. Microsoft did it, so I gather, because some botnet was using no-ip.org dynamic addresses and spreading via IM (One of those 'go to mysite.no-ip.org/pictures_of_the_holiday.exe' things I imagine), but it's still very annoying for people like me who have a legitimate use for no-ip.org subdomains.
      • by Cito (1725214) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @10:26AM (#39907809) Homepage

        I just tested that on my msn account

        I tested on aim, msn, yahoo chat on my trillian client and I could paste that URL without it censoring

        So it's not censored by the actual msn network at all.

        The official msn client might censor it. But who uses official clients anyhow?

        Trillian rocks and doesnt block anything for censorship. Worked just fine pasting a no-ip.org site, tested about 10 of them

        • Maybe they stopped doing it. I don't want to pester any friends over just a test message, so I'll try it next time I talk to one of them for some other reason.
    • by _merlin (160982)

      What interest would they have in preventing discussion of xtube? Are they operating a competing pr0n site?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Redtube too.

    • to 1984 and Soylent Green.
  • Unless something new is discovered, it's probably just an unfortunate wording. Had Facebook not tried to be more clever than it is, the developer would just placed "You triggered a spam filter" in the comment, user would complain, and Facebook would work on the spam filter.

    From the other hand, where were the hordes of Martin Niemoller quoters when the spam filtering was introduced in the first place? If were a Nazi I would first came for that guy, so he would not leave this quote.

  • It's been a while. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ntropy (17310) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:34AM (#39906823) Homepage

    First post since 1999 to say...

    Delete your fucking Facebook account, idiot.

  • by rta (559125) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:44AM (#39906847)

    Problem solved.

    And actually, the guy who tried to post, is the reason why FB has so much power anyway. The blocked comment itself says he can't be bothered to read blogs anymore and he just watches FB, G+ and twitter. If you want to go swimming with sharks don't be surprised if you get eaten.

  • by sirdude (578412) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:50AM (#39906875)

    In this information age where data-mining, credit/reputation ratings, etc. are the norm, why do people who are aware of its draconian privacy aspects, potential for misuse and the time sink that it is, continue to use FB? This is a serious 87 billion dollar question.

    • 1) You may not care about the privacy aspects if you're OK with everything going public anyway
      2) Misuse of data: see above
      3) time sink? You could say the same about /., yet here you are. FB is only as big a time sink as you let it.

      That said, I don't have an FB account, since I don't see many benefits for me and I don't want to litter [betabeat.com].

    • by Sepodati (746220) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @06:06AM (#39906933) Homepage

      It's a great way to keep in contact with a large group of people (family, friends, co-workers) and stay updated on a variety of topics (football, TV shows, news). I'm not going to email everyone individually. I'm not going to call everyone individually. They are not all individually going to come to my website or gallery. I'm not going to visit 30-odd websites to get the latest news/updates/posts.

      I have no expectations of privacy for anything I do on the web, so I don't really care what FB does with my posts or interests. That's the real world. It's not an "ignorant sheeple" don't care... it's an "educated assessment of the personal value of the system" don't care.

      If it doesn't work for you, then that's fine and obviously there are plenty of other options out there.

      • One of the most insightful posts on Facebook ever - and there's damn few of them given Slashdot's rabid antipathy towards Facebook.

    • Ordinary people(those that don't care much about anything else other then networking/connecting or whatever the term is) use FB, since it's easy and at this point, everyone has it. FB seems to be specifically made for them.

      I use it to be in touch with them ordinary people (like my dad, sister, few friends not using computers at all except fb and such). /. Crowd can bash FB as much as they like, but the truth is for some of us, if we didn't use FB, we wouldn't be able to communicate with certain people, and

    • by hism (561757)
      Not having Facebook would seriously inhibit my social life. It is hard to avoid it when the vast majority of your social circle uses it to communicate and plan events. I try to limit what I share, what information I put on it, and avoid associating my other online accounts with Facebook, but I can't control what others put up about me...
      • It is hard to avoid it when the vast majority of your social circle uses it to communicate and plan events.

        The vast majority of my social circle doesn't fuck around with Facebook at all and we manage to communicate and plan events...

        Maybe it's time to reexamine why they're in your circle to begin with if you leaving Facebook is going to actually strain your friendship? If they can't be arsed to shoot an email or text message to the guy that doesn't want to waste his time reading stupid bullshit (90% of Facebook status updates), then they're probably not your friend in the first place. I had friends that didn't

        • by PCM2 (4486)

          Maybe it's time to reexamine why they're in your circle to begin with if you leaving Facebook is going to actually strain your friendship? If they can't be arsed to shoot an email or text message to the guy that doesn't want to waste his time reading stupid bullshit (90% of Facebook status updates), then they're probably not your friend in the first place.

          Get a little older. By 40 or so, you'll find it's often just too difficult to try to get three people in the same place at the same time to go to the movies, yet alone keep up with everything that's going on in everybody's lives. In fact, I've actually had more than one friend announce their major illness on Facebook -- and certainly plenty of pictures of new babies. Also, if the most likely place you're going to see some of your old friends is at scheduled, public events (parties, art openings, live music,

          • Get a little older. By 40 or so, you'll find it's often just too difficult to try to get three people in the same place at the same time to go to the movies, yet alone keep up with everything that's going on in everybody's lives.

            I'm not too far off, now (33) and obviously it's difficult for everyone to get together with work and kids and the trappings of day to day life, but like I said, we still manage just fine without Facebook. Sure, some of our "circle" uses FB to communicate with each other, but they still make sure that us non-FB friends get the word and are included. That, to me, isn't too much to expect for someone that would call themselves my friend.

            We all have email addresses and internet at home, and most of us that a

          • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

            Get a little older. By 40 or so, you'll find it's often just too difficult to try to get three people in the same place at the same time to go to the movies, yet alone keep up with everything that's going on in everybody's lives.

            I kind of wonder what people did before FB came along. I have these visions of crying, wailing and gnashing of teeth, because there was no way to tell other people about themselves and what was going on in their lives.

    • by cvtan (752695) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @07:13AM (#39907085)
      It's always annoying when people become successful doing things that you don't believe in.
      You're just miffed that you didn't think of it first.
      If your grandchildren are on it, you have to be on it. The end.
      [But is is a colossal waste of time.]
      • [But is is a colossal waste of time.]

        Ha! That's what they said about television, and look where that's taken us. I'd comment further, but my show's on.

    • In this information age where data-mining, credit/reputation ratings, etc. are the norm, why do people who are aware of its draconian privacy aspects, potential for misuse and the time sink that it is, continue to use FB? This is a serious 87 billion dollar question.

      Don't put anything too personal on there and what is the problem? I've got a couple of hundred FB friends from various places I've worked and lived, in the 5 odd years I've been using FB the sum of all data I've read and contributed amounts to the following: Happy birthday I'm going out who wants to come? I'm hungover I'm going on holiday Look at my holiday pics Did you watch tonight's episode of xyz? Here's a photo of my cat/child This info is useful to me because it helps maintain relationships with peop

      • I'm hungover

        Bingo. If you're hung over, then you probably drank too much. Overdrinking leads to all sorts of excesses in risk-taking: promiscuous sex, abuse of drugs, poorly executed extreme stunts, violence against others, and other ridiculousness. Do you want others to judge you for this?

        • by PCM2 (4486)

          Overdrinking leads to all sorts of excesses in risk-taking: promiscuous sex, abuse of drugs, poorly executed extreme stunts, violence against others, and other ridiculousness.

          Haven't noticed any of the above, myself. In my experience, it usually leads to telling excessive jokes, bickering about bands, concocting crazy schemes that we'll never follow through with, playing lots of music way too loud, and generally having a good time. Then feeling like crap the next morning.

          Based on your own description, however, may I suggest that you avoid alcohol and stick to prune juice.

    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @09:00AM (#39907357)

      Because I can honestly say it's improved my quality of life. Thanks to they dynamics of Facebook I've:

      1) Had a change of career.
      2) I went to live in a very desirable foreign country for 2 years.
      3) I manage to keep in touch with many more friends than I could possibly do before.
      4) I get invited to social events that I wouldn't have heard about before.
      5) My professional network is wide, and I hear about a lot of things that are useful to me professionally.
      etc.

      For sure it can be a time-sink. As can Slashdot. As can any web-site that keeps you engaged. If it wasn't useful and/or enjoyable it wouldn't be a time-sink.

      • by fatphil (181876)
        > 3) I manage to keep in touch with many more friends than I could possibly do before.

        Bullshit. If you and they have an IP connection then you both could have connected to an IRC network, and kept in real-time contact with them all ever since the early 90s. If you or they do not have an IP connection, then you're pretty screwed on the Farcebook front too.

        And you also presume they don't have mobile phones. Or email. Or membership of a forum dedicated to whatever common interest you share. Or...
        • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @08:17PM (#39911403)

          I don't PRESUME anything. The list is about things in my life, I have complete knowledge about everything I mentioned. Unlike you.

          If you and they have an IP connection then you both could have connected to an IRC network, and kept in real-time contact with them all ever since the early 90s.

          I know what IRC is, and the experience is horrible. My less geeky friends wouldn't know what it was, and would be even less likely to be prepared to use it. So no I couldn't contact them that way. And what room? Make one just for me and my friends? What about their friends that are not mine? Start multiple rooms? But then getting the message to just your own friends... It's a fucking horrible nightmare. IRC is not built for networking.If you think IRC is the answer, you don't understand the problem.

          And you also presume they don't have mobile phones. Or email.

          Phone: Right, so if I want to tell my friends about something, I have to make over X phone calls. Where X is an impracticably large number.

          Email is the closest, it works OK for me arranging things. But as a way of exchanging things that might be of interest to friends, chatting, it's not the right tool. I always used email, and none of the things I listed would have happened through that medium.

          Or membership of a forum dedicated to whatever common interest you share.

          My guess is that this is why you don't understand. Those people that share a common interest with and you talk to on forums... they're not your friends. Friends are people you interact with in real life, and Facebook acts as a dedicated tool for not losing contact with them in between the times when you see them. If you don't have many real friends, you may note see the need for Facebook.

          • by fatphil (181876)
            > IRC ... Start multiple rooms[sic]?

            Sure. I'm always on 9 different channels with mostly different but occasionally overlapping (e.g. ex-workmates and current workmates overlap) groups of friends, half of which exist almost entirely for organising face-2-face things at very short notice.

            If you or your friends are lacking the ability to use IRC to do networking, then it's not because it's not possible, which was your claim.
            • It could be that. Or it could be that you're too stupid to use Facebook.

              It's just about possible to hammer a nail in with a screwdriver. Sometimes. Of the nail is small enough and the chisel big enough. If the person doing it has a hammer available, and still uses the chisel, they're a fucktard.

              • by fatphil (181876)
                > It could be that. Or it could be that you're too stupid to use Facebook.

                This demonstrates your inability to look at anything with even a modicum of intelligence and logic. There is no way your whining something's not possible, and my indicating that it is indeed possible, can be because of stupidity on my part.

                Keep using facebook, by all means, I've been told your kind is perfectly at home there.
                • This demonstrates your inability to look at anything with even a modicum of intelligence and logic. There is no way your whining something's not possible, and my indicating that it is indeed possible, can be because of stupidity on my part.

                  It can when you are wrong that it was possible. Again, this is about my life, so I know and you don't. And secondly you're too stupid to understand, despite being told, that unlike IRC, Facebook is a tool with features for networking, and handles both instantaneous, and time shifted communication.

                  Again, you're going to reject that, because you're pride prevents you from admitting you didn't think your original post through. Or that you have no experience of Facebook. But whatever you say, you are wrong. Ag

                  • by fatphil (181876)
                    You have overlooked the fact that my disagreement was purely with one of your 5 original points. You seem to think that I have asserted everything you say about your requirements is false, which is itself a falsity. On that single point, you are demonstrably incorrect - these things are *possible*, as people do them. It may not fit in with the way you or your friends like to do things, but that does not make the task *impossible* in any way.

                    And *of course* I have no experience of facebook. All the communica
                    • And *of course* I have no experience of facebook.

                      So you have no knowledge of my life, and no experience of Facebook. If you had any ability of introspection, you'd realise just how stupid this makes your argument with someone that has extensive knowledge of both.

                      And to make it clear this isn't a symmetrical situation, I do have experience of IRC and email.

                      On that single point, you are demonstrably incorrect - these things are *possible*, as people do them.

                      Let's be clear exactly what they point was. "3) I manage to keep in touch with many more friends than I could possibly do before."
                      That is true. I have around 328 people in my network on Facebook. Around half I'm in regular contact with. I could not, and did not, keep in touch with that many via IRC (virtually none of them will use it, and it's the wrong tool for the job anyway.)

                      And email is not the right tool for the job either. Many short, possibly trivial, messages to large numbers of people are good for keeping relationships going. Small talk at a distance, enabled by technology. The type of people that use email for the type of messages that belong in Facebook will find their messages in the spam filter before long.

                      I don't know how many more ways to say this. The fact is that you don't get it because you've not experienced it. You're like someone who's never seen a car saying they don't need a car because they have a hand-cart.

                      Even if it wasn't of zero value to me, the fact that it's populated by idiots is more than enough reason to keep well away.

                      It's inhabited by ordinary people. People like your family. The people you work with. The people you see in the street. If you think Facebook is populated by idiots, you think the world is populated by idiots. And maybe that means you're lacking in friends and that's why you never saw a need for Facebook.

                      Now, in the vary same post you're saying it's a fact that Facebook is populated by idiots, and also that you have no experience of Facebook. So you're claiming what? That you're psychic? Or that your opinion is actually just parroted from someone else? If you're an example of someone that stays away from Facebook, then clearly there are plenty of idiots outside too.

            • by PCM2 (4486)

              Sure. I'm always on 9 different channels with mostly different but occasionally overlapping (e.g. ex-workmates and current workmates overlap) groups of friends, half of which exist almost entirely for organising face-2-face things at very short notice

              Great. But what about the kind of "keeping in touch" that doesn't require your constant attention and doesn't take place in real time for everybody at the same time, which is 99% of what Facebook is used for?

              (I know, I know, "run your own Listserv." Whatever, dude.)

              • by fatphil (181876)
                Oh, dear. Your facebook-addled brain apparently fails to notice that at no point do I say "only use IRC". E-mail's perfectly functional if you prefer to handle things at your own pace. Then again, there's nothing to stop me reading my IRC sessions only once a week if I so prefer. There's nothing about the fact that lines may be added at the bottom arbitrarily frequently that means your cursor needs to move at any speed down the page apart from that which you yourself desire. You apparently haven't mastered
    • by bmo (77928)

      Because it's really no different than using Usenet.

      If you treat it as yet another "usenet" knowing full well what you post is public and archived by Google and other archivers, then it makes things a lot easier. Inb4 "X-no-archive=yes" - nobody uses that because Google/Dejanews is the only one that pays attention, and with AstraWeb and such other usenet providers advertising one or two years of retention, well, it's kinda useless.

      --
      BMO

    • by sco08y (615665)

      In this information age where data-mining, credit/reputation ratings, etc. are the norm, why do people who are aware of its draconian privacy aspects, potential for misuse and the time sink that it is, continue to use FB? This is a serious 87 billion dollar question.

      I've got friends on FB going back years, and there's no way I'm going to convince them to ditch FB. It's as simple as that.

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      If they're using my Facebook feed for data mining and targeted advertising, why haven't promotional bottles of liquor started showing up on my doorstep yet?

  • by Arrogant-Bastard (141720) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:56AM (#39906903)
    Prolific spammer Facebook allegedly implements an anti-spam mechanism? In related news, Exxon has announced that henceforth its offshore drilling platforms will be called "environmental enhancement modules".
    • by Phroggy (441)

      Prolific spammer Facebook allegedly implements an anti-spam mechanism?

      In related news, Exxon has announced that henceforth its offshore drilling platforms will be
      called "environmental enhancement modules".

      Facebook may be many despicable things, but I've never known them to be spammers themselves (they certainly facilitate plenty of unwanted crap I don't want to see, but they also provide mechanisms for blocking that). Is there some particular behavior you had in mind that I'm not thinking of?

  • ... how, exactly?

    Have you actually tried to post on Slashdot recently?

  • Here's the flaged comment from TFA:

    I’m so glad I didn’t start a media business. It’s actually really tough to get new and interesting stories and to avoid falling into drama. People forget that Techcrunch was built step-by-step as a new publishing form was taking shape. PandoDaily doesn’t have that advantage and, is, indeed, facing competition from social networks that is quite good indeed. I no longer visit blogs. I watch Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, along with Hacker News, Techmeme, Quora. These are the new news sources. Plus, Pando Daily actually doesn’t have enough capital to compete head on with, say, D: All Things Digital or The Verge, both of which are expanding quickly and have ecosystems behind them.

    There's nothing worth censoring in that comment, a guy made a post, the system flagged it as spam, it was a simple false positive. The fact that it's the first that we know of is pretty damn impressive, means that their system is probably working quite well.
    I wish that the editors would quit with the sensationalist crap already, can we please use some common sense next time?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      can we please use some common sense next time?

      Common sense was common in the past, but people used too much and nowadays it's anything but common. So, no, we won't use it.

    • by dr_blurb (676176) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @07:09AM (#39907079)

      There's nothing worth censoring in that comment, a guy made a post,

      Well, he did mention Google+

      • The way I see it, I think the main reason that post triggered the spam filter is because it name-dropped a lot. You've probably seen a lot of spam where they go

        "Are you a stay-at-home programmer dad getting fed up with Google+, Tumblr, Facebook, Blogspot, Twitter, LiveJournal, Slashdot, 4chan, Reddit, MySpace, Xanga, and Angelfire? Come to this new site at http COLON SLASH SLASH www DOT ${SITE}.cm/referrals.php?user=dr_blurb&userid=676176 (type it out in your address bar!) and get ahead of the Internet Revvolushun while making BIG BUCK$$$!! At ${SITE}, you can become the next Google or Micro$oft or Paypal or eBay and make lots of money like Donald Trump and Zuckerberg and Bill Gates!!"

        That combined with a couple other /proprietary/ heuristics, and you have yourself a nice false positive (assuming his rant is actually a false positive).

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        For a while, any comment that mentioned Google+ disappeared. I don't know if that's the case, but I had assumed that everyone knew it was censorship. Most people had taken to calling "that other social network". I think their censorship was somewhat effective as well.

    • by Cyko_01 (1092499)
      there are plenty of reasons it could have been marked as spam!

      Look at how many big names he used - Techcrunch, Pando Daily, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Hacker News, Techmeme, Quora, Pando Daily(again), All Things Digital, The Verge

      And then on top of that there are several words that collectively could add up to it being marked as spam - media, business, social media, capital, ecosystems - these are not words that most people use more then one of in a casual conversation on facebook
  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @07:22AM (#39907107)

    The message he tried to put really looked like the sort of thing bots post. I'm not surprised at all an automated spam filter blocked it. He did mention 11 different 3rd party websites in it, so its not too amazing that it flagged.

    But as usual facebook is run by evil commies who want to oppress our free speech and all that.

  • by aglider (2435074) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @08:57AM (#39907345) Homepage

    What'd be the difference between "filtering" and "censoring"?
    How would you tell spam and non-spam apart?
    Will I still be able to read what you filtered out as spam?
    Why don't you leave the users themselves to trash what they consider useless on their own?

    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      What'd be the difference between "filtering" and "censoring"?

      Filtering is removing things the user does not want to see such as comments unrelated to the topic and/or are just advertising. Censorship is removing content the user wants to see

      How would you tell spam and non-spam apart?

      There are many algorithms and none are perfect. It is a trade off between false positives and false negatives. A human can easily tell what is spam; it is much harder for a computer. The algorithms attempt to simulate the human decision process.

      Will I still be able to read what you filtered out as spam?

      Probably not as spam is not posted

      Why don't you leave the users themselves to trash what they consider useless on their own?

      Because there have been many complaints about spam.

      • by aglider (2435074)

        Filtering is removing things the user does not want to see

        I fear Mr Facebook is not *all* users.

        A human can easily tell what is spam

        The user should tell what is span accordingly to her/his current tastes. A sarcastic humorous reply can be seen as spam by some one and as funny by some one else.

        Probably not as spam is not posted

        So what in case of an algorithmic mistake? Missing posts?

        Because there have been many complaints about spam

        But there can be also complaints about missing messages.
        My very personal point of view: don't reinvent the wheel (once more). We all know spam filters that either allow access to filtered messages or allow dynamic learning or, better, both of them.
        And my

        • by jklovanc (1603149)

          And my bottom line reads: isn't it better to get an extra spam message rather then a forever missing good message?

          Is it better to get 80% spam messages than to forever miss .01% good messages? We are not talking a one to one ration of spam to missing. If that was the case then the filters need adjusting. What we are talking about is more like thousands of spam vs a few missing. As Google has stated for every missing good message identified they use that information to adjust the filters. I believe that would be considered "dynamic learning".

          The other issue is that comparing Slashdot where at most a few thousand posts a

          • by bhagwad (1426855)
            At least the "flags" are clicked by the user. Not by an algorithm. I trust the masses judgement. So what he meant was that he would leave if Slashdot started pre screening comments. And I agree. I would leave too.
            • by jklovanc (1603149)

              Slashdot has a few thousand posts a day. Facebook has a few billion posts a day. That is a difference by a factor of a million. Even if Slashdot has only one moderator, I suspect there are more, do you really think it is valid for Facebook to hire and pay a million moderators? Spam is an issue on Facebook and, unless you have a better viable idea (moderators are not), software is the only viable tool to effectively combat it.

              Face it, Slashdot is a relatively small community when compared with Facebook. Slas

    • Why don't you leave the users themselves to trash what they consider useless on their own?

      Because there's times when the user is unaware that they are sending. I got spam from a good friend about 3 months after she died.

      Most spambots will rely on a owned account to deluge the contact list. It's an automated threat, and needs an automated solution.

      That being said, they should include a false-positive workaround, like a CAPTCHA, for messages that are flagged "spam", rather than blocking them outright.

  • I know its their right as a commercial entity, but its wrong to filter anyone's content.

    I hope more people find out and show their disapproval with their feet. ( i know, its wish full thinking )

  • I posted a youtube link that was on topic to someone elses youtube link on their status update and I got hit with a captcha challenge to prove I was human...
  • I have never regretted closing and deleting the Facebook page that I had. I'm even more glad that it didn't use my real name or ever have any pictures with me in them anywhere on Facebook. Facebook is a fucking social virus and I'll celebrate the day it comes crashing down in ruin. I'll also laugh and point at all of you who scoffed at my valuing privacy on the day that it finally dawns on you that you've screwed yourselves over six ways from Sunday by putting your entire life on the damned thing.
  • That doesn't sound any different.

  • That goes beyond stopping spam. I've been blocked from linking several Slashdot articles that included mentions of U.S. intelligence agencies.
  • First post to /. in a while, but nobody seems to ask the question, why does Facebook need a spam filter? Would not one just block connections or eliminate them from your network if they were spamming you?

    I deleted my FB account a long time ago for the normal reasons:

    1. It became clear that there was no real privacy policy, in particular with the platform changing my settings every policy update. I mean fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, I'm a fricken idiot right? No, second time was enough, dele

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      First post to /. in a while, but nobody seems to ask the question, why does Facebook need a spam filter? Would not one just block connections or eliminate them from your network if they were spamming you?

      I think it gets more complicated than that with Facebook's various privacy settings. In a lot of cases, you can access and even post to "friends of friends." So if you mistakenly friend a bot, that person might then be able to start posting link spam on your friends' posts without you realizing it.

      And yes, some people really do want to allow friends of friends to comment that way, so saying "fix the privacy settings" isn't enough.

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.

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