Sunday, September 11, 2016

Why I hate Facebook

Admittedly, I never wanted to go to Facebook in the first place, and more than a few unpleasant things have happened to me there from the minor (please, people, no nude pictures of your heinie at 4:30 a.m. before I have even had my coffee!) to the major (someone from there reporting all my five-star reviews as fake to Amazon)...but writing friends said I couldn’t run a business without it. While I had hit the top 1000 of all authors at Amazon for a week with no Facebook, no ads, no advance reviewers, nothing but enthusiastic readers and word of mouth, I thought, well, but these writers must all know what they’re talking about. Right? So I finally caved.

But I never loved it, and this week came the straw that broke the camel’s back. I got a notice from FB that I could not get into my account because of malware. “Here, download this program,” they said, and that’ll take care of it and we’ll let you back in.

I have my own malware/trojan/spyware program which works great, and I had just run it not twelve hours before. But I downloaded any updates that had come in overnight and ran it again. No malware. Not even one little bit. So I ran a full virus check, too. I ran a specific check via both programs on the only three files I had downloaded in the previous few days, the cover to my new book. Nada. My computer was as clean as could be.

So, I thought, I’ll return to Facebook and it’ll know I’m clean and I’ll get in. Right?


I’ll clear cookies, close the browser, and it’ll know now, right?


And so I began an internet search on tech forums. And here is what some experts say is going on...and I think they’re probably right.

When Facebook tells you there is malware on your computer, THERE IS NO MALWARE ON YOUR COMPUTER. It’s a scam. They want to force you to download this software. What that software does, the experts say, is:

1) write code to your O/S you really don’t want there
2) disable any real malware software you have installed
3) allowing FB to put whatever they wish on your computer
4) and now, because the real malware software is now disabled, you are open to actual attacks, not imaginary ones

I have never understood greedy rich people. That Zuckerbooger guy is richer than Croesus, but apparently, he needs to be richer than that. So the new forced ads, data mining of horrific, invasive sorts, and now this holding your account hostage trick. All to grab at more and more money.

As I was uploading my newest book, 41 Days, at the time, having to deal with this for four hours in the middle of the list of 22 (don’t ask) tasks required of a book release? It put in me a very bad mood. (And bad health. My blood pressure, usually normal, zoomed up 35 points.) But the mood has passed, the BP is normal again, but I'm holding a grudge. It'll be some time before I'm back, and only as an author.

Also, FYI, I never did for FB what almost every author does: upload the reader mailing list to FB. (Didn’t know writers that, did you?) Authors do this so they can pay FB to find people just like you, demographically, to try and sell more books to.

But FB encourages it because, once they have that information, they get to data mine you more. And more. And more, until, with more and more businesses giving them this information without your knowing it, they can anticipate which links you’ll chose and which products you will actually buy. They know sooner than you do which “shop” button you’ll click. As has been reported elsewhere, in many cases, they actually know women are pregnant before a woman is certain herself! Your privacy, your buying behavior, has been sold.(Seriously, who wants Facebook to know the contents of her uterus. Isn't that upsetting to anyone but me?)

Because it seemed a little slimy to me, I never gave my mailing list (of readers who signed up here) to them nor to anyone.

If you get that notice from FB about malware on your own computer, based on what I experienced personally and everything I read on line, don’t believe it. If you bite on that bait and download their “malware” program, you may end up with malware on your computer, including nasty data-mining bits of it from FB itself.

FB seems free...but there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, my friends.

Be wary. Protect your privacy.

December: Edited to make it slightly less ranty. :)

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