Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

With great power comes great responsibility

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Recently twitter deactivated accounts of Kanye West imposters. Whether this is alright or not is a tricky question. Is impersonation ok if it is satirical? Clearly yes, but usually the impersonation is transparent. But where to draw the line?

If someone impersonated you, should Twitter deactivate the impostor? If you think this is the case, then do you think it’s feasible/scalable for Twitter to do so? If not, then should they react differently to impostor deactivation requests from a public persona than from a regular user?

You can easily argue that services like Twitter are becoming increasingly integral to our socio-cultural fabric. As government simply can’t keep pace with innovation, we can’t count on traditional regulatory bodies to ensure balance - so what do we do? Simply trust their word, “don’t be evil?”

Similar examples abound - like Facebook founder’s sister flaunting the idea of removing the public page of a club she disagreed with.

Facebook Stalker List Mystery - My Guess

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

My guess on what’s behind the mystery Facebook Stalker list that shows up when you hit “.” (period) in the friend search box. (see

The search box detects key strokes in order to give you a list of friends you might be looking for. There are two ingredients that goes into making that list:

  1. The letters you’ve typed
  2. A facebook preference algorithm that determines who you’re most likely to be looking for

The search box responds not only to periods, but also hyphens and quotes (-, and ). When you type one of these characters, the search box tries to determine who you are looking for, but has only the second ingredient to go on. Thus it simply picks a selection of 5 people that you are highly connected with, by whatever metrics Facebook use to determine connectedness.