The Facebook Phish.

Facebook are removing anyone who has registered with a name they don’t believe is real. They haven’t come for my account on there yet but it’s only a matter of time.

Names like Bingo McSprocket will no longer be allowed. They weren’t really allowed in the first place but as long as Bingo caused no trouble, Facebook turned a blind eye.

No longer. They are systematically ‘cleaning up the site’ but that’s not quite what they are really doing.

Stimpy, my co-worker, has a Facebook account. In his real name. A perfectly ordinary real name. Not quite ‘John Smith’ but really not that far from it. Facebook targeted him and demanded he prove who he is – even though they take money from his bank account monthly for a game he subscribes to on the site. I have no idea which game since I ignore all those invitations to waste time on a cartoon farm or any other game. I am a deadly procrastinator anyway, I do not need added distractions.

The receipts for payments to Facebook from a bank account in his name were not enough to convince Facebook that he was using his real name. They want a lot of personal details or they will close the account.

Stimpy is not as daft as he looks (nobody could be) so his last message to them was along the lines of “How do I know who you are? I am not keen to give all these personal details to ‘the facebook team’ because you could be anyone”.

He is right. This is a phishing-scammer’s dream come true. They will be sending out messages from ‘the Facebook team’ insisting that they don’t believe your name is real and demanding you log on through a link to resolve the matter. The link will look like it goes to Facebook but will in fact go to a subdirectory in a Russian tractor factory website.

Scammers are at this sort of thing all the time anyway but now that Facebook are doing it too, it gives their fake emails legitimacy.

And why are Facebook doing this? They aren’t targeting troublemakers. They are picking out random individuals, including those with perfectly ordinary real names. They are not cleaning up the site.

They are collecting data on their members. Data that would be of enormous value to targeted advertising. Sure, the Government have insisted that Facebook clean up the internet because Government believe that Facebook, Twitter and Google run the internet – but for Facebook, this opportunity to boost their ad revenue while claiming ‘politicians made us do it’ is too good to miss.

They will come for me eventually. When they do, they will get a short reponse in two Geldofian monosyllables and I won’t be on Facebook any more.

I might re-join as John Smith, a newsagent born in 1956. If everyone they erased did that, it could turn out to be very funny indeed. A sort of electronic version of the Monty Python ‘Bruces’ sketch but on a vast scale.

Every ‘John Smith’ who is queried for personal details can then send the Geldofian response and re-join later as John Smith, a newsagent of 1956 vintage. We could even all use the same profile pic.

Are they going to wipe out all the ‘John Smith’ accounts? Most of them are real. There are a lot of John Smiths out there.

When they do that, we simply all rejoin as John Davies or another common name which we’d have to agree on before our John Smiths get wiped, and do it all again.

If we keep it up, one day there will be thousands of us.

And then we all rejoin, co-ordinated so we all join within the space of a few minutes, as Dimitri Batguano and see what they make of that.

Yes, their gaffe, their rules, but when they use their ‘free’ service to phish for personal details, I say that makes them fair game.

In this game, it’s Facebook’s move next. When they do finally root me out I will let you all know when John Smith, Newsagent, goes live.

It might be tomorrow or it might take them years to get around to me, since they are working their way through every name on that site, not just the obviously bizarre ones.

When they come for you, have a John Smith ready to go.


26 thoughts on “The Facebook Phish.

  1. Been there, etc. They froze my son’s business account and asked for sight of various documents to reopen it. When I asked how they could judge whether they were genuine or false when they’d never seen them before . . . silence. It’s probably still frozen but he still gets business from it so fuckem.


  2. I think it’s all come about because of the revelations that Obama has about 1.9 million fake followers/friends on InstaFaceTwitPicTube or whatever it’s called (just like most of those who vote for him having been found to be dead or imaginary).

    So, doing what good leftists always do they target any, and every, body else ‘except’ the people found out doing wrong (muslims raping and grooming? Target some septuagenarian white pensioner celebrities. A bunch of efnics shooting and killing each other? Disarm the white population so they can be targeted by efnics too. ……).

    Interestingly (conversely) I’ve met the ‘we need to confirm your identity, so can you show that you have a Farcebook page to prove you aren’t made up’ thing before (No really! Some people/businesses do actually feel that unless you’ve had a Farcebook page for years you aren’t really real. So, if I’m neither real, nor have a Farcebook page, do I actually exist and most importantly do i still have to pay that bill?). Now some will (maybe, but probably not) start realising that it was worth precisely zilch.

    I’m game, but ….. can I be a David Jones instead of a John Smith – John’s a bit plain, whereas David is a tall, dashing, debonair man-about-town who drives an … Aston (yes, definitely an Aston, with a Morgan for weekends)? And ‘a newsagent’? I need my lie in so something that doesn’t entail getting out of bed before … twoish?


  3. My FB page has the name of one of my Avatars from GW2 – and corresponding screen shot picture…I wonder how quickly will they get to me? If they close my account, will it stay closed, because when I try to close it it comes alive again, and again, and again…


    • I thought their strategy was to have as many accounts as possible prior to their Stock Market listing.

      Many of these “accounts” have been generated for small businesses, based on information they’ve snatched from Google and telephone directories.

      It became very obvious when I was searching for pubs and clubs (with smoking rooms) in the Netherlands and Italy – and they’re so good at what they do, the actual web site that’s owned by the pub is listed beneath them on a Google search.

      Open it and it’s a blank shell asking if you own this business.

      The odd thing is virtually every single one of these shells seems to have between three and a dozen “followers”!

      I have to assume that’s to give the business owner an idea of what might happen if they elect to activate their Facebook page.

      Those that do have a virtual guarantee they’ll come high on any search engine ranking, presumably because Facebook have the ability to automate searches and make that happen.

      Re people like yourself, I’m afraid you were (and may still be) a necessary statistic, so they can boast about the number of registered accounts they have. However now it’s a public company they’ve encountered a bunch of knowledgeable analysts who have demanded to know the number of accounts that are active.

      Actually not that many. Even fewer if you strip out all the fake “followers”.

      And how exactly does Facebook “monetize” that lot. They don’t… but that doesn’t stop people hoping they’ll come up with a magic formula, hence the reason why, despite all, the share price has virtually doubled since their launch in July 2012.

      Compare that to the boring old creating jobs and services that generate real revenue. Easyjet – and what they’ve done since 2012.


  4. I almost never use Facebook, but I do have an account in my real name. I also have an account in the name of Nisa Kiman. I use one of my avatars as the pic for that one, of a baby smoking, if I remember right. I’m not sure if they’ll clock that one. I also have another account in another fabricated name. If they cancelled the lot, it wouldn’t even cause a ripple in my life.


  5. I’m not a user of Farcebook that much. My daughter uses it but she’s young and has a life. I get the odd message or invite etc. but it’s of no real use to me. I do Twitter or I did a few weeks back. 140 characters! Whoopee not. It has its uses. It gets people to my blog tho which isn’t so bad.

    I’ve been in IT for 30 plus years starting with a commodore Pet with a cassette drive, a Sirius CPM machine with two floppy drives, an IBM 286 with a hard drive before going exotic with a Toshiba portable with a blue screen. I worked with a company turning over £1.5 million a year using a computer with a 5mb hard disk for all our admin. Changed days.

    You can never make money with the big US tech companies but you can because of them.


    • Ahhh, the ACT Sirius, way before it’s time. You could play tunes on the floppies 🙂 AND they were 600K not IBM’s offering of 160 or 320.
      Yes, I did a lot of work on one of those, Still got one stashed somewhere, I wonder if it still works [No don’t go there, it’s too late and means climbing in the loft]. 🙂


      • 5.25″ single sided floppies 512kb then the mighty 1024 kb double sided. Star word processing and a spreadsheet package. ACT were based in Stroud and they morphed into Apricot when they moved to Glenrothes. Sony 3.5 1.44 MB which were £10 per disk so it was £100 per box.

        The cassette tapes used in the Pet had wee holes near the start of the tape and at the end other wise they were standard audio tapes. Sometimes they would turn up with the holes and music recorded on them.

        An IBM 34… With terminals that took up half your desk.


        • I remember when I was at grammar school in the early 60s that a local industry upgraded its computer and donated the old one to the school physics department. They had to get the builders in to knock two classrooms into one room to accommodate it, and it probably had less processing power than my pocket calculator.

          Given that we’re only talking 50 years ago, it’s incredible how computing has progressed. When you look at the price and capabilities of a mid-range smart phone these days as compared to that behemoth that my school had, it’s quite staggering.


    • I had an Amstrad PCW with CP/M. Locoscript was a damn good word processor at the time. Pity I had PCs running MS-DOS at work – transferring files was possible but a hell of a fiddle.


  6. Facefuck is a pain in the arse, but without it, the “hobby” would be impossible.

    At one time, not so many years back, you would get invites to battles from other regiments by post, or E-Mail.

    Now, it is all Facefuck.

    I only LOOK in my mail box two or three times per month nowdays. (Snail-mail box, that is)

    It is all done on Facefuck.


    • A friend, a pipe fitter, has just had to sign up with LinkedIn. He wanted to apply for a job but the oil firm in question only accepts applications via LinkedIn.

      I’m on there too, but haven’t looked at it for months. I can’t work out how to use it!


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