428: IRL Facebook

Do you become Facebook friends with people you haven’t met in person?

Full episode script

According to a report in CNet, Way back in the early days of 2009, Australian security team Sophos,

“conducted a study to see how likely Facebook users were to offer up personal information, 41 to 46 percent of the 100 people Sophos contacted “blindly accepted” friend requests from two fake Facebook users created by the security firm.

After becoming friends with Sophos, the security firm was able to access up to 89 percent of the users’ full dates of birth, all of their e-mail addresses, where they went to school, and more.”

As Orthodox Sunflower wrote in an article for The Coffeelicious:

I am just baffled and am trying to understand as to why someone would accept a request from a stranger who has never spoken to them before. Why give me access to your personal pictures and personal information? Some of you even have your mobile phone listed! What do you know about me? How do you know I’m trustworthy? I might be a serial killer for all you know. Do you feel more safe because it’s online? Is it because we are in the same groups so that makes me trustworthy? Or do you accept all friend requests that come your way? I would at least expect a PM asking me why I want to friend you and how you found me. I would then explain my reasoning to you and then it’s up to you to decide if I sound trustworthy.

The reality is, many of us make and find friends online as often – if not more often – than we do in real life. But what does that process look like for you? Do you first meet them, then friend on social media — or the other way around? Is it different for your Facebook account vs Twitter or Instagram?

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.