Facebook – how honest are you?

I noticed on Steve Lamb’s blog, the day after I fired off a Facebook invite to him, that he has some security concerns with the Facebook registration mechanism. And rightly so. Were it not for a large element of honesty, it’s remarkably easy for me to sign up to Facebook and pretend to be somebody else.

Steve’s right to question this issue, it and many others have been on my mind for a while now: why do we have so many social networking sites and why do people sign up to them? What’s the attraction? What do we get back from them? How are they improving the quality of our lives? Are they adding any value to the community?

And if you don’t believe this, how do you know that this person is who they say they are? I’m sure that there are clues…but I could easily upload a picture of a celebrity, use their name and basically pretend to be them. Now there’s an experiment! Incidentally, both Steve and I would appear to be “one person removed” from the aforementioned person! [Update, it seems that Steve knows the aforementioned celeb! Or does he?]

Craig Cockburn also has similar concerns:

Did you know that if you upload your date of birth, hometown, occupation and High School info to a social networking site such as this one that you are giving a potential thief more than enough to commit identity fraud?

Anyway, I’m still writing the blog post that I mentioned here, expect this topic to be raised in that post too.

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