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Is Facebook safe for companies?

Is Facebook safe for companies?

You probably thought you were going to start another game, from an IT security perspective, about the dangers of using Facebook in a business setting, right?

However, asking the question “Is Facebook safe? 2 this time, I actually mean more literally: should I do business on Facebook? The superficial answer is also obvious and this is a resounding yes. In fact, I would go on to say that it would be foolish not to exploit social media whenever possible to promote your brand and build a real community of customers.

However, if you dig a little deeper, the answer to the question becomes less clear, as discovered by software developer Matt Kruse to his detriment.

Social repairman

Kruse is the man behind Social Fixer, which is an absolutely essential plugin for any IMHO Facebook user. Regular readers can remember how early in the year we changed the frustrating Facebook user experience by installing the free JavaScript application that runs in the web browser to make the Facebook user interface more customizable.

I would go on to say that it would be stupid not to exploit social networks whenever possible to promote your brand and build a real community of customers.

True, I’m not even sure I’d use Facebook if it weren’t for Social Fixer, because the app allows you to change the ever-changing user interface again. I’m not alone either, given that in the four years Kruse has pushed its free app, it has garnered half a million users.

Now you can believe that Kruse demonstrates my point above, because he managed to build a very successful business (although he still refers to it as his personal project) based on Facebook and its surroundings. His Facebook page for Social Fixer had almost 340,000 likes, which is not bad or, more precisely, it was not. I’m using the time spent here for a reason, because Facebook has closed its Social Fixer page, which Kruse used to provide users with support and news coverage of new developments, without prior notice in early September.

Don’t panic if you haven’t tried it yet, because Social Fixer is still available here .

Facebook has only removed its community page from the social network, not the real application. Of course, Facebook might try to do this if it really wanted to, though I’m not sure how easy this would be: Social Fixer works in your local browser to customize the way it displays the Facebook interface, and therefore does not interfere with the Facebook server at all.

Even so, some commentators have come to the conclusion that this was the reason behind the removal of the Social Fixer support page: they claim that it was only a matter of time, as is clearly stated in the «Declaration of Rights and responsibilities2 ”that: do anything that could disable, overload, or impair the proper functioning or appearance of Facebook, such as a denial of service attack or interference with page rendering or other Facebook functionality. «

There is no denying that Social Fixer interferes with the rendering of the page at the end of the client, because it was designed for this very purpose.

Kruse insists that since its software is not an official application, does not use the Facebook API, and is not a registered Facebook developer, it cannot reasonably be expected to be bound by those terms and conditions. place for API developers.

Moreover, it also insists that the clause in question is clearly aimed at malware and spyware. Any interference with page playback should not change the way these pages appear to others, not to an individual user in their own browser.

Is Facebook safe for companies?

Kruse continues to argue, with much common sense, in my opinion, that if Facebook wanted to extend this condition to prohibit any interference from the individual at the end of the client, then anyone changes the font size (I am, as the view is too weak for read full-size text) or to implement custom styles for readability (again) or to enlarge the screen (hello!) would be the default.

It’s just stupid – bring such a condition to its absurd conclusion, and we should go back 20 years, to the days when AOL and CompuServe drove the chicken coop, with proprietary browsers completely dictating what the experience might look like. your user.

Adjust the rights

No, no matter how much Facebook wants otherwise, the fact is that the user has the right to change the way web pages are displayed in the browser of his choice.

«Social Fixer runs in your own browser and changes the screen on your behalf because you requested it,» says Kruse. «This does not violate any terms of use.»

No matter how much Facebook wants otherwise, the fact is that the user has the right to change the way web pages are displayed in the browser of his choice.

So what reason did Facebook give for closing the Social Fixer community page? Kruse was initially unsure, because all he was told was that his page was «in violation of community standards,» although he later learned that it was removed because it was marked as «spam-containing.»

This is strange, because it was used to provide support and news to users who already liked the page, the 340,000, and who therefore agreed to receive this news. As of this writing, Facebook is keeping its lips closed on the whole case and has not yet answered Kruse’s questions, asking for a more detailed explanation.

Warning to companies

In the end, I’m not sure it really matters, but I wonder if this just serves as another warning for any company planning a large social investment right now – sit back and carefully examine your strategy to make sure that you do not put yourself in danger of being hit by a single breakdown point (SPOF) bus.

The special bus I am thinking of is the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which is often cited in network tutorials as a worrying example of SPOF potential. If all your services are connected through this BSE, and if this BSE fails, there can be no communication between customers and services – SPOF may shut down your entire network, even temporarily, until it is fixed again.

Similarly, if you have built your business or social strategy around a single network such as Facebook and that network decides to disconnect, for whatever reason, good or bad, then it has become a SPOF with potentially costly implications. .

With an increasing number of companies choosing which social network to invest time and money with depending on the size of the network, their customer profile, interface issues, etc., it is quite easy to lose sight of the wood of the trees.

Instead of putting all your social media eggs in one basket, a smart business of any size needs to spread the risk to avoid a SPOF bus accident. At the very least, any socialization strategy should incorporate an emergency plan to mitigate the impact of a failure, such as shutting down Facebook.

Backup plan

For registration, Kruse had that contingency plan. Although their Facebook page was, understandably for Facebook-only software, the central means of communicating with their customers, it was not what we might call a critical addiction.

Social Fixer not only works well without that page, but the software checks the development company’s servers for important messages and displays them to users anyway. This is not a route that Kruse has used much in the past, because he preferred the Facebook page option, ironically, given that he is accused of spam because it was less intrusive to the user …