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An Unholy Alliance: Facebook and Spark People

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I for one, am not a person who is a big Facebook fan. The intrusiveness of Facebook into my everyday life irks me. The fact that Facebook seems to want to know and publish every time I change my underwear, REALLY irks me.

With a single misspoken word --and now "checked box", my entire social world knows that I'm struggling with weight issues. I am truly disappointed --that Spark people has bought into an unholy alliance with the country's biggest nosy neighbor. I do not know how much money Facebook paid to be privy to our deepest secrets and most private thoughts and hardest struggles...but I am so SO sad that Chris, the "SparkGuy" and whoever else is responsible for this decision should have made it without adequately informing us and even consulting us as it involves to such a large degree our private and intimate information. It may be that they actually thought we would ENJOY having our weight victories published with such ease--and totally been unaware that people bare their hearts here...their worst struggles and sometimes hardest defeats...And maybe it didn't truly occur to them that we would NOT enjoy our best friend in kindergarten and now our new boss to have access to this information with the click of a button.

So people TAKE CARE, and BEWARE: When you fill out a Sparkstatus, do it on your Spark Page and NOT from the side bar (which is automatically linked to FB.) and make SURE you UNCHECK the nasty little unobtrusive box which so inoccuously says, "Share on Facebook"before you hit "SAVE" for your status. And make SURE above all, that you go into the edit page for your Spark page and UNCHECK the box which is automatically set to say something like "Place a share box next to my information" UNCHECKING that box will prevent some well meaning (hopefully well-meaning but ignorant) person to cliick "share" and suddenly have the entire net world able to read your blog thoughts or see your fitness or nutritional info or what have you. UNCHECKING that box which permits a share box to be added will remove that option from people who are looking at your thoughts and weightloss or weightgain records.

This is potentially damaging information Spark Peeps... It could alert employers or potential employers that you have a weight problem and might therefore be a health risk. it could be used by health insurance companies for the same reason and by God knows who else...So be alert and use wisdom as you make decisions about whether or not to allow FB into your life here on Spark People

So, thus far, if you use some wisdom and some tactical evasive measures, you can still protect yourself from this intrusion. God help us all the day that that option is take away on some of these sites and the spreading of such info becomes public without our permission. I pray that that day does not arrive in this Land of the Free...which should NOT mean FREE ACCESS to PRIVATE INFORMATION.

Be wise. Never ever slip up and share things you didn't want to share...take care even that you do not link up your FB and your Spark people accounts because if you do, even your chat discussions will be available for perusal by your neighbors and coworkers on FB. I'm not sure yet how that works, but someone told me that no matter what she did, all of her discussions were showing up on FB.

Facebook is becoming so intrusive that for a kind of paranoid person like myself, I'm very frightened by it. i've had to stop using some sites altogether because there was no way to avoid my chats being displayed by FB. Do not take this stuff sitting down folks. SO far, LAST I CHECKED, America was still a country where people have a say in such things and do not have to blindly allow liberties to be stolen right from out from under our feet without having a say about it, at the very least. Speak up. If these decisions make you unhappy, then disable them and speak up about them.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    i see where spark is still posting on my facebook page. i thought they decided to stop posting because of the many complaints. please advise
    3146 days ago
    Thanks for sharing this information, and my background quilt is a picture that a friend found on the internet and had it as our screen saver at work so stole it for my background on sparks since I am a quilter emoticon
    3168 days ago
    Well said. I didn't see the new feature before it was removed but am glad you did!
    3168 days ago
    I just read an SP message that said this sharing feature on blog posts had been removed today. I'm checking it out.
    3168 days ago
    This is a very well written blog. And informative, answering questions I just now posted. Please put a link for this blog on the new topic I created about FB, so our teammates can be informed. I agree FB is intrusive and I am considering deleting my page entirely.
    3168 days ago
    Thank you for helping those who may not be aware. The value of sparkpeople is the interaction with each other that is done in confidence. It that is removed, sparkpeople is nothing.
    3168 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    emoticon I agree 100%! Send a message to the tech message board or Spark Guy about this. Only then, will your voice be heard. I did.
    3169 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3409143
    Yeah I don't care for it at all either- you have to wonder why they did it. I think FB AND Google are getting FAR too big and influential. Not to mention its too easy to email or post the wrong thign and then when its out there its out there. Not to mention potential employers now go looking at Facebook also.
    3169 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/16/2012 12:30:17 AM
    3169 days ago
    This is really bad.
    3169 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I was very irritated seeing that little FB symbol appearing in my friend's blogs, sometimes even blocking their words beneath and was quite happy when someone quickly posted how to get rid of it. I am assuming (hoping) that backlash of complaints will quickly cause Sparkpeople to do an about face on this and take this feature off. I used to enter contests online, but won't now when they say you have to use FB. I don't need everyone and their dog seeing what products and stuff I use. I will not support commercialism free by adding their links to my page..No sir. Not me!

    3169 days ago
    I recently replied to a similar blog that, as much as the Sparkguy has done wonderful things on this site, he's also raking in BIG bucks. BIG bucks. With that said, these links are bringing in a lot of additional money, as are the plethora of pharmaceutical ads. Whenever I've blogged my concerns, people remind me that's what keeps it a free site, blahblahblah. Well, sure, that's appreciated. But let's not overlook the fact that Downie came from huge success at Ebay and has hit another goldmine with this site. Not that that's a bad thing, just that there are some income-generating things here I just don't agree with.
    3169 days ago
    There is another way to prevent Sparkpeople and Facebook being linked, and if you use Facebook at ALL, you need to know how stop these kinds of sites being linked.

    Here's what you need to do: Go to your FB home page.
    Click the little arrow in the top, right-hand corner.
    Click "privacy settings"
    Scroll down until you see "Apps and Websites"
    Click "Edit Settings"
    Here you will find a list of all the apps and websites that you have, either knowingly or unknowingly, connected to your Facebook account. There are SCADS of sites that want your FB info, and just as with SP, it seems very innocuous to check those little boxes.
    Click the box "Edit Settings" (again)
    The list will expand and you can disable any connections you want to. (I disable almost all of them. If I want to share a link on FB, I copy and paste it. I almost NEVER click a box that says "share on FB" because then you have to give permission for that site to link to your FB account)

    There are ways to control everything about your FB account. It is cumbersome, and a pain, and I totally agree that the burden of privacy shouldn't be placed so heavily on the users, however, it certainly benefits users to know how to control which of our friends can see posts, photos, updates and so on.

    If ANYONE would like to know more about this issue, please feel free to send me an email. I will be happy to walk you through it by phone or by email or whatever is most comfortable. It is an important issue to me, and as the parent of teenaged girls, I feel pretty strongly about educating others on how to secure your online information.

    3169 days ago
  • DRB13_1
    very well put! I hope I will not have to choose to stop posting on SP because of the FB linkages... but if it comes to that, I will, because everybody does NOT have to know your business.
    3169 days ago
    Well put! emoticon for the advice and expressing what I've often felt about the FB 'bandwagon'...
    3169 days ago
    I don't do facebook either. many of my relatives like it because it has enabled them to keep in touch with family members they don't see that often.

    Personally, I do feel that facebook IS much too intrusive. I know it's suppose to facilitate social interaction between people. BUT, I think it's actually broken it down. it strikes me that the social network has caused the collapse of social interaction.

    People say things on their facebook, myspace, twitter accounts that they would never say to someone else's face.

    3169 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9136158
    I quit facebook.. I won't stand for this intrusive behaviour..
    3169 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5128667
    I don't do FB, thank goodness - I gotta wonder, though ....... shouldn't complaints about this be address to the Staff? This has got a lot of people concerned, and rightfully so!

    As the saying goes, "what the h*ll were they thinking?".....

    3169 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11085420
    I share your concerns about FB. It has had it's good points, but like a lot of things, what was initially used for good has had a bad apple to spoil the whole bushel...
    I noticed the FB "like" button appearing in blogs, so I went to my SPage and found how to check it to opt out of "sharing". I won't be sharing my status anymore on FB, either. I never did like Twitter, from it's beginning. Didn't bother with it. I am very close to closing my FB accounts.
    I do not want to lose SparkPeople. I know SP has to grow, but I'd like some options as to my privacy! Somewhere there is a balance. I hope Chris will stay true to his core values and not be swayed by "the world"...
    emoticon for your blog!
    3169 days ago
  • NCSUE0514
    I just downloaded a book on Kindle that I'm looking forward to reading... or perhaps am a bit nervous to read. It's about the loss of privacy due to social media such as Facebook & Twitter. If you're interested in reading it, the title is "I Saw What You Did & I Know Who You Are".

    Scary stuff.
    3169 days ago
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