Please don’t judge me immediately but I have a confession to make… I have been a facebook user for years.
I know the arguments against facebook usage but to be honest, I don’t really care. The risk of a faceless global organization abusing the details I choose to share via social networking are negligible.
Facebook is useful for keeping in touch with former colleagues as well as acquaintances old and new. More importantly, it is useful for organising and advertising the LRP events that I am involved in running.
Over the last couple of weeks I have seen a different side to it.
Mid-June I began receiving facebook friend suggestions on my work email account.
I clicked on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of one of these mails and they stopped coming through.
This may not seem strange to some but I am normally very careful about signing up for things under my work account.
I even use my personal email account to register for industry related newsletters now; this is mainly due to the fact that company email addresses change.
We re-branded a few years back, which led to an email domain change; I’ve also changed employer a couple of times.
With that in mind, I can honestly state that I have never registered my work email account with facebook.
This morning I received a “friend request” from a friend on my actual facebook account.
I’ve had a couple of requests come through over the years, often from suppliers or people that I’m working with on specific projects. I either direct them to my personal account or add them to LinkedIn.
This morning’s request grabbed my attention. My friend must have had my work account show up as a “recommended friend”. But recommended friends are only displayed from registered facebook users… as far as I was aware my work email account was not registered with facebook.
I had already begun the process of clicking the unsubscribe button when I decided to open a separate browser, log into my personal account and search for my work email address (I’ve already searched for myself on several social networks and search engines).
No profile picture and no other details, just my name and a profile silhouette.
Back to the original browser, I decided to try to log in using my work email address. Obviously I didn’t know the password so I requested a new one. Facebook didn’t believe I was the account owner to start with but I confirmed otherwise.
Surely enough, a password renewal email came through to me and I logged in. The profile was empty of all details except my name and, frighteningly enough, my full date of birth.
I don’t include my full date of birth in my personal profile.
The first page that opened was a list of friend recommendations, the account had no friends yet. Oddly, the friend recommendations displayed were all friends from my personal profile’s list.
Finally I checked the “wall”; the only activity showing was “Ben Sugden joined facebook” with no indication as to when.
Not one to sit idly by, I deleted the account. No mean feat apparently.
It was actually easy enough, following this guide on wikiHow.
- Go to facebook’s account deletion page.
- Follow the steps on screen.
- Don’t log in to the account for at least 14 days – otherwise your delete request may be countermanded.
And that was it.
I still don’t know how the account was created. I’ve tried to add my work email address to my personal account to avoid confusion in future but facebook won’t let me – the email is in use by the profile that is being deleted.