Facebook Class of 2013: Phony Groups

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, since a majority of my readers are involved in the infamous ‘Facebookgate’ but here’s a few blog posts to catch you up on the dealings:

The initiator and champion @bradjward: Squared Peg Post.

Labeling of ‘Facebookgate’ @andrewcareaga: Higher Ed Marketing Post.


My Two Cents: At first glance this may not seem like a big deal, but these people are collecting profitable information from students without their consent. They’ll use their comments in their $39.95 subscription based web service and wonder what we see wrong with it.

So, what DO we see wrong with it? Personally, the posing as potential incoming students is what irks me the most. They purposefully only show their high school networks – if any at all – and not their undergrad networks. They post question to tease similar answers from all groups. They are obviously interested in other schools these students consider, where they are from, and are shady in how they get it.

For the rest of us trying to get people on board, this really puts egg on the face of social media. It makes it much easier to say no to the next request. It creates more hoops to jump through and logins and passwords. I’m personally very upset by this misuse of organic social media.

With that said, I’ve began talking with students in this group and inviting them to our truly official group for new students. I’ve recruited new admins and asked them to leave the old group to boost our numbers and make theirs lessen, bringing us up in search. I’ve reported two phony Suffolk groups, made all students involved aware, and am working on a copyright infringement report to FB for the unofficial use of our logos.

Phew. What are you doing?

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3 thoughts on “Facebook Class of 2013: Phony Groups

  1. Yes, it does put egg on the face of social media. It’s terrible to see such unscrupulous behavior out there. Fortunately the CEO of College Prowler’fessed up (@bradjward just tweeted that he left a post on Brad’s blog and promised to remove his interns from the admin ranks of those Facebook groups), but the damage to social media’s reputation has already been done.

  2. “but these people are collecting profitable information from students without their consent.”

    How and why do you think this? The truth is nobody knows exactly what they are doing. I keep reading this idea that these guys were “data mining” but I think that is just an attempt to make a story sound more interesting.

    All these guys were doing was trying to have admin rights to a group so they could message students about their service. They def. didn’t go about it the right way, but to tag and charge college prowler with collecting information without evidence is bogus.

  3. Thanks for your comment, Chris. My opinion is that this group was asking students questions posing as students and using their answers for their own monetary benefit rather than to aid the students. Not trying to make this story more interesting, just stating my personal opinion. My main issue with what they did was that they did it posing as students, as I stated in this entry.

    Thanks again for the comment. Its always good to hear dissenting views!

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