Larry Brauner“You’ve got to hand it to Facebook. They certainly know how to do security — not,” wrote Steve O’Hear in Video: Major Facebook security hole lets you view your friends’ live chats on TechCrunch Europe last week.

Security flaws that exposed private chats and other private information to so-called “friends” have enraged many Facebook members and critics.

FacebookIn Facebook needs to face the music, InfoWorld links this misstep and previous Facebook transgressions to the social networking giant’s plans to control the web.

More Facebook backlash is likely, but this possibility really doesn’t concern me very much.

My Key Facebook Concern

I am very concerned whether or not this incident will deter you from using Facebook for your social media marketing and digital public relations.

While many will use the Facebook blunder to justify their hesitation to market on Facebook, don’t you join their ranks. Don’t you let Facebook’s speed bump become your speed bump.

A Little Company Called Microsoft

How often has Microsoft released software that contained bugs and security glitches? Although their aggressive marketing has been held in check by anti-trust suits and fierce competition from Google and Apple, Microsoft continues to make billions and still dominates the PC niche despite a long history of computer software problems.

Please Ignore the Naysayers

My advice to you:

  • ignore all naysayers, there will always be plenty of them
  • get your Facebook page going and growing as quickly as possible
  • attract lots of targeted followers to your Facebook page
  • start your Facebook conversation and share your content
  • build your brand on Facebook and all over the social web

Come join my Facebook conversation too! ;-)

Have any comments? The floor is yours. :-)

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19 Responses to “Facebook Fumble Draws Broad Rebuke”

  1. Diane Bjorling on May 9th, 2010 10:34 pm

    Hi Larry:

    I am unsure if comparing Microsoft to the problems of Facebook is the best analogy one could give, but I am understanding your point of view.

    As with any breech in any security system, an investigation is called for and accountability is required. The good news is that (on Wednesday) the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a 38-page complaint against the company with the Federal Trade Commission, demanding that Facebook cancel new features introduced in mid-April that compel users to share more information than before.

    To my way of looking at things, this is not about money, but about a persons violation of their personal information and that should never be taken lightly nor considered “naysaying.” I will even go one step further and say, my concern is not so much for the marketers, the businesses nor even the bloggers who use Facebook for a targeted purpose, but for the average everyday person who uses Facebook to talk to their friends, play games and share their personal baby pictures ( like my daughter has done) or wedding details (such as a young woman I know) etc.

    I believe that we have a responsibility to tell people about the problems and then teach solutions when navigating any social media.

    That being said and sorry if this turned into a bit of a rant, you are very correct in saying that Facebook is a great tool in building your brand.

    I know that Tim and I will be using Facebook for a business purpose, but we will also be letting people know how to use our page in an ethical and educated manner, lets just hope that Facebook also learns how to be more ethical and transparent when telling people about what they are doing.

    Best Regards,


  2. Larry Brauner on May 9th, 2010 10:44 pm

    I agree with you fully Diane. I did not mean to downplay the gravity of Facebook’s mistakes nor the possibility that they were the careless outcome of aggressive marketing. The point I wanted to make was despite that, we need to keep moving forward with our businesses and not use the incident as proof that Facebook is inappropriate or an excuse for inaction.

  3. pam perry on May 10th, 2010 12:00 am

    GREAT. That’s all my over 50 year old friends need to see and say, “See? Told you that online stuff ain’t safe.”

  4. Larry Brauner on May 10th, 2010 12:28 am

    I’m 58 Pam and taking it in stride.

  5. Diane Bjorling on May 10th, 2010 1:40 am

    ….” The point I wanted to make was despite that, we need to keep moving forward with our businesses and not use the incident as proof that Facebook is inappropriate or an excuse for inaction.”…. In this we are in total agreement :-)

    and Pam? I am about the same age as Larry and to me it is through discussions such as this that we can educate and help your oldster friends feel a lot safer online

  6. Catherine White on May 10th, 2010 2:32 am

    Seriously Larry, if a Politician ‘accidentally’ allowed his data base to be mismanaged or exposed, the electorate would vote him out of office, or call for an indictment.

  7. Larry Brauner on May 10th, 2010 10:59 am

    @Catherine Perhaps. My health insurance company. Health Net, allowed their database to be compromised, and it included very sensitive information. All they did was offer to pay for two years of ID theft protection. Pretty lame. What happens after two years?

  8. Barbara Lombardi on May 10th, 2010 8:50 pm

    This makes sense to me. I think that Facebook is diverse, creative and allows one to do so much with its many features. Am reading a book on Facebook, Twitter and other sites and their applications useful to those of us who use speech screen readers.

    You all make good points about security, safety and accountability/responsibility. And I’m a little older than all of you–64 to be exact.

  9. Jan Smith on May 16th, 2010 12:46 am

    I am not normally a ‘naysayer’ but I do advise a degree of caution when inputting any personal data. Once it’s “out there” one can never be too sure precisely who will use it or for what reason/purpose.

    Using these social networking sites remind me very much of “boarding school survival tactics”. Be very careful who you tell what to and be aware when they may spread the secret to others.

  10. Sally S. on April 15th, 2011 2:30 am

    “I am very concerned whether or not this incident will deter you from using Facebook for your social media marketing and digital public relations.”

    Anything online is actually “at risk.” Yet, it won’t stop people from using the Internet or Facebook. Like what Larry said, it is still a great place to build one’s brand.

    Individuals that use Facebook though, should really be careful about sharing information. Users can actually control how much information “friends” see about them. It does take time sorting it though.

  11. Lorna on May 5th, 2011 1:14 pm

    Hey Larry,

    I totally agree with all you have said. You do have to be prudent about what you post on your Facebook, of course you do. However as you have rightly pointed out, it is not only Facebook that has experienced security glitches, so why should they be the only ones that suffer. No one appears to blink an eye lid when Microsoft makes similar mistakes, therefore why allow one mistake to stop you furthering your brand or whatever else you use Facebook for! Also you are right @ Sally S. users can be more careful about who they share their info with if they take the time, if they don’t then I guess that is just their problem!

    Thanks again Larry!

  12. John on May 20th, 2011 2:27 am

    I really agree with Sally… Everything is really risky, some are just more publicized.

    But REALLY? People at some point somewhere were allowed to look at their friends’ private chats? That’s just crazy!

  13. Ambrose@ Ethical Hacking on May 26th, 2011 9:58 am

    This targeted and syndicated attack will not deter millions of users from using their Facebook accounts. For one, Facebook has been constantly monitoring and fixing these issues right from the beginning. The company is on top of almost everything - including the website’s security.

    Secondly, Facebook has been part of every users’ lives. In the past, when someone opens his or her computer, the first he or she will do is to check email. Today, this is not the case. The first thing a user will do is check his or her Facebook, interact with friends, post to walls, etc.

  14. James on June 2nd, 2011 11:24 am

    Facebook has become way too popular to most people for them to be deterred by the security flaws. In fact, I would be surprised if more than 10% of users actually know about it.

    Having said that, you have to be pretty stupid to say something controversial or secret online, as you never know where the conversation will be stored or what systems are being used.

  15. Harlan on June 4th, 2011 1:15 am

    I don’t say anything on FaceBook that I wouldn’t say in a public place where I am fully aware that I can be overheard by perfect strangers. As far as I’m concerned, FaceBook is a venue visible to the public at large.

  16. Reuben on June 13th, 2011 10:15 am

    Facebook is a phenomena for sure. And fortunately or unfortunately depending on ones viewpoint it’s a juggernaut that will take way more than a few privacy breech issues to stop the movement. It is sad for whoever fell prey to the incident,but it’s just the cost of doing business. Especially for such a large and more importantly, loved community.

  17. Meg Cherry on June 29th, 2011 12:42 pm

    I think Facebook users should put a little bit of the security responsibilities upon themselves. If you are concerned about your private information or a private conversation being leaked out on the Internet I would advise not to put it on Facebook in the first place. There will always be holes in the security of any website and I believe most any security system can be breached with enough technology and money.

  18. Susan Richardson on November 16th, 2011 1:00 am

    Hello Facebook is a one of the social network. So, if you join this network you not in private but if you need to be private then you don’t have to join.

  19. John on November 16th, 2011 2:46 pm

    People abuse Facebook in my opinion.

    They use it to slander one another.

    A friends ex-wife used it to tell the world what little maintenance she was getting!

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