Press Esc to close

Ex-employee reveals Facebook's dark, sexist side

NEW DELHI, July 1, 2012, PTI 2:28 IST
File photo
Facebook developed an experimental feature called “Dark Profiles” which would give secret accounts to people who did not even sign up, a new book by a former employee of the social networking site has claimed.

Engineers wanted to create shadow pages for those who were tagged in photos by their friends in the hope they would cave-in and join the social networking website, Katherine Losse, the author of “The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network,” said.

Nobody at Facebook “even flinched” when staff raised this disturbing new twist as they were so blinded by their mission to take over the world.

The book also claimed that in 2007 Facebook technicians worked on a programme called “Judgebox,” which would let users compare and rate women in echoes of founder Mark Zuckerberg's sexist “Facemash” app he developed at Harvard.

It confirms for the first time that Facebook staff have a programme called “Facebook Stalker” which lets them track who has been visiting their profiles, the Daily Mail reported. And in the early days of the social networking website, employees were given the “master” password with no security checks at all and allowed to do as they pleased.

These claims have been made in the new book by Losse who worked for Facebook between 2005 and 2010 and worked her way up from customer relations to be the speechwriter for its founder Mark Zuckerberg.

She claimed that in autumn 2006 everyone at the company was “so convinced that Facebook was something that everyone should have that when the product team created an experimental feature called dark profiles in 2006, nobody even flinched.”

People can be tagged in Facebook photos even if they do not have a profile, and the idea was to create a “dark” version which could apparently be activated if they finally signed up. “It reminds me now of the way members of the Mormon church convert dead people, following the logic that if they had know about Mormonism when they were alive they would have been believers,” Losse wrote.

The claims come at a difficult time for Facebook, it recently sparked yet another backlash after being caught out trying to force its 900 million users to adopt its own email service. It was accused of “hijacking” users' contact details and deleting their personal email addresses without asking them.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets a gathering during 'Rally for Change' at Jawaharlal Nehru...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets a gathering during 'Rally for Change' at Jawaharlal Nehru...

Rahul Gandhi, newly elected president of India's main opposition Congress party, kisses the...

Rahul Gandhi, newly elected president of India's main opposition Congress party, kisses the...

A performer poses during celebrations after Rahul Gandhi, newly elected president of India's main...

A performer poses during celebrations after Rahul Gandhi, newly elected president of India's main...

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral...

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral...

Army and Air Force jawans pay homage to the martyrs of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, on the...

Army and Air Force jawans pay homage to the martyrs of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, on the...

Women take part in a bike rally to commemorate the Vijay Diwas celebrations in Karad, Maharashtra...

Women take part in a bike rally to commemorate the Vijay Diwas celebrations in Karad, Maharashtra...

Polling staff check EVM one day ahead of the Amritsar Municipal Corporation elections, in...

Polling staff check EVM one day ahead of the Amritsar Municipal Corporation elections, in...

Umarte Sau Crore Abhiyan Bihar members with eunuchs at a candle light march during a protest...

Umarte Sau Crore Abhiyan Bihar members with eunuchs at a candle light march during a protest...

Indian Air Force's 'Akash Ganga' sky diving team members perform during an air show on the...

Indian Air Force's 'Akash Ganga' sky diving team members perform during an air show on the...

The new Stoos Bahn, which claims to be the steepest funicular railway in the world, stands on its...

The new Stoos Bahn, which claims to be the steepest funicular railway in the world, stands on its...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.