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Facebook asking for criticism with invasive 'Ask' button

Facebook's Asking For Criticism With Invasive 'Ask' Button

Facebook creeping just got a lot harder...or at least more awkward. Gone are the days where you could simply look at someone's profile to see vitals such as their relationship status and phone number. Now, you have to ask.

In an unannounced update this weekend, Facebook has introduced an "Ask" button to users pages so their friends can ask about their relationship status, where they live, or what their phone number is. (ViaTwitter / @wesleyverhoeve)

The feature, which has been rolled out incrementally since January, doesn't allow you to see the button on your own profile. But friends are able to ask about any information you haven't decided to show, so long as they include a note along with the request.

As usual with Facebook updates, the change has received less-than-positive reviews.

Asking about peoples' relationship status seems to have taken the bulk of criticism, with a writer at Gizmodo saying: ​"It's worth noting you can also ask people about their hometown, but that's not nearly as creepy or invasive as the Relationship Status option."

A writer at Business Insider imagined what some of the notes asking about a relationship status would look like:

"'Didn't I hear you got a divorce?'

'Oh, are you and John done?'"

And a writer at Slate noted that Facebook failed to realize one crucial aspect of the button: "Asking someone about their relationship status with no context or warning is incredibly creepy and embarrassing for both parties!"

Relationship inquiries aside, there is still the question on how this button will impact privacy-related issues, which Facebook has had trouble with in the past.

According to a writer at Mashable, answering an "Ask" request makes the information available to Facebook, something she says is useful for marketing: "By answering an 'ask' request, a Facebook member is telling the site their status (even if it's not visible to the public) and in turn, giving the company that personal data."

Ars Technica asked Facebook whether the information would actually be included in targeted advertising and why they added the feature in the first place, but a representative was unable to clarify anything.

Facebook has yet to make any official comment on the feature.

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greatbirdusa May 20 2014 at 9:27 AM

Answer this question ---
Why doesn't AOL post coverage of the VA hospital (s) killing off Vets with
what can only be considered Obamacare type healthcare....
Why are there No Screaming Headlines
about the hundreds of thousands of Vet being mistreated?
How about an updated count of how many Vets have died due to VA Obamacare?
Especially since Barack Obama knew prior to his first election and promised to "fix this"!
The President Bush administration found and suspected there were many more when 400 cases of abuse were found just prior to President Bush's end of last term and informed Obama's team of all they found and Obama made this a campaign 'speach' promise to fix.
Now over 1.5 million abused Vets later, Obama said "he did not know about this".!
Where was America's President the past 6 years and why did Obama 'speak' of it when running for President then saying "I know nothing -- nothing"..?

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18 replies
natalie May 20 2014 at 10:39 AM


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8 replies
Peter May 20 2014 at 6:28 AM

Social Media is the Social Destruciton of of Social Skills....people can't even hold a face-to-face conversation anymore....and no one sees this turning people into shut-ins and non-active people in their community?...They can be connected from their little holes...too scary....press rewind and get us back to actually speaking to another person....

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10 replies
lbreamer May 20 2014 at 11:31 AM

It's no biggy - really - if someone "asks" & you don't want them to know, just don't reply. Simple. But Facebook, can we PLEASE have a "dislike" or "hate" button, pretty please?!?!?!

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3 replies
birk1440 May 20 2014 at 10:34 AM

what about a dislike button

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2 replies
natalie birk1440 May 20 2014 at 10:40 AM

SEE ????????

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Raven Knight birk1440 May 20 2014 at 4:13 PM

People are negative enough on Facebook without being able to effortlessly go down the posts and drop 'dislike's on everyone they don't like whether the post itself is offensive or not. If someone really dislikes something, they can leave it in the comments. I do, however, wish there was a 'love it' button for some of the posts I see...

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bps163 May 20 2014 at 8:40 AM

He needs a button on his forehead to turn him off, i'm sick of hearing about him and that trash thing called facebook.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
3 replies
Shirleyjean May 20 2014 at 10:27 AM

Are you forced to answer those questions? Can't you you lie, or just say none of your business? Come on, we're not all robots.

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3 replies
greatamazingdeal May 20 2014 at 10:36 AM

Because of this, 2 days ago I removed ALL of my info, hometown, current, etc. If you feel the need to "ask" me anything this personal, we clearly shouldn't be connected on social media.

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3 replies
Mr. Gonzo May 20 2014 at 8:56 AM

I don't see what the big deal is about. Wasn't Facebook created to learn all this information about our friends? So what is creepy about this button? If you don't want to answer it then don't. Seems pretty simple to me.

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2 replies
MICHAEL Mr. Gonzo May 20 2014 at 10:00 AM

if your friends with someone, you already know all this information.

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1 reply
clondo1014 MICHAEL May 20 2014 at 1:23 PM

yes they do

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Pammie Mr. Gonzo May 20 2014 at 10:15 AM

Well if they are your friends you should things about them any way RIGHT? I dont need facebook to tell me !!!!

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1 reply
Pammie Pammie May 20 2014 at 10:16 AM

* know things ....sorry miss typed

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Tim & Judy May 20 2014 at 10:35 AM

Uhhh... duh, you don't need an "ask" button to ask a question of someone on your friends list. All you have to do is send a message if you just HAVE to know. But, OH! that's right, then Facebook wouldn't be able to confiscate the personal data... OR WOULD THEY??? Since they're representative is 'unable to clarify anything', must mean the answer's yes!

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2 replies
Tim & Judy Tim & Judy May 20 2014 at 10:38 AM

Correction.... Since 'THEIR', not they're... representative is, etc....

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orion15stars Tim & Judy May 20 2014 at 11:12 AM

People began to have a strange, even personally harmful, view of what constitutes a friend. Since all people are doing is connecting by electronic bits, and many people don't have a clue about the person in front of a different computer screen. People can say anything on the Internet. That doesn't prove those people are whom they claim to be, as many a victim of Internet fraud, plus, other detrimental and lethal crimes have learned the extremely hard way, particularly children.

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