The FB Hole


In my former job, which was very well-funded, I had access to a lot of what I jokingly called Stalker Databases, where companies would scrape public records for data, compile it into dossiers on individuals, build networks of connected individuals, and then charge us grand sums of money for access. It was worth it for the work we were doing, but it wasn’t cheap.

My new employer is much smaller and doesn’t actually need a lot of those resources, so understandably we don’t pay for them. But it means that when I do need relational or employment data, I often turn to Facebook. I always think of the line from Person Of Interest where Harold Finch says, “There wasn’t enough data on ordinary people for the AI to digest and make use of. So I invented social media.” It’s amazing how much you can pull off the internet about a millionaire’s family because he has one dumbass nephew whose Facebook is 100% public. 

But every once in a while, rather than just scooping up the information I need and moving on, I get sucked into someone’s Facebook, either because of FB Drama right out there on their public front page or because they’re just an interesting person. 

People who post frequent public videos of their pets deserve to have a really nice day at least once a week. 

We don’t have the stalker databases because uhhh I think it’s not actually legal in this country but yeah.

In our case, what usually happens is we get some sort of mystery ticket payment from someone or something and the events team are like “WELL, this guy was supposed to be paying – oh facebook indicates that this is his brother/husband/whatever. Must be for him!” And then we can put the money in the database and hopefully credit it to the right person and then not hassle them to pay for a ticket they were supposed to be paying for or fulfilling a pledge they made.

Forever conflicted because it’s creepy but WHY WON’T PEOPLE LIKE PUT A NOTE?!?!?! We always joke when one of us is having a tricky time of something like this “oh, didn’t you get the standard crystal ball when you joined the supporter care team?” but…yeah. That’s how it is.