December 15, 2010 – A not uncommon complaint about Facebook and other social media sites is that the sites promote unauthorized connections between members or between members and outsiders — all with the goal of increasing the number of members and the usage of the sites.  I know this happens, because it happened to me — with Facebook extending “friendship” invitations to individuals without my knowledge or permission.

How Facebook happened to pick these potential friends — spyware, data mining, sheer guessing — is not clear. What is clear, however, is that even small scraps of personal information may be used to help make connections that hungry social media purveyors then try to use to their advantage.

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