Friend me now!
A recent incident prompted me to recount the following anecdote, one that I intended to post with the title ‘The Diary Of A Silly Old Fart’. However, I immediately came upon a problem that I knew would jar with those who, like me, comprised the less erudite readership of the one time website My Telegraph. That is; the use of the words ‘friend and unfriend’ as verbs. Finding an apodictic verb usage was difficult but thanks to Megan Garber, an article that she wrote for The Atlantic settled this for me (and perhaps a few others). As Megan writes in her (brief) article ‘friend,’ as a Verb, Is 800 Years Old adding, its use as verb is not the construction of FaceBook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. One day a new verb ‘to zucker’ may be added to the SOED and those falling prey to a social network scam can be said to have been ‘zuckered’.
“Disorder, that hath spoil’d us, friend us now!”
Henry V, Act 4, Scene 5 (line 19)
Megan also provided the link to 16 words that are much older than they seem, which included ‘friend‘ as a verb. Of course the Constable of France in the above Shakespearian quotation didn’t have access to Facebook – something I thought that I should tell my grandchildren. [To which I might add: “Neither did he tweet that line and there was was a time that your granddad didn’t have access to these social networks either, nor was he at Agincourt with Henry V”.]
This leads me to my anecdote:
The Diary Of A Silly Old Fart
I have a Facebook page on which the chat facility is usually turned off but the request ‘to friend me’ is always on (I think). I recently received a request to friend an attractive young lady, who claimed that she attended a university in France. I don’t normally respond to friendship requests from people that I don’t know but, perhaps in a moment of boresome curiosity I responded to this one, becoming involved in a Facebook scam perpetrated by an eponymous Marie. [The name Marie has been used to protect ‘silly old farts’ like me.]
17/08/2014 19:51 Marie – how are you?
17/08/2014 19:56 Me – I’m fine Marie. I don’t normally respond to such requests but you seem to be collecting ‘silly old farts’ and I qualify. 🙄
17/08/2014 19:58 Marie – lol¹ why you said that and why you do not answer the request?
17/08/2014 20:00 Me – I’ve finished my chores time to keep my wife company. Keep well Marie – goodnight.
17/08/2014 20:03 Marie – I worked as a cashier in a store of cosmetics you?
Not wishing to continue with this pointless ‘chat’ I ended the conversation (I think it’s called ‘leaving the room‘, which strikes me as being a somewhat ethereal expression) nevertheless, the following day I posted a link to my website.
Curious to see if ‘Marie’ had looked me up I went to the chat facility (I can’t differentiate between the chat and messaging facility and it seems I can’t turn off messaging). Anyway, there she(?) was: 😯
18/08/2014 20:00 Marie – Hello
18/08/2014 20:02 Me – Hm! Not familiar with this – don’t really do ‘chat’ Marie.
18/08/2014 20:05 Marie – I do not really understand what you said.
18/08/2014 20:06 Me – I rarely get involved in conversations with people on the web.
18/08/2014 20:08 Marie – Oh I understand now. and why?
18/08/2014 20:09 Me – Why are you here – anything to do with university?
18/08/2014 20:11 Marie – Well I research as I already said, a man with whom to have a relationship, love of complicity and also sincerity. 😳
18/08/2014 20:14 Me – I find your ‘friending old men’ rather strange.
18/08/2014 20:20 Marie – strange, and why?
18/08/2014 20:23 Me – Either you are not who or what you say you are or this is somewhat ‘strange’.
18/08/2014 20:24 Marie – I’m fine me so I do not see why you said that.
18/08/2014 20:26 Me – I have a low attention threshold Marie – time to go.
18/08/2014 20:29 Marie – what do you want exactly?
18/08/2014 20:33 Me – Wrong question Marie – I am simply curious about your interest in some people that I am acquainted with.
18/08/2014 20:34 Marie – to how good her? ❓
At which point her/his English had clearly failed the Turing Scammer Test.
The idea that people are running scams in this form on Facebook is new to me. It seems that Marie is probably located in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and may well be male. The practice of stealing someone’s photograph to carry out a scam is quite common. In this case Marie has used the photographs of a ‘porn star’ named Melissa Midwest.
Malicious Facebook Virus or Malware Chat Messages¹ – “LOL”, with a Zip file attached (IMG_xxxxx.zip) is a not an image or a document. The file is actually a malware that will infect your computer and compromise your Facebook account.
social network scams – Once a scammer has your password they can gain control of your account and pose as you. Scammers will often commit this scam whilst you are travelling if you have posted your holiday plans on your social networking profile.
how to avoid social network scams – Think about who will be seeing the information you post. If your privacy settings are not controlled, you will be giving information about yourself out to anyone with access to the Internet.
Facecrooks.com – Including a guide that Facebook users could reference to help them set up their privacy and security controls quickly, easily and appropriate for their comfort level of sharing.
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