One basic lesson of working online could be that if you are going to try to post a message as someone else, be sure you are logged in as that person. It appears however State Representative Judy Solano and her husband Manny Solano missed that part of Facebook 101.
This recently came my way via a tip and it is too amusing to pass up. Back in January, Representative Solano canceled a town hall meeting that was to be held at the Thornton rec center on the 15th.
The cancellation was of course a complete overreaction to the tragic shooting of U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords in Arizona the week before. Solano, like some other elected officials, decided to cower in fear in the face of a non-existent, over-hyped threat.
The morning of the town hall meeting, Solano or her husband apparently realized she forgot to post a message to her Facebook friends that it was cancelled. The message that was posted was written in the first person as if from Representative Solano herself. However it was posted by Manny Solano.
Manny runs Judy’s campaigns so in some ways this isn’t surprising. It is pretty amusing though to see that the good representative apparently doesn’t even run her Facebook account herself.
One does have to wonder how folks that can’t run their own Facebook accounts somehow are in a position of authority to pass laws that govern things like online commerce. One of those things that makes you “Hmmmmm.”
Now for a bit of Facebook 101 from Tony’s Rants….
If you visit Representative Solano’s Facebook profile, you will notice that she has 754 “friends”, many of whom are likely her constituents. Facebook and other online services are a great way to stay connected with our elected representatives.
However I wonder if those 754 “friends” realize that they are sharing their own personal Facebook profiles with Solano? If one of those “friends” posts a cute family phone – Solano sees it. Post a personal message about a family tragedy – Solano sees it. Have a rant about a politician – Solano sees it.
Further, because it is clear that Solano shares her Facebook login information with her husband, there is at least one other person out there viewing those “friends” personal information.
This is where folks need to be aware of the difference between being “friends” with a public figure or organization and “liking” their public page.
If a public figure or organization requires you to “friend” them on Facebook, this is no different than if you become “friends” with an old college friend or family member. That new “friend” has access to your complete personal Facebook profile. This is obviously unwise unless you have a personal relationship with the person.
You should only ‘like’ organizations or public figures that have a Facebook page – these used to be called “fan pages.” For instance, if you “like” Tony’s Rants on Facebook you will see things that are posted on that profile but Tony’s Rants cannot view your information thus keeping your personal profile secure and away from prying eyes.
There is a world of difference between Facebook “friends” and Facebook fan pages and you would be wise to learn more if you don’t know. I would certainly “unfriend” any organization or public figure that you are “friends” with and advise them to setup a public Facebook page instead. Otherwise you never know who is viewing your personal information.