Welcome to the soon-to-be enormous world of Facebook email spam

Summary:Thanks, Facebook. You just [expletive deleted] us up the [expletive deleted]. [Expletive deleted] you!

I am pissed off. Like most other Facebook users, I woke up recently to discover I had a Facebook email address. I don't want a Facebook email address. Frankly, if I were King of the World, I'd boot Facebook into a giant black hole and laugh gleefully as the entire thing burned to a never-to-haunt-us again crispy hulk.

Fine, I'm mixing metaphors. But I'm pissed.

I didn't pay all that much attention to this until I read Violet's piece on Facebook email addresses, and then I realized what a nightmare those [profanity deleted] at Facebook are.

See also: Apple iOS 6 and the Facebook email address lock-in?

First, I didn't exactly want to log into Facebook. I try to avoid doing so more than once a month. But, fine, in I went. Then I looked at my profile settings and my contact settings. I found my previously entered email address (the one I use for everything) and noticed that I'd explicitly marked it as "Hidden from profile".

I had already told Facebook I didn't want to share my email address.

So what do the [expletive-deleted] at Facebook do? They gave me a Facebook email address and made it public. Even though they knew I explicitly DID NOT WANT my email address displayed on Facebook.

But that is not the worst of it. Oh, no. Facebook doesn't allow me to turn off my new Facebook email inbox and refuse mail. They just allow me to hide my Facebook email address.

So, let's say I want to send email to someone named Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook. He doesn't want me to see his Facebook email address. Oh, my, I still want to send him email there.

What could his address possibly be? Hmmm. Well, Facebook takes the first name and concatenates it with the second name. That's tough to figure out. No, no it's not. I'll just send mail to MarkZuckerberg@facebook.com -- even though the email address is supposed to be hidden.

Now, imagine you're a spammer.

You know that, oh, about 900 million people use Facebook -- and almost all use their real names. So, you know that if you put a real name (minus the space) in front of @facebook.com, most likely those users will get that email.

See also: Facebook email: pointless endeavor, spammer’s dream, or both?

Now, do those users have email rules? No. Do those users have junk filters? No. Do those users have any defense at all, even the ability to turn off getting email. No. No. No. No.

Thanks, Facebook. You just [expletive deleted] us up the [expletive deleted]. [Expletive deleted] you!

Normally, I'm not a big fan of added regulation, but I think it's high time we regulated the [expletive deleted] out of Facebook. Previously, I'd mentioned I wanted to prevent employers from demanding access to your Facebook accounts, but I now think it's high time we explicitly legislate Facebook into making all new features optional and opt-in only.

This [f-bomb] sucks.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration, Security

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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