[Air-l] Facebook, myspace

Lauren Squires squires at virginia.edu
Wed Nov 30 13:18:54 PST 2005

Yes, you have to be someone's friend on all three sites, as far as I know, 
to leave a comment/testimonial/wallpost.  What I mean is that the user has 
to approve a testimonial on Friendster before it appears on the site.  So if 
we are friendsters, and I want to leave you a testimonial, I write it but 
then you have to *approve* it in order for it to go on your profile page. 
Otherwise it just sits in queue waiting for you to approve/reject it. So, 
presumably on Friendster you wouldn't be able to leave public messages 
posthumously because the person you are writing to/about is unavailable to 
approve the comments, so they never go public.

On Myspace, you can change settings so that comments must be approved by you 
before they appear, but I think the default is that they appear without 
having had been approved; from my experience as a user this is the setting 
most people choose. I haven't actively used Facebook, but as far as I know 
you also don't have to approve posts for them to appear public.

The fact that only people who are already established as "friends" can 
comment is also an interesting one in terms of eulogizing (not to make this 
discussion very morbid, but...), as it effectively seals one's network at 
time of death (well I suppose death itself does that) and so who gets to 
comment at this memorial site depends on who established themself as the 
deceased's "friend" in this particular way. All of this, of course, depends 
on no one else having the information to access someone's account (as Barry 
mentioned, this might not be the case) in order to edit it. But I've often 
wondered how the sites themselves deal with death of members - can family 
get in touch with them and ask that their pages be shut down?

Someone who knows more about the three systems (and others) might correct me 
if I'm wrong!


On Wed, 30 Nov 2005 15:20:24 -0500
  andrea baker <bakera at ohiou.edu> wrote:
> Lauren, hi,
> I just wondered, when you said:
> At 11:01 AM -0800 11/29/05, air-l-request at listserv.aoir.org wrote:
>>On a design note, it's interesting that sites like Facebook and Myspace
>>enable this kind of discourse by providing "comments" or "wall posts" that
>>don't have to be approved or moderated by the user whose profile it is -
>>whereas this wouldn't be possible on Friendster because users have to
>>approve testimonials before they appear.
> Were you sure or did I misinterpret?  My observation of myspace 
> suggests that people have to be "friends" of the person to post 
> comments.    Is that just an option, or a feature of the place? 
> Also, in the linked article, only the friends commented on the person 
> in Facebook, I believe.  Would you elaborate?  Interesting stuff, in 
> any case.
> thanks,
> andee
> _______________________________________________
> The air-l at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at: 
> Join the Association of Internet Researchers: 
> http://www.aoir.org/

Lauren Squires
Linguistics Program
University of Virginia

More information about the Air-L mailing list