Friday, January 7, 2011

Is This Creep Annoying You, Too?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 10:37 AM

How many Facebook "friends" do you have named "Fox?"

"Fox Drachman," "Fox Himmel," "Fox Tortolita," "Fox Schaefer" and at least five others have solicited my own favor. The the guy behind them claims to be one Fox Ellipsus, a man who clearly doesn't understand that "no" means "no."

Fox's scammy-spammy hectoring might be no more than annoying were it not coincident with the epic, inescapable recent coverage of TIME's man-of-the-year Mark Zuckerman, founder of Facebook. That billion-dollar man pureheartedly advocates for world peace based on openness, sharing and the sort of integrity with which each of us will hew to a singular nom de Facebook.

Notwithstanding Zuckerman's fantasies, and despite Facebook's exhortations, "Fox" proves you can create as many profiles as you can e-mail addresses, which, on Gmail alone, must be some number approaching infinity. And what might you do with those accounts? Cruise profiles for any information that's unprotected, maybe? It's not like everyone's right on top of Facebook's ever-dynamic privacy settings. Maybe you could "friend" friends of "friends" to sell your CDs, or promote your act and even, I dunno, get laid?

Fox Ellipsus doesn't make the first and only music I find unlistenable. In a 15-year career as a music writer, I've found the ratio of dreck to awesomeness to be at least 100 to 1. Nevertheless, I have always advocated the Internet as the best thing ever to happen to independently produced music, and if a musician can find that one other person in the world who "gets it," it's worth whatever effort is required.

So, with respect to his music, I grit my teeth, and wish Fox the best. But on Facebook, he's unconscionably, heinously exploiting what should be a good, safe thing for everyone. Our kids and our grandkids are out there, for crying out loud.

And, listen, if a legitimate musician ever needs your help, someone you trust will let you know. Don't put yourself and your Facebook friends at risk for the sake of an opportunity to say you're "with the band."

____

The Fresno Bee buys the story, but doesn't much like it, either. Read about an effort to track him down for an interview here.

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