January 5, 2010

Joining Questionable Facebook Pages and Groups SAFETY

In the name of Allah, compassionate & merciful بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Peace be with you السلام عليكم

first I want to say that I am ALL for Muslims banding together and promoting and fostering brotherhood and sisterhood. I think its a great idea. Things to consider when joining a group or a fan page.
  1. WHO is running said page/group?
  2. Do they have an info page and an email you can reach them if you need clarification of their purpose/mission?
  3. WHO is recommending and in essence VOUCHING for said group/page?
  4. WHAT is their intended message?
  5. If my boss/mom/future spouse or someone looking into me sees them, what image am I portraying?
  6. If you are trying to launch your business, will this activity affect you detrimentally?
Why am I asking this? Well because in a perfect world people wouldn't judge us just because they saw something they didn't agree on our page/blog/social media but they do. You might be associated involuntarily to a questionable group just because you decided to be nice and become their fan.

I get A LOT of facebook pages and group recommendations and LOVE IT! However, recently I have been receiving a lot of 'questionable' material to the point that I feel like I am being baited. Like questions that are EXTREMELY controversial even among 'conservative' Muslims and shuyukh. Like this message I received in my inbox
Dear sisters,

In your opinion, what are the reasons for the wave of radical Islam that has hit Europe during the past few months? Is it the result of social factors, religious misunderstandings, or individual circumstances? And would you say that Europe's fear of radical Islam is justified?

Participate with your opinion on the following link:
first of all I have NO IDEA who the heck they are or what they will do with my response. Second of all I don't live in Europe and have no idea how things are there. Third of all I have no first hand experience or knowledge about the topic besides what I get from the news. Fourth of all they have not define the topic and have left it vague enough for some naive person to ensnare themselves in. We all know that just because we are ignorant on a subject does not mean we are going to stay quite (usually) which means WE will get in trouble. Which make these kinds of open ended questions DANGEROUS.

I am not saying we shouldn't have a dialogue about things that are clearly against Islam or of people who are perpetrating violence against innocents. I am just saying there is a time and place for everything and you should at the very least know who you are having these dialogues with. I know my non Muslim readers will be like "what the heck? schizo Muslims" but the reality for Muslims is that we are constantly being watched and over analyzed a simple gesture you might do may entail a cavity search for me. Tis sad but true and therefore it means I need to be more aware of what I say and who I associate with. The whole rebel without cause shenanigans others can pull can mean SERIOUS consequences for me. nuff said.

Another thing that bothered me is that unlike groups where you can see the admins of that group, facebook pages are technically anonymous. I have created ENOUGH facebook pages to sorta figure out who is the admin. It is still more of an art than a science but I have been right the last couple of times. Anyway I got this from facebook's FAQ
How are Pages different from groups?
Pages can only be created to represent a real organization, business, celebrity, or band, and may only be created by an official representative of that entity. Groups can be created by any user and about any topic, as a space for users to share their opinions and interest in that subject. Groups can be kept closed or secret, whereas Pages are intended to help an entity communicate publicly.

Pages also allow people to maintain a personal-professional distinction on Facebook. If you're a group admin, your name will appear on that group, while Pages will never display their admins' names. Additionally, when you take actions on your group, such as posting on your group's wall, these actions will appear to come from you as an individual. However, if you post or take other actions on a Page you own, it will appear to come from the Page.
So when you are joining all these fan pages do your due diligence and make sure they are legit.

Another example, we all know that there are men out there that have fetishes for covered women particularly niqabis. I was looking into two facebook pages about niqab one had over 2,000 members and it turned out that I guessed the admin correctly and she turned out not to be a niqabi but a niqabi supporter mashaAllah. She is super cool. I applied my technique to the second page that has over 4,000 followers and my answer was a dude, 5 dudes to be exact. Which made me start doubting the purpose of that page seeing as sisters are uploading their niqab pictures some kinda sexy and steamy. I could TOTALLY be wrong of course because I tested with my own pages different variables and THERE IS a way you can stay anonymous. I am NOT gonna share my method simply because I will just be telling them how to stay anon. But I seriously have doubts about the intent of that page.

So when JOINING pages PLEASE be careful because they could just be data mining you.


AlabasterMuslim said...

LOl i love all these little warnings and bits of info you put out for us. Mashallah. hehe thanks

ModestJustice said...

I'm part of that group too!

I was checking my inbox after this post and saw it and was like O_O;;

Thanks for warning us, although I've liked their past articles :P