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Create a low profile Facebook account?
Old 02-17-2017, 08:50 AM   #1
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Create a low profile Facebook account?

I've avoided Facebook. DW has an account, it is nice for keeping up with friends and family, but there is just too much chaff among the wheat for me.

But lately, there have been more and more things I am interested in that lead to a Facebook page. Without a login, I'm limited as to what I can view.

I understand it is against their Terms of Service to create a 'fake' account or have more than one account, but can I create a relatively anonymous (low profile) account?

Just like email addresses, I keep a few for things that I want separate from other things. Can I do this with Facebook?

-ERD50
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:56 AM   #2
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you already state that you can only have 1 account and it can't be fake. So you likely can would be fine with the account you have. So how do you make that usable? You can unfollow friends that you really don't want to see their posts. You can hide posts or shares that you don't care for. You can unfriend people if you want.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:11 AM   #3
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If you use a "fake" account for reading only I doubt anyone would complain. Note that if DW has a "real" account, by looking at cookies and/or IP addresses Facebook will be able to associate your account with hers should they care to do so.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:36 AM   #4
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.... So you likely can would be fine with the account you have. ...
But I don't have an account (DW does).

So I guess my question should be, if I can only have one account, and I plan to use that as a 'read only' account, what is the best way to set that up?

It does sound like if I did want to add an account later, I probably could get away with it if that first account was kept as read only, never posting anything. But how do I set up that first account, to allow for the possibility of a 'real' account later (I probably won't, but would like to leave the option open)?

I know almost nothing about Facebook, my searching gives advice way over my head - hard to follow if you never had an account, and don't know what they are talking about. I only know that I've seen enough of DW's account, that I don't want that (too much stuff that I would have trouble ignoring, or would be upsetting just to read such ignorance from people)!

-ERD50
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:37 AM   #5
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But your Facebook page will have "likes" from friends that haven't actually liked those ads. And other ads, more ads, and even more ads. It's getting difficult to see what is relevant to your friends with all of the ads.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I've avoided Facebook. DW has an account, it is nice for keeping up with friends and family, but there is just too much chaff among the wheat for me.


-ERD50
Agree. I have avoided it also. Are you sure you really want to open yourself up this way? I believe it will make it possible for strangers to find you and send you messages. I guess to some degree we do that here on this site, so maybe not that big of a deal?
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:43 AM   #7
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But I don't have an account (DW does).

So I guess my question should be, if I can only have one account, and I plan to use that as a 'read only' account, what is the best way to set that up?

It does sound like if I did want to add an account later, I probably could get away with it if that first account was kept as read only, never posting anything. But how do I set up that first account, to allow for the possibility of a 'real' account later (I probably won't, but would like to leave the option open)?
You are making this too hard. First of all, Facebook requires you provide factual info (your real name) and failing to do so is a violation of their terms. Your wife's account is her account, not your account. FB is set up to allow one account per human.

You can set up a FB account using your real name and email address AND providing no other background info. You can turn off notices, hide posts from those entities (commercial FB accounts you follow) if you don't want to see them, and avoid 'friending' or accepting 'friend' requests. What you get is an empty shell. Facebook provides plenty of instruction on how to protect your privacy.

I have several friends who are on FB and do nothing with their account but follow what is happening with family. They don't post, they don't click, they just look and read. That sounds like what you want to do.

- Rita
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:43 AM   #8
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I have this. I have people on my friends list but selected don't show any more posts from this person but remain friends. No awkward questions that way.

Then I liked all the news feed and site pages and kept liking several of their things that pop up on my page.

Now I only ever get the info from interesting pages I want to get without having to deal with any Facebook drama or horrible game requests.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I've avoided Facebook. DW has an account, it is nice for keeping up with friends and family, but there is just too much chaff among the wheat for me.

But lately, there have been more and more things I am interested in that lead to a Facebook page. Without a login, I'm limited as to what I can view.

I understand it is against their Terms of Service to create a 'fake' account or have more than one account, but can I create a relatively anonymous (low profile) account?

Just like email addresses, I keep a few for things that I want separate from other things. Can I do this with Facebook?

-ERD50
Just use an obscure version of your name, maybe a separate email account, and don't provide any more details than necessary. Heck, people's pets have Facebook accounts!
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:44 AM   #10
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But your Facebook page will have "likes" from friends that haven't actually liked those ads. And other ads, more ads, and even more ads. It's getting difficult to see what is relevant to your friends with all of the ads.
Are you saying that a fake read-only FB account will have ads but I used a real name for the FB account it wouldn't? Or do you mean that FB is loaded with ads regardless of the account.
I care less about FB, but I'm curious. I have a pseudo fake account on it that was created years ago. It lists my first name and a made up last name. I don't remember its login info though and hopefully I'll not need to remember.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:54 AM   #11
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The easiest way to stay semi-anonymous and still follow Facebook's terms and conditions is to create a new email address that you don't use for anything else. Then when you open the Facebook account, use a variation of your name that you don't use in your offline life or go by initials. Do not fill out profile info such as your current location, past locations, past employers, etc. Unless you have a really unique last name, this makes it pretty much impossible for anyone you know to identify you via a Facebook search.

If you don't care that much about Facebook's Ts&Cs, they will not go after an account that has a non-obvious fake name, such as Mike Jones. I have one of those from a time when I was doing software development and didn't want to use my real account.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:14 AM   #12
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Last summer, my FB account was getting just a bit much to deal with, but I still wanted to be able to use it as a news and information feed. I created an alternate account, using the name of one of my former cats and my middle name as a "fake" name. One of my accounts has my mobile phone # as the main identifying piece of info, and the other has my main e-mail address.

It worked out quite well. I did befriend my SO on the account. Then, a few of our mutual friends realized who I was and friended me. I ended up with around 13 friends, IIRC. It was a few more than I wanted, but it was way better than the several hundred I have on my main account. For 7 months, I used the alternate account. I have recently gone back to my main account, but the break was great.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that it's hard to live without FB, but there are a couple of things about it that I find really useful. One of them is the ability to use it like a newsfeed. The other is the ability to find out about local events. The "problem" with the latter is that the best way to do that is to have a good number of local FB friends, so that FB can tell you what events your friends are interested in and are going to. It's one of the reasons I went back to my main account - to keep in touch with what is going on in my community. There are other ways to do it, but I quite like this feature of FB.

I still dream about living in a cabin on solar power though
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:24 AM   #13
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You are making this too hard.
Well, that's why I'm asking. As I said, I really know nothing about setting up an account. It sounds like you get one shot at it, so I want to do it right the first time.

So based on the feedback so far (and THANKS to all!), I will set up one more email address for only facebook, and use some variation of my name. Does this sound reasonable to comply with the terms:

If my real name was Jonathan Reginald Doe, use something like JReginald Doe? I assume last name needs to be a separate entry and probably has to match reality? Or could I do J ReginaldDoe?

-ERD50
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:27 AM   #14
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Other posters have outlined how you can create a "shell" account. I have had a few FB "friends" who use such accounts. Some are relatives, some IRL friends. The problem, from my point of view, is that FB is a great tool for keeping in touch, so I am willing to share some of my life with my FB friends. If they do not post at all, it's not a fair exchange. I'm not expecting photo albums, but a comment or a message once in a while would go a long way to tell me they care. So if nothing is posted on these shell accounts for 6 months or more, I will purge them. I generally keep my FB friends to about 80.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:28 AM   #15
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If you use a "fake" account for reading only I doubt anyone would complain. Note that if DW has a "real" account, by looking at cookies and/or IP addresses Facebook will be able to associate your account with hers should they care to do so.


Of course they are going to do so!!!


I have not been on facebook in many years... but I still get emails saying 'do you know so and so'.... and they are people that I recently met!!!

Same happens with Linkedin, but I have been on it maybe 2 years ago...
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:32 AM   #16
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You can set up a 'shell' company and create a FB account.... you know, like ERD50 FIRE.... say you give out retirement advice... who says you need customers
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:38 AM   #17
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I have had a FB account for almost 10 years, it has about 200 friends invites that I have never responded to, I only use it to view news items and some companies information. I have never posted on FB and my page is blank when viewed.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:38 AM   #18
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OH... just wanted to post something that does irk me about FB....

Daughter is on a soccer team.... and they move practice around with changes in times and locations... I complained once about not getting any info on it and was told 'we put it on FB and texted it out'....

Well, as mentioned, I have not logged into FB in like 5 years... and DD does not have an account... their 'text' is some group text that goes out to everybody who is signed up and you can get over 100 texts an hour at times.... mostly people saying "OK", or "We will be there" etc. etc.... I pay by the text and do NOT want to pay for this crap...

Maybe, just maybe use that OLD technology called email!!!!
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:49 AM   #19
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You can set up a 'shell' company and create a FB account.... you know, like ERD50 FIRE.... say you give out retirement advice... who says you need customers
This sounds more like what I should do. Now, I don't know how much checking FB does, not sure how much info I would need to create to be reasonably legit. I'd probably tie it to one of my hobbies.

ERD50-budding-ethnomusicologist

-ERD50
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:21 AM   #20
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I believe my Facebook account is pretty much what you are thinking of

Some yrs back most of the people I maintained contact with went FB and stopped using email and posted stuff to their FB page. So if I wanted to stay up to date I had go FB

I opened an account and friended 6 people. Two are relatives, 3 are old USAF chums so I do not have a large presence. I almost never post anything myself and when I do I remove it in a day. And my entire FB and all the data is off limits to anybody not on my list of six.

I have never gotten a "wrong number" or contact from any kranks known or unknown.

I don't facebook the way the rest of the world does.
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