Facebook Fights Social Faux-Pas With New TMI Feature

Damen PeamuThursday, November 29, 2007
This post is part of Push the Third Button Twice, a ~2 month adventure where I would write parody articles based on the news as it happened — in 15 minutes or less. The posts are credited to my a fictional "staff", but they're actually all me. I apologize in advance.

In a bid to avoid falling into the same trap that unseated previous social network phenomena, Facebook today announced the new “TMI” feature that will help users avoid embarrassing workplace situations with automated falsehoods.

“It’s never fun when you have to add your boss or co-workers as friends,” sympathized Greg Yowsie, VP of Privacy and Truth for Facebook. “What if you need to cut work to go to a wild drunken party? What if your company has a policy against corrugated cross-dressing Satan worshippers, or keeping squirrels in mayonnaise jars in your bathroom? Well thanks to the TMI system, now you can carry on your life of debauchery without anyone knowing.”

The feature, currently in closed beta testing, allows users to create “better” profiles and news feeds, which they can assign to different classes of “friends”. Co-workers can be separated from high school acquaintances or college roommates or past lovers, giving each audience segment exactly the kind of truth they want to see.

“For instance, rather than showing your boss the picture of you dressed as a pixie princess chugging two bottles of Bud Light, the TMI system will automatically create a shadow newsfeed entry that makes it appear as if you were attending a seminar on improving workplace efficiency,” explained Yowsie. “Facebook will even create fake insipidly-sweet comments on your ‘clean’ photos suggesting you made a good impression on potential clients, rather than vomiting on their shoes.”

Sources in the beta testing tell PTTBT other features include fake purchase announcements touting self-improvement books, professionally-written heartfelt wall postings wishing co-workers a happy birthday, and the automatic addition of any senior manager’s name to the list of “Favourite people” in the user’s profile.

“With the TMI system, you’ll be a better person,” said Vincent Dandruff of Excelerant Technologies, a research company in Palo Alto, “But the real fear is that people will become complacent about it, and we’ll start seeing employees coming into work drunk or stoned, thinking Facebook is rewriting reality around them to make them look respectable. Because they can’t. Only Steve Jobs does that.”

Note: Various words in this article have fallen victim to Text Links for Hope, a fund raising drive for sick kids.

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