"..a bardy view!"


There was a Trojan Horse at the gate and it wasn't from the Greeks – at least I think not. But I can understand why these insidious viruses are called as such. They hide behind apparent innocuous posts on facebook and other social networking sites, embedded in the link like a parasitical worm.

Not content with causing mayhem, infecting the computer attaching itself like a bloodsucking leech, but it grows and multiplies like bacteria. Indeed the word "trojan" is far too good for it and as we all know it is the synonym of"malware". Some of these can be harmless, others can be extremely destructive, but the fact is that someone somewhere is designing these dastardly bugs and whilst they are at least contained to the IT world, one can only hope there aren't any mad scientists around who can replicate them in the medical one. Otherwise we are potentially doomed.

Not unless we can carry around a human form of antivirus software to blitz the bastards before they can send us all bonkers.

Speaking of blitzing, I'm sorely tempted to do exactly that to Facebook for allowing the enemy to reach the gates in the first place. Exactly whose responsibility is it? The platform or the user?

Having been a recent victim by clicking a seemingly innocent link from a reputable FB friend, my network, and all those within it who acted innocently like me, suddenly found themselves under the same attack. What does Facebook do? Do they accept responsibility, do they move heaven and earth to eridicate the problem, do they do anything at all?

The short answer is no! What they do is provide a message saying your computer is infected and consequently your account is suspended – which sounds drastic except they provide a little box which must be ticked acknowledging that you have rectified the problem. In other words they have lobbed the ball back into your court and reneged on any duty to there customers. Only then will access be given but your activity is restricted ie – you can read but cannot participate. This will last for a day or two – perhaps more.

Meanwhile you have instigated a scan with your antivirus software to hunt down the offender and obliterate it. Of course – we rely on our Nortons and Mcafee's and Avasts etc to have prevented this in the first place – at least – that's what we are led to believe, yet it appears that some of the little blighters can easily sneak through.

If you're lucky it may be just an impertinent mischievous little bug designed to bombard you with pop-ups and track you for marketing potential, but if you are really unlucky it could be a vicious spiteful and sinister arachnid which could cause all manner of problems like stealing personal data, passwords and even cause catastrophic failure to your computer. After all, if you are killer spider, why spin your own web, when there is a huge global one that you can trawl around with impunity?

Which beggers the question, if we, as consumers, pay good money to antivirus organizations to protects us, why cannot the biggest and most successful internet platform like Facebook not do likewise? It's just not good enough! Day after day Facebook inflicts new systems, new ideas and new apps to target us – yet it seems to me that they are not doing the basic requirement of protection.

Fair enough, we are not travelling on a plane or a boat or train where safety is essential, but we are still passengers in a virtual world, and our method of transport in this case is Facebook. Without us they wouldn't even leave the terminal. It seems to me that they are a carrier which expects it's passengers to ensure they have travel insurance in advance. If Facebook was an airline they would have to be members of ATOL, yet there is no equivalent in the internet world, and Facebook sits comfortably in the cockpit on automatic pilot free from any obligations.

I bank online. I've forgotten the last time I visited my branch, but when I log on I receive messages that I must endeavour to ensure my security and protect my personal details – they would never contact me to request any pin numbers for example. Indeed, my bank provides me with a free antivirus software specifically designed to protect my banking activity.

It's just a regular bank, one of the big four or five which all of us deal with, and yet they will not have a fraction of customers that Facebook has on their books. Ah! but there's a big difference you may say, after all, one deals with our money and the other is just a social network site. And yet, is it likely that Facebook have more personal information about us than even our banks? Perhaps they may not know what our financial state is, but they surely know (judging by the behaviour of many) what we had for dinner last night!

My bank manager doesn't know that! Nor does he know my travel arrangements, the countries I visit, how many kids and grandchildren I've got, or my state of health, or see my uploaded photographs. He doesn't know the company I keep, my political views or hobbies, nor know what organizations I'm a member of, nor my charities and causes, my feelings, my peccadilloes – my life. But I bet Facebook knows.

So isn't it time that Facebook took action to protect us? I pride myself on protecting my personal life to a degree, but at the same time I know that I must allow a little to get through – just enough to classify me as a human being, but I suspect millions have exposed themselves entirely to a site that they really don't know anything about.

If facebook can't prevent a little trojan getting through and fails to take any responsibility, then what would happen if a whole horse galloped in.

The Trojan Horse is in the annals of Homer, part myth, part legend – but today the mythology is now reality and there's no room for complacency.


January 15, 2012 - Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Education, facebook, Weblogs | , , ,


  1. Nice intro and great way to ellaborate your story thanks Bar de Ness


    Comment by BitDefender Key | January 27, 2012 | Reply

  2. Many thanks for your comment. I’m very pleased you liked it.


    Comment by Bar De Ness | January 27, 2012 | Reply

  3. Quite frankly, brilliant, and I couldn’t agree with you more.


    Comment by Spook Moor | June 6, 2012 | Reply

  4. Yes, you see and discuss what many of us either ignore or are resigned to. Since facebook would much rather show itself idiot savant than do its responsible duty, there are cropping up some fabulous alternatives to it. As to the virus software, there are no protections against new ones, only old ones, unless you’re willing to pay a subscription fee, and even then, they do not restore damage once done. The only safeguard for that is to get an Apple! Folks are starting to move on from facebook, and as the numbers at these other sites grow, they’ll be bringing their networks WITH them instead of waiting for them to arrive there first. Really good article, as usual!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Margaret Schaut | June 6, 2012 | Reply

  5. It’s funny you should say that? Any “free” anti-virus I have ever downloaded says, “afore we activate your account, you have to buy one of these little thingies”, and a drop down menu appears with a vast array of stuff you can buy. Each and every one more expensive “free”, than the one you pay for? Pass.


    Comment by Spook Moor | June 6, 2012 | Reply

  6. Agree. Farcebook now has shareholders (you gotta box very clever like), which means, as always, the shareholders will now try and dictate how the boss works. After all it was their idea in the first place, innit? As to Apple I have no idea, the premise of the post remains the same?


    Comment by Spook Moor | June 6, 2012 | Reply

  7. Cheers matey – thanks for dropping by!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Bar De Ness | June 7, 2012 | Reply

  8. Thanks for your valued input Margaret.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Bar De Ness | June 7, 2012 | Reply

  9. As always, a brilliant article. You mention the amount of detail some give on FB and this to me, is a capital mistake – one which will eventually be used against the user. FB is more corrupt than most think and I agree with Spook and Margaret.
    Even my ISP goes above and beyond to protect all clients against anything – so I’ve never had these problems. If they can do it for many thousands of clients world-wide, so can any other platform. Apps are where most of the problems happen IMHO.
    Thanks for a great, informative read Bar.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Michelle Ferreira | August 28, 2012 | Reply

  10. The pen is mightier than the sword… and Bar …you have no rival in honing your semantic resources to to a cutting edge! Is FB listening? I hope there is some last vestige of responsible conscious left in their corporate brain! Will they surprise us with a positive turn in favor of effective defense against the malicious pirates who roam the net seas? Pirates beware! The “hat people” will hunt you down and see you swinging from the yardarm of their motherboard!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by John Sitton | August 29, 2012 | Reply

  11. You’re right Michelle, apps are a major problem, not only on facebook but especially on tablets. Thanks for your comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Bar De Ness | August 31, 2012 | Reply

  12. Ha Ha! A wonderful, amusing and brilliant comment John. I must say I’m surprised at the legs of this post. I wrote it seven months ago, and it seems to be having a revival. It’s obviously an ongoing issue with FB.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Bar De Ness | August 31, 2012 | Reply

  13. Came back to have a look again after getting bored with the constant drivel going on there. Now looks like if you are not holier than a nun, one cannot post or more importantly say a thing? Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Any do gooder who takes the slightest offence to anything one has to say reports you, and what does Farcebook do? Why it takes their word and bans you without so much as any form of trial.Guilty until proven innocent. To the devil with them all.


    Comment by spookmoor | January 7, 2014 | Reply

  14. […] my old friend Bard there under Bar De Ness. Nothing much had changed and here is a grand example of his work. What a gas […]


    Pingback by My friend Bar De Ness. | Spook Moor a rambling blog | July 31, 2015 | Reply

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