Facebook 2, 2012 - 2014

Facebook 2 is a group within Facebook that operates like many online messageboards and allows Facebook users to interact with other users who are not their "friends." While many such messageboards utilize anonymity, Facebook 2's users are still connected to their original profiles and their actions are recorded permenantly in the group, as on the rest of Facebook. In an amusing twist the group was created as a locked, "private" group, and despite the fact that the group was immediately subverted to embrace the idea that all Facebook users should be in the group, it remains "private." *NOTE - as of 4/24/12 I am no longer an administrator of the group and I hope the group continues to be stolen and changed by the users as time goes on.


The group was started by a friend of mine who originally titled it "Real Friends" and intended to fill the group with his friends who he wanted to talk to without being seen by the other people he was connected to on Facebook. He made us all administrators and I quickly undermined his intentions by relieving him and everyone else of their administrator priviledges, adding all ~900 of my friends to the group, and changing the name to "Facebook 2." My friends did the same and we encouraged the rest of the members to do so as well. Immediately upon it's creation the group quickly amassed a population of around 3,000 members, 100% of whom had been added to the group unwittingly and without their consent (in accordance with Facebook's group design). In the first day the group population reached 10,000. In the second day we hit 20,000. The group continues to grow, albeit much more slowly as people also choose to leave the group. The group immediately began generating in-joke memes and photoshopped imagery and also experienced a rapid evolution as it grew from a set of more closely-connected people to a broader population. It very quickly went from reflecting the personalities of the relatively few original members to a messageboard with very little difference from many across the internet.

The group brought to light for me and many others a lot of general confusion and flaws in the design of groups within the Facebook framework. The fact that a member can be added without their consent and immediately begin recieving notifications about the group was the most obvious. At the original time of the group's inception new members were suddenly recieving thousands of notifications via their phones and email, alerting them to every post in the group, which they didn't even know existed. Their inboxes were filled with thousands of notification emails and their phones were rendered useless by unceasing notification messages. Reactions to this annoying new thing spread across the coutnry and internationally within hours.

Facebook 2 was a crazy experiment in using a website as ubiquitous as Facebook for purposes other than it's presumed intentions. The internet is being rapidly co-opted. Its nature as a tool for reaching people and experiences that are distant from the user's normal life is being undermined by companies like Facebook and Google as they impliment manipulative devices to influence who and what we are able to see and connect with based on our supposed "preferences" and "interests." Facebook is designed to connect you only to people you know and grant you a multitude of controls over what you see. Facebook 2 shows you thousands of people you don't know and allows you very little control over what is shown.

Visit Facebook 2
As of 2014 Facebook 2 has been taken down by Facebook for unknown reasons