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Frequently Asked Questions

[ FAQ ]


General
  • What is Thefacebook?
  • Who made this site?
  • When was the site started?
  • Is this a class project?
  • How do you get our information? Does the school give it to you?
  • How can I protect my privacy?
  • Where do I say what college I'm going to?

Searching
  • What is the social net?
  • Why does the social net repeat people?
  • How do I search for something besides names?

Friends
  • If I reject someone, will they find out?
  • If I remove someone from my friends list, are they notified?
  • What does it mean when friends display on the left side of my profile?

Features
  • What is poking?
  • What is the wall?
  • Can I delete entries on my wall?
  • How can I view the visualization?
  • Why is the visualization slow?
  • How do I navigate through the visualization?

Groups
  • How do I create a group?
  • What is a groupie?
  • What is a sponsored group?

Accounts
  • Can I change my name and password?
  • When I try to log in, the page just refreshes. What's going on?
  • The site says I don't have a valid email address. Why?
  • Can I transfer my account to another school on the network?
  • What do I do if I try to change my profile but it doesn't seem to save?

Facebook Announcements / Advertising
  • What are Facebook Announcements?
  • How can I buy a Facebook Announcement?
  • Where can I get more info about Facebook Announcements?

Other
  • What kind of graph theory algorithms are you using to process connections?
  • My school is not on thefacebook network - why not and how can it be added?
  • How do I select a department, major, or dorm not available in the drop-down menus?
  • I have a question that's not covered in the FAQ. How can I ask it?

 
What is Thefacebook?
 
Thefacebook is an online directory that connects people through social networks at colleges and universities.
 

 
Who made this site?
 
See the about page.
 

 
When was the site started?
 
It was launched to the public on Wednesday, February 4th, 2004.
 

 
Is this a class project?
 
Nope, just for fun.
 

 
How do you get our information? Does the school give it to you?
 
Your school is not providing us with any information about you. All information and pictures are provided voluntarily by users.
 

 
How can I protect my privacy?
 
You can adjust your privacy settings to allow only people within certain divisions of certain schools to see it. You can also set it so that only people who share something in common with you (eg. house, year, a course, friends) can see your information. And further, you can create different privacy settings for the four different parts of your profile: contact information, personal information, courses and friends.
 

 
Where do I say what college I'm going to?
 
When you join thefacebook, you aren't just joining one large social network. Instead, you are affiliating yourself with a specific branch of the site that just includes other people from your school. When people from other branch sites view your listing in search results, it will automatically display which branch of the site you belong to.
 

 
What is the social net?
 
Your social net is the group of all users whose privacy settings allow you to view their information. To make things more interesting, we also limit it to only users who have submitted pictures. When you click on "social net", ten random users from your social net are displayed.
 

 
Why does the social net repeat people?
 
Since the selection of who is displayed is random, there is a chance that the same person will be displayed on two pages. This problem will alleviate itself as more people join.
 

 
How do I search for something besides names?
 
You can either click the "Search all Fields" button on the search page, or try the advanced search.
 

 
If I reject someone, will they find out?
 
No. When you reject someone, their friend request will leave your list of friendships to confirm, but they will not be notified. They also will not be able to send you another friend request for some amount of time, so to them, it will just seem as if you haven't confirmed their friendship yet.
 

 
If I remove someone from my friends list, are they notified?
 
No, but all friend links are reciprocal, so you are removed from their list as well.
 

 
What does it mean when friends display on the left side of my profile?
 
Thefacebook chooses 6 of your friends at your school completely at random to display on your profile.
 

 
What is poking?
 
We have about as much of an idea as you do. We thought it would be fun to make a feature that has no specific purpose and to see what happens from there. So mess around with it, because you're not getting an explanation from us.
 

 
What is the wall?
 
Your wall is a forum for your friends to post comments or insights about you. It is an open space and any one of your friends can edit what the previous person has said. The revision history can be viewed by clicking "history" in a person's profile. If you want your wall turned off, you can do so at My Privacy.
 

 
Can I delete entries on my wall?
 
Yes, you can delete the latest revision in your wall's history by clicking "history" underneath the wall in your profile. You can go as far back as you would like by doing this, but you always have to delete the last revision first.
 

 
How can I view the visualization?
 
In order to see the visualized social nets, you need to have the SVG plugin for your browser. Installation takes about 15 seconds; you can get it here. If you are using Firefox, you may also need to follow the instructions at the bottom of this page.
 

 
Why is the visualization slow?
 
Every time you view a visualization, we need to figure out whether you have the appropriate privileges to see each person on the graph. This takes time. In addition, in order to maintain the overall performance of the rest of the site, we have set up the site to process other requests with a higher priority than requests to generate visualizations.
 

 
How do I navigate through the visualization?
 
Hold down 'Alt' while dragging to scroll, or right-click to zoom. We apologize for the difficulty of navigating the visualizations. We didn't make the SVG viewer; we just use it to bring you pretty pictures.
 

 
How do I create a group?
 
If you are unable to find the group you are looking to join, you can start a new one with a quick registration process at My Groups. Click on "Create Group" near the bottom of this page.
 

 
What is a groupie?
 
A groupie is a person who is not a member of a group but knows many of the members of the group. The cutoff for being a groupie depends on the size of the group.
 

 
What is a sponsored group?
 
As the name suggests, these groups are paid promotions by an outside company. The sponsor controls the look and feel of the group, but does not have access to its members' personal information or profiles. The revenue from these promotions, like that of all our advertisements, goes towards thefacebook.com's server and operational costs. Sponsored groups are one more way that we are able to keep this service free and fast.
 

 
Can I change my name and password?
 
Yes -- you can request a name change and change your password on your my account page. For quality control purposes, we confirm all name changes before they take place. Password changes take effect immediately.
 

 
When I try to log in, the page just refreshes. What's going on?
 
You need to enable cookies on your browser. In order to do this in Internet Explorer, go to tools: options from the menu at the top. Then click on the privacy tab and alter your privacy settings to allow cookies. Finally, close and restart your browser and try logging in again.
 

 
The site says I don't have a valid email address. Why?
 
Currently, you must register with a valid school email from one of the schools listed on the front page. This is both the way we authenticate your affiliation with that school's network, and the way we direct your login.
 

 
Can I transfer my account to another school on the network?
 
Yes, you can request a network transfer on your my account page. Note that you need a valid school email from your new school.
 

 
What do I do if I try to change my profile but it doesn't seem to save?
 
If you have particularly long entries in parts of your profile, some browsers (particularly Internet Explorer) have trouble saving the form. Thefacebook team recommends Mozilla Firefox for best use.
 

 
What are Facebook Announcements?
 
Facebook Announcements allow students and local businesses to provide a variety of relevant links to people at the schools on our network. These announcements only appear at certain schools. And hey, they're definitely better than having to look at banner ads.
 

 
How can I buy a Facebook Announcement?
 
You can buy Facebook Announcements here.
 

 
Where can I get more info about Facebook Announcements?
 
Facebook Announcements have their own FAQ, which you can see here.
 

 
What kind of graph theory algorithms are you using to process connections?
 
I'm going to pretend you didn't just ask that.
 

 
My school is not on thefacebook network - why not and how can it be added?
 
Each school on the network has a custom site built for it before students from that school can register. We plan to include many new schools to the network over the next year. This requires no action on your part or by your school, but we do take suggestions. Also, if you want to help us add your school quicker, go here.
 

 
How do I select a department, major, or dorm not available in the drop-down menus?
 
We can easily add new selections for your school. To request an addition, please email suggest@thefacebook.com. Please remember to specify which school to add them to or write to us from your school email account.
 

 
I have a question that's not covered in the FAQ. How can I ask it?
 
Email us.
 

 

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