08.10.2014 09:08 AM

Dear Facebook friends

I’ve got 5,000 of you, and you’re all smart. Help me with my problem, please.

Facebook, as you undoubtedly know, has been forcing users to download and use their “Messenger” app. They’ve made it so you can’t stay with the old system.

I therefore read some of the stories about Messenger (you should too). I have no doubt, now, that it violates several privacy laws. It is actually scary.

So I refused to download it.

That creates a problem, however. I am no longer able to receive any messages from folks on Facebook. Moreover, that annoying red dot showing I have messages – messages I can’t read – won’t disappear.


• Is there any way to get back to the old platform? (Unlikely.)
• Is there any way to get rid of the annoying red message notification dot thing? (Please God.)

If you have answers, I would be most grateful. In the meantime, I look forward to Facebook getting its Orwellian ass hauled into court.




  1. Tiger says:

    Read the messages by using Facebook’s mobile site in your browser.

    Annoying, but takes care of your other concerns.

  2. kalford says:

    Have you tried Pidgen?

  3. Harith says:

    You could view the mobile site in your phone’s browser where you can still access messages like normal.

  4. Al in Cranbrook says:

    About a year and change ago, I deleted my FB page completely.

    And a funny thing happened…

    The sun still came up the next morning.

    • George says:

      Al, I did the same thing about 3 years ago. Best decision I ever made. Reclaimed hours of my daily life (hours either responding, checking or thinking (consciously or sub-consciously) about what I had read earlier and how I might respond).

      That time has been better invested elsewhere.

      It’s neat to see a friend in person, say “What’s new” and have a conversation. (It’s also somewhat amusing when they look at me like I should already know then say “Oh right, you aren’t on Facebook.”)

      Highly recommended.

      • Al in Cranbrook says:

        Yep, that pretty much sums it all up.

        My middle aged kids and families come for a visit, and inevitably half their time is spent checking FB and/or checking for latest texts on their latest pocket widgets. I go hunting, all four of us in our group agreeing that it’s great to get away from the rat race, and sure as hell the moment we meet back at the truck, out come the widgets, and for the next 20 minutes the only sound heard is tapping out text messages to everyone else engaged in the rat race. Makes me crazy to the point I refuse to own one of those damn things, or a cell phone, or anything remotely resembling one!

        I think it was Dennis Miller who observed, to paraphrase: Never have so many typed/texted/written so much about life lived so little.


      • Mike Tevlin says:

        I signed up for FB years ago, but I pretty much never used it. I much prefer to talk to my friends or exchange e-mails.

        Also, I found that I just didn’t care what even my close friends were doing every minute of the day in detail, so why should they care about what I was doing in that detail. Even without FB life is still lots of fun.

  5. Chris Haines says:

    Go into Settings/NoticationCenter/Messenger then deselect “Badge App Icon”. Also deselect sounds, “show in notification centre”, “show in lock screen” and alert style. That basically makes the app not show anything unless you actually go into it. That’s what I’ve done and you don’t notice any difference.

  6. smelter rat says:

    Meh. Once you get used to the idea that there is no privacy (Hello E. Snowden!), this is nothing to worry about.

  7. AdGuy says:

    Another in a well-researched series of articles from snopes.

    “The brouhaha over Facebook Messenger’s Terms of Service does highlight a couple of important issues with the apps many of us use these days. One is that ‘free’ products are not truly free — someone has to pay for their development, deployment, and maintenance, and that funding is commonly accomplished these days by serving up ads to users. But advertisers want to be able target and personalize their ads to specific groups of viewers, and that targeting requires knowledge of information about users such as their geographic locations, age, browsing habits, and the like. Providing this information is the trade-off we engage in as ‘payment’ for the acquisition and use of free apps.”

    Pretty simple solution… don’t like Facebook TOS, then don’t use the product.

  8. sezme says:

    Ok, for the first time ever, I completely agree with Al in Cranbrook: dump Facebook; it just ain’t worth it.

  9. Patrice Boivin says:

    My teenage son says kids don’t like or use Facebook much, it’s for “old people”.

    They mostly chat through various games’ sites while playing.

    • Chris says:

      They are also into Instagram and twitter.

      Snapchat is pretty big amongst the highschool crowd, especially for its magical ability to get topless photos of your schoolmates on your phone.

  10. david ray says:

    What’s Facebook? Some kind of eight track player.

    • TrueNorthist says:

      It’s a book, that sticks to your face. Easier to read that way. Trouble is the book really sticks there and must be blasted away using a high pressure jet of nitrogen gas. This typically peels away several layers of flesh leaving nothing but exposed facial muscles and fat. Not pretty. My advice? Use a phone, or god forbid, write an email. (I wrote; “write a letter” first, but realized half of you wouldn’t know what I am talking about)

      Personally, I like to go outside and talk to people in “meat-space” but I am increasingly reviled for such anti-social-network behaviour.

  11. Patrice Boivin says:

    someone just mentioned online that the Facebook Messenger app only has a 1-star rating in the app store.

  12. Pat Thurston says:

    All Animals Are Equal, But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

    The press are reporting that the Justin Trudeau Party would scrap financial transparency legislation for First Nations. Or course, anyone who is actually familiar with First Nations, has actually spent any time on reserves, knows this is a terrible idea. All too often the band chief and his/her entourage live as emirs while other members of the band are deprived of the most basic services including sanitation, potable water, and adequate nutrition. Trudeau, like the emirs, seem to labour under the delusion that Aboriginal powers-that-be could never succumb to nepotism or corruption, when, if Aboriginals are truly to be regarded as equal, are ever bit as likely to be tempted by filthy lucre as a Montreal mayor or a wayward senator. As per usual, in the Dauphin’s ideal world, policy will be taken directly out of the Robert Mugabe playbook. Journalists are being advised to change their first commandment: “do not follow the money.”

    Justin Trudeau supports another group that doesn’t believe in accountability or even basic bookkeeping. Justin Trudeau stated on Facebook: “Exciting news about Insite Clinic in Vancouver. A victory for medical science, Charter rights, and common sense over narrow, right-wing ideology and politicking.” Russell Brand – self-confessed heroin, sex, and alcohol addict, arrested twelve times – described Vancouver’s drug injection facility as the “crown jewel” of Vancouver. He went on to declare, during his routine at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, that “Communism is just sharing, isn’t it?” Then, pointing to a huge image of Che Guevara, described it as, “fierce, noble… what a leader should look like.” Brand went on to attack Canadian Prime Minister Harper ranting, “We wouldn’t let him be in charge of pencils!” Drugs, the Communist Manifesto, and pornographic propaganda; if religion is the opiate of the people, this surely is their heroin. But we digress.

    The group that managed the Insite facility, the Portland Hotel Society, was caught up in a scandal. While this organization was tasked with helping the poorest of the poor, many of them Aboriginal, they were caught out living the champagne wishes and caviar dreams lifestyle. While clients in PHS facilities were bedding down in rat and bedbug infested two hundred square foot rooms, executives of the PHS blew 9k at the Plaza Hotel in New York City that bills itself as “Setting the standard for luxury for more than a century.” During the New York trip, one spent $178 at the Lotus Salon and $57 at the Blow Styling Salon for “getting her hair done.” NDP MLA Jenny Kwan was caught out, took a leave of absence, and vowed to pay back near 30k for a vacation to Disneyland funded from the PHS treasury. There were luxury trips to Paris and England, luxury trips through Western Canada and stays in Banff; four figure limousine rides, obscene liquor and fine dining bills. And this was only a tiny fragment of what the auditors could glean from credit card trails and pocket litter – no expense records were kept. The CBC discovered the so-called board of directors hadn’t met in three years. As journalist Stephen Quinn wrote, “they got caught and in the end what has been uncovered not only tears down much of what they have built, it hurts everyone.”

    By now it is self-evident that the Trudeau cadre envision recreating something like Fidel Castro’s Cuba; that is, the people better bloody well do as they’re told or “just watch me,” watch out. Note, Fidel Castro is the richest man in Cuba with roughly double the wealth of Queen Elizabeth. While the poor languish in blessed poverty in literally sub-Sahara African conditions, socialist supermen like Justin Trudeau jet around the world in high style, sipping fine wines, tucking into sumptuous gourmet foods, arrayed in soft, designer clothes. They lie. They are corrupt. Anyone who believes in their filthy cult of personality should recall the words of the poet: “a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes.” Canadians, especially Aboriginals should demand fiscal accountability, just a fancy way to say: basic fairness now.

    • smelter rat says:

      It’s always good to stay on topic! Good work!!!

    • TrueNorthist says:

      Ah, another white man explaining what is best for First Nations people, complete with off-hand remarks about the savages in “Sub-Saharan” Africa. How quaint. What has always struck me most about so-cons is their complete inability to perceive just how idiotic they sound when they open their hate-hole and speak. The stupid, it is strong in this one.

      • Tessa El Massiori says:

        1. The “Sub-Saharan” comparison is taken directly from the medical literature e.g.:

        The report by the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS found that from 1996 to 2011, fewer people were using drugs and, of those who were, fewer were injecting drugs, said Dr. Thomas Kerr, co-author of the report and co-director of the centre’s Urban Health Research Initiative.“A public health emergency was declared here because we saw the highest rates of HIV infection ever seen outside of sub-Saharan Africa — in this community. At the same time, the community was being levelled by an overdose epidemic,” Kerr said after presenting his findings to members of the group affected at a community centre in the heart of the neighbourhood.

        2. I never used the word “savage” – anywhere. You did and are implying I am a racist which is libel. Maybe I should do what Innes did?

        3. Get your facts straight, stop bulling people, shooting the messengers, and learn how to do some basic research before you reveal your ignorance to the world. The so-called “progressive” Left is being exposed as the corrupt facade it is.

        • TrueNorthist says:

          Says the guy who hides behind several false female names. How can you claim libel when you intentionally lie about your identity you twit.

        • Kaspar Juul says:

          Get the names straight Troll. Are you even skilled enough to make your IP?

          Of one you haven’t done any research. This is just insane ranting. No citation just insane trolling.

          All you’ve done is exposed the degree of insanity some people on the right are. Not everyone because let’s face it; if everyone was as crazy as you there would be no functional Conservative party. Yes, the left has just as insane people but you are the one that keeps writing these crazy rants.

          So let’s break it down to the individual. Why do you think pulling a Nurie Is going to be more effective for you than it was for her? How do you expect crazy tirades to win anyone over and more importantly;

          How are you not getting the boot for the fake usernames? This is classic Observant crazy behaviour. Even Gord has to sell insurance and doesn’t have the time for such nonsense

        • TrueNorthist says:

          I should also point out that I seriously doubt the women who’s identities you stole would appreciate you spreading paranoid codswallop in their name, so it is you who should fear the law. But I have wasted enough time on you. Your just another garden variety, cowardly bigot, hiding behind some random woman’s skirts.

          • Jenni Watson says:

            TrueNorthist says:
            June 9, 2014 at 9:01 pm

            “Seriously though, that kind of idiocy pretty much sums up the length, breadth and depth of the Idle Some More Movement and it’s anti-nation cadre that is masterminded by a handful of petty thugs and wannabee dictators.”

            Who’s the bigot now?

          • Kaspar Juul says:

            Observant, please get some help.

            These insane ramblings are tiring.

          • TrueNorthist says:

            Is that the best you can do, quote me out of context? Pathetic.

  13. MgS says:

    If there is an issue with FB’s messenger app, it is with FB’s terms of service, not the app.

    Yes, it is asking for a stack of permissions, but that is a function of Android’s device permissions model, not the app itself.

    The biggest issue is that few people understand the application level permissions that Android uses, so when they see the list of permissions that it wants, they freak out.

    High functionality apps are going to need a stack of permissions, and some of them are going to look pretty scary if you don’t understand them fully. If you go through other apps with similar functionality, they make similar demands. (The list of permissions that Skype wants is pretty interesting too, IIRC)

  14. e.a.f. says:

    Just get rid of F.B. its useless unless you find you need 15 seconds of fame.

    Never got with the F.B. agenda and live a well balanced life. Use the regular phone, send e-mail letters with pics and its all good. I’m not here to have some massive corporation make money off of me by mining me for information.

    So good luck with your quest, but would suggest you simply get rid of F.B.

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