http://superuser.com/questions/73214/facebook-profiles-for-non-people-okay

Ok, there are many questions that reference Facebook, but this one seems to be directly about facebook. I need an official meta thread to point people to beyond the FAQ on Facebook questions.

Previous questions have been closed as not computer related:

http://superuser.com/questions/59692/do-facebook-group-wall-posts-appear-for-all-groups-or-only-those-you-are-a-member

But this one was ok?

http://superuser.com/questions/61974/find-out-when-someone-defriends-me

Questions like this to me seems good to have though:

http://superuser.com/questions/4366/facebook-upload-problem-with-the-java-photo-uploader

Whats ok and not? I thought most facebook stuff is not SU material?

UPDATE:

Here is the Facebook help discussion forums. Beyond the common questions posted in the help section, you can post any question you like in the "Help Discussions" section. You pick the topic and sub topic and then post the question there.

http://www.facebook.com/help/?ref=pf#/help/?section=community

share

migrated from meta.stackoverflow.com Jul 22 '10 at 18:01

This question came from our discussion, support, and feature requests site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

11  
my personal stance is something along the lines of "DEAR GAWD NOOOOOOOOO!!!!" –  quack quixote Nov 21 '09 at 16:49
3  
I agree we should send them to the Facebook help –  Ivo Flipse Jan 22 '10 at 14:14
1  
@Ivo - now I'll send them to this question, it states the official position on the matter, and also provides a link to the official forums. (At least to the ones who seem open to discussion about why it is not allowed) –  Gnoupi Jan 22 '10 at 14:19
1  
@Gnoupi That was exactly my intention behind updating this faq/question. –  Troggy Jan 22 '10 at 14:37

6 Answers 6

From the thread that was closed, this is the response from Jeff Atwood:

This is specific-website related but not really computer related. We try to avoid pure "support for X website" questions, as they are best suited on forums that specialize in X website.

That seem to be pretty clear and "official stance" to me.

Just because a similar post wasn't closed, I wouldn't interpret that as the exception that disproves the rule. It's still a community-moderated site and edge cases are still subject to the whims and mood of the day. Some posts just squeak by, despite what the guidelines say.

share
    
I think what stuck out to me on that first question I linked to was "This is not a technical question, but it is 100% computer-related and does have a right answer" So then I looked at other questions and decided to get some discussion started here. –  Troggy Nov 20 '09 at 19:13
5  
The problem that I've got with Jeff's rationale there is that disallowing questions because they are "best suited on forums that specialize in X [website|product|etc]" kinda makes S* redundant... not that I'm a great fan of having SU fill up with Facebook questions, I just don't think Jeff's reasoning is solid. –  Unknown Yahoo Nov 20 '09 at 19:17
1  
@womble: No, there's plenty of room for questions. SO is about programming (and so questions on programming for FB would be OK, but not general FB questions), SF is for admins, and SU is about your personal hardware and software, to put it loosely. –  David Thornley Nov 20 '09 at 21:10
    
Got a link to the closed question where Jeff quoted that? –  Troggy Nov 24 '09 at 20:21
1  
It's the second link in your post above: superuser.com/questions/59692/… –  Robert Cartaino Nov 25 '09 at 0:54

In addition to what I said here:

This is specific-website related but not really computer related. We try to avoid pure "support for X website" questions, as they are best suited on forums that specialize in X website.

a clarification: some Facebook questions may be OK:

we only support Facebook questions if they relate to software tools that work with Facebook, or ways to get software (or other websites) to work with Facebook.

Basically a mashup type argument. It can't be about Facebook alone, because we're not a Facebook website support forum; there have to be hundreds of better places for that.

So this is OK, because it involves making another app/website work with Facebook:

http://superuser.com/questions/51972/how-to-make-facebook-notifications-feed-to-work-with-google-reader

But this is not OK, because it's purely about the Facebook web site alone:

http://superuser.com/questions/78144/how-do-i-make-someone-else-the-owner-of-a-group-on-facebook-closed

Greasemonkey stuff is obviously OK as well, since that falls under the category of "tool that works with a website".

share

I think it's getting really hard to distinguish between sites and apps any more. More and more "software" is moving to the web. I don't think the "specific website" criteria is going to be clear enough.

How about this as a rule: questions about how to make a software/site work are OK. But questions about what to do with the software/site once you’ve got it working (i.e. strategies) are not.

Here are some examples:

OK:
FACEBOOK: How do I add a friend?
FACEBOOK: How do I make it so that people in my group can see a particular dog photo but not all dog photos?
GMAIL: How to I send email to a lot of people on the BCC line without anyone on the TO line?
EBAY: How do I make bold text in an auction listing?
PHOTOSHOP: How do I create a jelly bean effect?
WINDOWS: How do I make Explorer show photos in order by date?

NOT OK:
FACEBOOK: This guy has been harassing me, if he sees me unfriend him I think he’ll come to my house with a bat.
FACEBOOK: I’m a CEO. Should I add my employees as “friends”?
GMAIL: I’m buried in email. What are your strategies for email/life balance?
EBAY: What’s a good reserve price for this comic book?
EBAY: What should I do about unfair negative reviews?
PHOTOSHOP: What’s a good way to improve this photograph?
PHOTOSHOP: Rate my photo composition!
WINDOWS: How do I use my computer to find my damn car keys?

share
4  
do not agree at all with your "OK" list, with the exception of Photoshop, Windows. –  Jeff Atwood Jan 25 '10 at 20:13

I think questions about specific web sites don't belong on Super User.

As the faq states:

Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about ...

  • computer hardware
  • computer software

… and it is not about videogames or consoles, then you're in the right place to ask your question!

The specific question you mention (http://superuser.com/questions/73214/facebook-profiles-for-non-people-okay) is definitely a no go and I voted to close it.

This one (http://superuser.com/questions/61974/find-out-when-someone-defriends-me) I also voted to close.

This one (http://superuser.com/questions/4366/facebook-upload-problem-with-the-java-photo-uploader) is ok as it appears to be a problem with the OP's browser's cookies. A computer software problem, so fine with the faq.

share
    
Yah, the java/flash questions and ones relating to specific desktop applications are just fine. –  Troggy Nov 20 '09 at 23:27
    
+1 agree to close 73214 non-people profiles, this really has nothing to do with the computer or software or the UI. Even though this answer superuser.com/questions/73214/… is funny. –  The User FormerlyKnownAs Larry Nov 21 '09 at 17:48
    
-1 61974 defriends me should stay open, even though the OP might be a little OCD. The solution is software related via greasemonkey –  The User FormerlyKnownAs Larry Nov 21 '09 at 17:50
    
+1 agree 4366 upload problem is okay, even though it is site specific. –  The User FormerlyKnownAs Larry Nov 21 '09 at 17:52

You can ask questions about Facebook on Web Apps.

share

I think that the distinction between a desktop application and a web-based application is an arbitrary one; possibly a distinction that no longer makes a difference.

To the extent this is true, what's the distinction between a web site and a web application?

share
    
the real distinction is "is this a power user question?" to which "how do I make this eBay auction title bold" is clearly a terrible fit. Just so happens that most facebook, twitter, etc questions fall into this category. –  Jeff Atwood Jan 25 '10 at 20:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .