Here is something weird, and a little creepy:

The freakshow that is seems to have grabbed all of the Facebook friends of anyone who has ever: a) written anything positive about short selling or 2) said anything negative about

For those of you who are unaware of what DeepCapture is, the name suggests that the short sellers have “Captured” the press. Deep Capture is a work of Patrick Byrne, founder of

For the record, I am in favor of shorting stocks, but do not favor naked shorting, which is against SEC rules.


Screen grab:

DC Facebook


See also:
Overstock’s Campaign of Menace
NYT, February 25, 2006

Worst CEO of 2006 goes to Ilia Lekach of Parlux; Overstock’s Byrne is runner up for the second straight year
Marketwatch, Dec. 6, 2006

There He Goes Again
JMINMTU, June 08, 2009

Do Nudists Run Wall Street?
WSJ, APRIL 12, 2006

Category: Short Selling, Web/Tech

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

24 Responses to “ Scraping Facebook Friends”

  1. I wonder if this violates any of the terms of service of Facebook . . . ?

  2. BR,

    really, what do think ‘Facebook’ is ?

    but, to you Q:, see: TOSBack | Facebook Privacy Policy
    Any improper collection or misuse of information provided on Facebook is a violation of the Facebook Terms of Service and should be reported through the Help Center. – [cache] – Ask
    #3 here:

  3. Transor Z says:

    Facebook is sending you this notice of a proposed class action settlement that may affect your legal rights as a Facebook member who may have used the Beacon program. This summary notice is being sent to you by Court Order so that you may understand your rights and remedies before the Court considers final approval of the proposed settlement on February 26, 2010.

    This is not an advertisement or attorney solicitation.

    This is not a settlement in which class members file claims to receive compensation. Under the proposed settlement, Facebook will terminate the Beacon program. In addition, Facebook will provide $9.5 million to establish an independent non-profit foundation that will identify and fund projects and initiatives that promote the cause of online privacy, safety, and security.

    For full details on the settlement and further instructions on what to do to opt out of, object to, or otherwise comment upon the proposed settlement, please go to

    Please do not reply to this email.

  4. Transor Z says:

    - Certain categories of information such as your name, profile photo, list of friends and pages you are a fan of, gender, geographic region, and networks you belong to are considered publicly available, and therefore do not have privacy settings. You can limit the ability of others to find this information on third party search engines through your search privacy settings.

    . . .

    For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

  5. Drewbie says:

    Overstock has also obtained trademarks in multiple classifications for to pre-emptively claim rights to it when ICANN auctions off single letter .com domains in the near future.

    Nice guys.

  6. Transor,

    way to knock it off the Tee..good going~

    on other facets, of this gem, if people ever bothered to read the EULAs, that populate their e-Lives, they wouldn’t be so quick to fall for the ol’ “Free Market Democracy”-line, among, far too many, other things..
    The Clicks That Bind: Ways Users “Agree” to Online Terms of Service
    November, 2009
    We have all seen them while online. Whether placed in front of our faces in the form of an “I Agree” box or found in a notice lingering at the bottom of a web page, we all will eventually be asked to agree a listed set of “Terms of Service” (TOS). But the fundamental question remains: when do these ubiquitous TOS agreements actually become binding contracts with the online service provider? As it turns out, not all expressions of agreement are created equal.

  7. Trainwreck says:

    Remember the fifth of November:

  8. ZenRazor says:

    EULA-toon: Faust 2.0

  9. Greg0658 says:

    on Olbermann’s Countdown last night .. a discussion of lawyers rights when defending a client who is engaging in criminal behavior with pov’s involving Nuremberg .. and beyond …
    “Bush administration gets away with torture”
    “Dec. 9: The Department of Justice is asking an appeals court to dismiss the lawsuit accusing John Yoo for providing the Bush administration with a legal justification for torture. Prof. Jonathan Turley discusses.”

  10. Floyd Norris says:

    Overstock has plenty of other issues. It is currently without an auditor and is dealing with S.E.C. queries on some of its accounting. It fired Grant Thornton, and then got involved in a quarrel with the fired auditor about who was lying. It filed a 10-q that was not reviewed by an auditor and did not include the customary certifications of accuracy from the chief executive and chief financial officers.

    Grant Thornton evidently did not approve of some Overstock accounting, which the S.E.C. has been asking questions about. The amounts are not that large, but the fact they concern Overstock’s apparent failure to notice apparent overpayments to its “partners” — companies that sell goods through Overstock — calls into question the quality of the company’s systems.

    That 10-q did, however, include a new risk factor that I had not noticed the first time I wrote about it:

    Public statements we or our chief executive officer, Patrick M. Byrne, have made or may make in the future may antagonize regulatory officials or others.

    We and our chief executive officer, Patrick M. Byrne, have from time to time made public statements regarding our or his beliefs about matters of public interest, including statements regarding naked short selling. Some of those public statements have been critical of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies. These public statements may have consequences for us, whether as a result of increased regulatory scrutiny or otherwise

    -December 9, 2009, 1:06 PM

  11. Matt Taibbi says:

    See also

    Wall Street’s Naked Swindle

    A scheme to flood the market with counterfeit stocks helped kill Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers — and the feds have yet to bust the culprits

  12. bonghiteric says:

    Pleasantly surprised to see eleven posts without a defender of At ZeroHedge you’d have a phalanx of freaks rippin’ you a new one. The commenters sure love a good conspiracy theory over there.

  13. mknowles says:

    “For the record, I am in favor of shorting stocks, but do not favor naked shorting, which is against SEC rules.”
    I read the site a couple of years ago. As I recall, they were against naked shorting which is illegal. They were not against legal shorting. They were also concerned about transparency issues where these things are traded. What’s wrong with that?

    I don’t see the difference, I don’t see why Barry calls them a “freakshow”.


    BR: Read the Joe Nocera article for more details

  14. Wes Schott says:

    bloomberg television special on naked short selling and phantom shares

    …also, buting CDS’s without owning the underlying bonds, is the same as naked short selling only of debt instruments as opposed to equities…

  15. TakBak04 says:

    More Facebook stuff that makes one question some of their policies, it’s an interesting article on many levels:


    Health Insurers Caught Paying Facebook Gamers Virtual Currency To Oppose Reform Bill

    Health insurance industry trade groups opposed to President Obama’s health care reform bill are paying Facebook users fake money — called “virtual currency” — to send letters to Congress protesting the bill.

    Here’s how it’s happening:

    Facebook users play a social game, like “FarmVille” or “Friends For Sale.” They get addicted to it. Eager to accelerate their progress inside the game, the gamers buy “virtual goods” such as a machine gun for “Mafia Wars.” But these gamers don’t buy these virtual goods with real money. They use virtual currency.

  16. TakBak04 says:

    BTW: Overstock just won lawsuit…

    Rocker Pays $5 Million to to Settle Lawsuit …
    Dec 8, 2009 … Below is a letter from Patrick Byrne, the company’s Chairman and CEO, … I announced Overstock’s lawsuit against Rocker in an August 12, …


    BR: Actually, the correct term is “lawsuit settled before verdict.”

  17. Your attack on Byrne is res ipsa as to your own lack of bona fides. Deepcapture refers to the capture of all operative systems by the corporate kleptocracy. I thought you were on the up and up– but evidently, I was mistaken.



    BR: We disagree, therefore I am a not on the up and up? Really, that is the extent of your intellectual capacity, and the argument you choose to make?

    Your group scrapes all of my Facebook friends — including a 12 year old nephew — and I call you assclowns out on it — and you call that an attack on Byrne?

    Your bias is so vastly overwhelming, your lack of comprehension so total, all I can say is “Holy fucktard Batman!”

    As to the next 1000 words of your rant, GYOFB.

    Good day sir.

    I said GOOD DAY.

  18. [...] So the Deep Capture freaks are compiling a database of people on Facebook, and who they are “friends” with. The criteria for being in their database is apparently writing about the company’s shenanigans… [...]

  19. Transor Z says:

    Your bias is so vastly overwhelming, your lack of comprehension so total, all I can say is “Holy fucktard Batman!”

    As to the next 1000 words of your rant, GYOFB.

    Good day sir.

    I said GOOD DAY.



  20. As I said, I am against naked shorting, but favor shorting pigs

    Perhaps my issue with DeepCapture is the imperfect messenger of Byrne. I could not possibly care any less about him or Overstock — he is just another dotcom CEO running a money losing retail operation — for years now. And, he seems to have reporting problems with his many fired accountants.

    IMO, the whole DC thing looks like a cover for his crappy performance as CEO. Plus, I know Herb Greenberg (personally) for years, and have lots of respect for him. His reporting has been top notch.

    NOW Add to that this scraping incident — how much more proof of scumbaggery do I need ? Life is too short to deal with jackasses, so to make mine easier, I mostly ignore Overstock, Byrne and Deepcapture from my universe. Not worth it, beneath notice, etc.

    The Facebook scraping did get my attention. It puts them at level 6 (out of 10) on my Go Nuclear scale — meaning, I have no interest in retaliating. Dont care — yet.

    Once they get to level 10, they become my new hobby. But we are not there yet . . .

  21. [...] Barry Rithholz: Here is something weird, and a little creepy: [...]

  22. [...] I noted last week ( Scraping Facebook Friends), this group found the Facebook friends and relatives of any journalist, critic, fund manager or [...]

  23. [...] My assumption was that the asshats at DeepCapture had exploited a Facebook security lapse, and grabbed all of the friends and family of any one who had the temerity to so much as discuss this 3rd rate retailer, (See Scraping Facebook Friends). [...]