Issue with Facebook Friends List

Art ky1k at
Sat Apr 27 12:16:40 EDT 2013

While this problem is recorded as a 'bug' from the users perspective, 
it's not a bug and the outages are intentional.

Facebook harvests personal info and tracks your browser usage with smart 
cookies and active content which doesn't run when you aren't logged in 
with a browser. Facebook doesn't like pidgin because it allows the user 
to log in with pidgin instead of a browser, hence facebook can't spy, 
track and sell personal info because the user isn't logged in with a 

When pidgin logs into facebook on the users behalf, facebook tries to 
plant a cookie and/or confirms that their facebook active content is 
running in your browser. A few seconds after trying to plant a cookie 
from your pidgin log in, facebook knows you aren't using a browser to 
log in. They can't spy on you as much and they have recently decided NOT 
to allow pidgin users to circumvent their tracking efforts that require 
a browser and an active log in to facebook with the browser.

Facebook and google have both recently pulled the plug on non browser 
based access to their various 'free' resources-collecting personal 
information and distributing it is how they make their money. Pidgin 
virtually stops their ability to harvest this information, so it's not a 
surprise that they decided to pull the plug on pidgin users.

I find it disturbing that they (facebook) fail to acknowledge their 
actions and have left pidgin developers and users expecting a facebook 
based fix soon::> It (a fix) ain't gonna happen until pidgin allows 
facebook active content to run AND until pidgin stores and allows access 
to tracking cookies just as a browser would.

Users who have reported similar issues with google are in the same boat 
for the same reason(s). Users of other services should expect similar 
outages to occur soon, it's just a matter of time until the hosts 
realize pidgin hampers their personal information gathering efforts and 
therefor the profits.



PS:I use IRC and pidgin for keeping in touch with friends and family. 
IRC is as old as the modern internet, cookies, active content aren't 
supported. Every time I boot, pidgin logs me into the IRC channel 
automatically and there is no privacy robbing stealth software running. 
IRC/Pidgin is free with no gotcha's. IRC only works for text chats, but 
I choose not to use facebook anyway-so it works for me.

On 04/26/2013 11:09 AM, Ethan Blanton wrote:
> Jacob Hall spake unto us the following wisdom:
>> Lately I have been having an issue with Pidgin and facebook chat. I
>> do not get any errors when signing in but no one on my friends list
>> appears online. If I log into facebook I can see that I do in fact
>> have friends that are online. I've done a little searching around
>> and haven't seen anything regarding this issue. Another person I
>> know who uses Pidgin is noticing the same issue so it does not seem
>> to be local to me.
> You and everyone else sending questions to this list without checking
> the archives.
> This is a Facebook problem, they can't seem to run reliable services
> over there.
> Ethan
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