The new Facebook patent that could ruin your life

We’ve heard about employers judging the social media pages of potential employees before they’ve even conducted their first interview.

But now, another way in which your online profile all-too-closely influences your ‘real’ life could be unleashed.

And it’s a pretty big deal – it could actually influence your chances of getting loan approval from the back.


It can be daunting enough getting a loan – stressing about whether or not that one time you forgot to pay your phone bill on time will affect your chances of a good credit score. And what if they find out that you’ve never returned a DVD on time in your life? Will those overdue Blockbuster fees come back to haunt you?

Probably not. But your Facebook friends list might.

We first brought this your attention a few months ago, when we learnt that MasterCard was starting to evaluate the credit-worthiness of people via their Facebook friends in Asia.

According to CNN Money, Facebook has now patented a technology that would allow lenders to use your social network as a factor in deciding whether or not they approve your loan.

It’s no doubt a complicated process, but the long and short of it is that if your friends have a good credit rating, that will reflect well on you. If they don’t, you could be denied.

Apart from the obvious practical considerations for your lender, how reliable would it actually be to judge your credit rating in part on the company you keep?

In my opinion, not even a little bit.

Just because your brother was late on his loan repayments, or your best friend has a high limit on her credit card, doesn’t mean you rack up a credit card debt and be late with your repayments.

You’re not the same as your friends. And it doesn’t make sense to think otherwise.

Of course, it’s possible (albeit unlikely) that Facebook will never use this patent. But if they do, it will mean a major overhaul of your Facebook account.

Dump those dropkicks you know from primary school, or that cousin you only friended for family political reasons – the one you’ve always felt was a bit of deadbeat.

Actually, it might be safer to just get off social media altogether.

After all, your credit rating should be about you, not about the ‘not-actually-friends’ that you mingle with on social media. The thought of being judged based on someone else’s credibility is downright unfair. That said, it might be time to start sending friend requests to millionaires, just to be safe.

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