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Facebook poaching or smart campaigning?

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Monday, February 22nd, 2010 at 5:10 pm in 2010 election, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics.

Mary Nejedly Piepho

Mary Nejedly Piepho

John T. Nejedly

John T. Nejedly

Contra Costa Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho says her estranged brother and county assessor candidate John T. Nejedly is hijacking her Facebook friends list.

John T. has also tried to friend the friends of her husband and Discovery Bay Community Services District member David Piepho along with two of her staff members including chief of staff Tomi Van de Brooke.

It gets even weirder. Van de Brooke and John T. are both elected trustees on the Contra Costa Community College District.

John T. sued his sister and brother, James Nejedly, after their late father, the Sen. John A. Nejedly, wrote him out of the family will. John T. eventually backed down.

He said he wouldn’t “waste his timing looking at their Facebook pages,” never sent a friend request for van de Brooke and doesn’t recall making the friend requests of the others in question.

The friending of friends’ friends is part of Facebook’s viral appeal: Your friends can friend your friends who can friend their friends and so on. The recipient of a friend request can always say no, of course.

And the definition of “friend” varies widely depending on the use of Facebook. It’s not just a social networking site for 20-somethings. Many candidates and various political causes have Facebook pages and use the site as a low-cost means broadcast to their messages.

I use my Facebook page largely for work purposes, although I do make personal posts to family and some actual, real friends. The crossover occasionally creates a perception problem, and I have fielded a few questions from readers who have incorrectly interpreted my status as  ‘friend” of this candidate or that cause as a statement of personal opinion. In every case, I agreed to the friend request only to gain access to the information.

Whether or not the Nejedly dispute is a case of poaching or paranoia, it serves as a worthy reminder: Facebook is a very public site.

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  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Mary is right. I’m one of the friends John hijacked.

  • Mike F.

    You can protect your Facebook page and access to the “friends list” from non-friends and friends. Geez, this sounds like high-school again.

  • BD

    He tried to friend my wife and I. The man (JT) is a known liar and he is lying again.

  • Don G.

    John is definitely a poacher as I received a friend invite from him last week…very creepy. I have never met the guy, however I am a friend of Mary’s on Facebook. It is clear to me that John is “phishing” Mary’s FB contacts.

  • alison b.

    It is high school again! I can’t believe that he is out there friending people. Does he even know the meaning of the word friend?

  • Amy P.

    I’ve also received a friend request from John. What a creep!

  • http://www.johnnejedly.com John T. Nejedly

    My apologize if I offended anybody with a friend request, I am relatively new to the social media and will be more discrete.

    John T. Nejedly