We all woke up last week to big changes on Facebook, and you’d think by the way people were carrying on, Facebook stole your husband, kicked your dog and went on a cruise with your life savings.
I think the biggest problem was that the developers rolled out these changes before everyone had their first cup of coffee. That’s never a good idea. I mean, just yesterday I told my husband, in all seriousness, that I would die if I didn’t get a cup of coffee.
I think the biggest complaint has been the ticker, the continuously updating mini-feed on the right corner of your screen. they’re calling it “stalker-y” and an invasion of privacy.
The truth is, your privacy settings haven’t changed. From the Facebook FAQ about the Ticker:
Ticker only displays information that you’re already able to see elsewhere on Facebook. If you start seeing stories in ticker that you haven’t noticed before, it’s probably because ticker makes things easier to discover. It doesn’t mean that privacy around Facebook has changed.
You can control the privacy of everything you post to Facebook through the privacy settings next to your post. Remember that when you comment or like something, the comment or like will have the same privacy settings as the original post.
Basically, you can now change the settings on individual posts. The default for each post is what you’ve set it in your privacy settings. If I have my privacy settings on “public” anyone can see anything on my page AND all the comments on everything. That means even if you have your Facebook “locked down”, if you comment on someone’s post and they have it marked public, your comment will be available for the whole world to see.
I’ve seen a few friends posting this:
FACEBOOK PRIVACY ISSUES – Please do me a favor:
1) hover over my name here, wait for the box to load and then hover over the “Subscribe” link.
2) Then uncheck the “Comments and likes” choice. I would rather my comments on friends’ posts not be made public. Thanks
3) Then repost if you don’t want your EVERY MOVE posted on the right for everyone to see! I’ll do the same for you if you want. just click “like”. Pass it on !
The only thing this will do is make it so nothing you do will show up in that person’s feed.
The fact is, almost everything you do on Facebook when you interact with OTHERS has the potential of being seen by their friends, their friends’ friends, and possibly the whole world. YOU have no control over that, only what information you share with others.
That’s the scary and wonderful thing about social media.
I understand the concerns, especially because Facebook privacy controls are notoriously confusing, especially for individuals who aren’t familiar with computers or the Internet, which (let’s face it) is an increasingly larger percentage of Facebook’s audience.
However, if you’re really and truly concerned about privacy, social media isn’t for you. I’m a blogger, so this doesn’t worry me like it does some others (considering I regularly blog about my life in a fairly public setting.)
Imagine we didn’t know each other. I walk up to you and say, “Hi. I’d like to you fill out this entire page with information about yourself, from where you work to your phone number. I’ll also need hundreds of pictures of you, your friends and family. Please tell me everything you like to eat, drink, wear and watch. I’ll just put it here in this safe. By the way, 8 billion people have the combination.”
You’d say no and walk away.
Facebook will never be as secure as you want it. Part of the problem is Facebook; a bigger problem is the overarching question of internet privacy. Nothing you put online is truly safe, no matter how tight your privacy settings.
If you’re really worried about it, don’t use it. If you’re a little bit angry, think twice about what you post, take some time figuring out your Facebook privacy settings and hope for the best.
And while we’re on the subject. This? Is not funny. it wasn’t funny the first time, it’s not funny now.