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Randi Zuckerberg, Today and Facebook Privacy

by Jo Shaer, on January 1, 2013

Because it was a news story over the holiday period meant that I didn't get a chance to comment on the NBC Today Show/Randi Zuckerberg Facebook furore at the time. However, my first thought was, like a lot of others, if the Zuckerbergs get caught out with the privacy settings, then it's not surprising that the rest of us find it so confusing.

What seems to have happened is that Randi posted the photo to what she thought was just her friends. However, it also showed to her subscribers for some reason - it could be that she had posted something previously which she had made public rather than friends only. I was told a few weeks ago that, if you do that, it automatically changes your default settings from friends to public and you need to go back and reset the default in your privacy settings.

Anyway, a subscriber saw the photo, thought it was for public consumption and tweeted it.

This has confirmed my own decision to stop allowing subscribers to my status updates and keep things for friends only. If Randi does not want her stuff to go public, why does she allow people she does not know to have access to any of it?

But it's not just Randi. Why would anyone want 'subscribers' to whom you can drip feed the bits of your life that you think suitable? It always smacks of insecurity to me... A sort of 'see how great I am and the celebs with whom I am hobnobbing' like the gurus do when they preface their webinars with such images in their own bios to try to confirm why you should spend money on their product.

However, then Mashable and others weighed in over the comments by the journalists at the end of this piece, stating that it was poor form for journos - and indeed adults generally - not to be abreast of the nuances of this technology.

My reaction to that is the overwhelming bumptiousness of social media people who insist that it is the be all and end all of society and that everyone needs to know about it. The privacy rules are becoming more and more complicated. It is like learning about hedge funds! If you're not that interested, it's hard to keep track of it all. And so why should we chastise educated people for not having knowledge of its intricacies?

I've not had a chance to examine the latest privacy instructions which keep appearing at the top of my own personal profile - I'm on holiday! I hope that it will make things more simple for those who love to share with all and sundry.

But, as with everything on the internet, the golden rule has to be IF YOU DON'T WANT SOMETHING TO BE PUBLIC, THEN DON'T PUT IT ON FACEBOOK!!!


Topics:Facebooksocial media

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