This past year has been riddled with mistakes for Facebook, most of them having to do with policy changes the site’s users disagree with, but the company has managed to squeezo one more, especially embarassing one in at the very last. As a result of a new policy that by default makes users’ profiles, photos and friends lists completely available on the web and viewable by anyone, approximately 300 personal photos of Facebook founder became publicly available. According the the new privacy controls, all user profiles are exposed to the web unless users are proactive about limiting such access.
These kinds of mix ups strongly suggest that user concerns about the new settings are justified. Mark Zuckerberg’s way of handling these concerns could be leading by example, and allowing 350 million Facebook users to peruse his profile. Or the company’s own CEO is just confused by the changes and exposing more to the world than he intended. If it’s the confusion causing all this, what chance do Facebook’s millions of younger and less sophisticated users have at handling their own privacy settings?
Facebook is unsurprisingly already facing user push back on the new policy’s forced publishing of friend lists. As the people at Facebook originally planned, the policy sets everyone’s friend lists to be publicly viewable. This is a problem in and of itself, but users could not change the setting, either. After receiving an earful from users about that particular privacy violation, Facebook announced it plans to give users control over how public their friend list is.
Whether Facebook’s planned changes will mollify users is yet to be seen. Courtesy of news.yahoo.com