Facebook’s new privacy settings – All or nothing

Facebook in their infinite wisdom have decided to change the way in which your information is stored and shared, as a part of their ‘Open Graph’ initiative. Previously when you edited your profile information there were a number of text boxes with headings like ‘Activities’, ‘Interests’, etc. In these text boxes users would type a list things they felt were relevent, and these things would be displayed on your profile for your friends to see, much like this:

fb-old

Each item you typed into these textboxes became a link which allowed you to do a search based on that item, eg: if you were to click the on ‘Nine Inch Nails’ from the favourite music section of my profile, you’d the same result as if you’d put ‘Nine Inch Nails’ in the top search box. Seems like a pretty good way of doing things to me.

But now, if you click ‘edit information’ link you get a new page:

fb-opts

With this new system facebook wants to link your profile page to all these other pages, so again using the ever awesome Nine Inch Nails for an example, if I were to un-check everything except Nine Inch Nails, it would have the same effect as finding the Nine Inch Nails profile and click the ‘like’ button. Now this doesn’t seem too bad, until you read the text at the top of this screen, particularly the part that says:

If you don’t link to any Pages, these sections on your profile will be empty.

So this leaves you with two options, like somthing, or have it removed from your profile. So what if, for example, I want to leave Nine Inch Nails on my profile, so that my friends (and only my friends) can see that I’m a fan of them, but I don’t want to like the Nine Inch Nails profile page, as doing so would add my name to the list of ‘People who like this’? Well, if that’s the case you’re fucked, as under the new system, that just isn’t an option.

However, if like me you don’t ‘like’ anything, and don’t intend to, there is a secret option number three. Create your own profile information in the new ‘Bio’ text box, which is what I’ve done:

fb-new

Now I still have all the old information available, which only my friends can see, and I didn’t have to ‘like’ anything. Crisis averted, privacy still private.

-MB

Posted in: Rants,Technology by Matt Bearman on 3rd May 2010 at 10:56 am
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One Response to “Facebook’s new privacy settings – All or nothing” - (Leave a comment)

  1. hi,

    nice post here
    continue updating your blog

    Comment by Arnaud on 18th September 2011 at 6:38 am

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