April 29, 2010

Facebook Users Outraged That Personal Information They Currently Share With Distant Acquaintances and Friends of Friends May Now Be Seen By Strangers

Following Facebook’s recent revisions to its privacy policy, many users are lashing out against the social network, angry that deep personal details they share with ex-co-workers, friends of friends of grade school friends, and people they met once during college orientation may now be shared with total strangers.

Under the new privacy policy, Facebook can share basic user information such as names, profile pictures, “likes,” and interests with anyone unless users opt-out. This is a drastic break from the previous system, in which such details could only be shared with someone that the user approved blindly while checking email or the user’s network of hundreds-of-thousands of strangers who all happened to go to the same college or live in the same city as the user in the past half-century.

"I think it’s creepy," said one user on a message board, "Now when I do well in Farmville or post messages about how hammered I got last night, it won’t just be limited to my tight-knit group of classmates from high school I don’t talk to, people with the same¬†last¬†name as me, and Arizona State Communications majors. Anybody can see it.”

Other users expressed sadness that Facebook is no longer the deeply private place that it once was, wondering where they could go now to safely post updates about their breakfasts, hookups, and passive-aggressive notes about the poor attendance to their baby showers. Said one user, “I guess Twitter is the only safe place for private expression now.”