Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Facebook's New Privacy Settings

Well it has happened it was just a matter of time but now Facebook has really lost it. Instead of respecting people's privacy they want to go where twitter is, a real time search engine. Facebook has the numbers to kick twitter to the curb but most of the users on Facebook don't want to be on twitter, nor do they want people they don't know access to their personal information. This move by Facebook will be good for cyber stockers. With the default settings set to open, most users will be using the open settings and not even know it. Users protecting their privacy is something the user has very little information how to do, if they even know about it. They just assume that social networking sites like Facebook are safe. The way the privacy policy was when it started was the right one but now with Facebook's twitter envy I worry about them scaring off or even alienating their user base.

I know that users like my wife, my mother, father don't want what their doing being posted over the internet. The issues that have popped up about employer and employee conduct on their off time will be even more controversial because by default all their posts, and comments will be open and index-able by search engine spider bots. This will make things more accessible and once something gets on the internet it doesn't go away very easily.

The best thing I can suggest is to not use Facebook or turn all of your security settings up as high as it can go. As for what I think of the changes; I think Facebook just shot themselves in the foot, this will anger allot of users and some of them may even leave. The last few changes in facebook I have felt were lack luster, and the result has been I've been going on facebook less and less or just using programs like Tweetdeck to update my facebook status along with my twitter and myspace status.

Not to long ago twitter was audited by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner; and they locked down users profiles so it was harder to search about the user and browse other profiles that they weren't friends with. This seems to go in the completely opposite direction. Why can't Facebook get it? They are not twitter as much as they want to be their not. What they should be working towards is target ad marketing. Setting up regional deals with media companies for real time streams of programming. There are so many ways Facebook can make money without compermising it's user base, but instead it wants to be twitter.

Weather or not Facebook loses users we will have to see, since they have moved to a more twitter like format I have found myself using it less and less. I am not the only one, I know several other users that have been weening themselves off Facebook as well? What do you think? Is Facebook moving in the right direction or not?

By Trevor Tye


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