Some Privacy, Please? Facebook, Under Pressure, Gets the Message

The move responds to complaints that the service’s privacy settings are too complicated and that people often don’t know who can see what they’re posting.

Comments: 133

  1. I absolutely agree that Facebook privacy settings are much too complicated. Set aside for a moment the issues of public vs. private posts and pictures. Here is a simpler question. Who can see your list of Friends?

    I searched and scoured my way through their help sections and could not find this most basic privacy question addressed.

  2. Go to your timeline, click on Friends, then the little pencil, Edit Privacy, and "Who can see your friend list?"

  3. I found the setting in 3 seconds and I got distracted by a cat video on the way.

  4. I said, where is this explained in the HELP section? Can anyone find it?

  5. Frontline's 2 week special on the NSA covered both Google and Facebook's cooperation with the collection of information on us for them from these sources.

    Does that change with the privacy guidelines?

  6. 'On Wednesday, it announced an optional service for mobile phones that eavesdrops on the sounds in a room to try to identify any music or television shows that might be playing. Facebook says it doesn’t store the information for long, but it is the first time the company has tried to listen in on its users’ lives.'

    Whew! So good to know that Facebook is really concerned about my 'privacy'! I also just got a Dell Android tablet - you knew this already, right Mark - and it too has a strange setting which I can't seem to shut off, advising me that the camera and microphone in the laptop are both listening and watching, courtesy of Google.

  7. I have a yellow sticky over my computer's camera aperture.

  8. Since Facebook doesn't seem to have an email address for complaints or suggestions, I hope someone there is reading this. I would like them to allow users to have a way to approve or deny specific posts that others want to make on your timeline before it appears. As it stands, the only thing you can do now is "unfriend" someone as opposed to being able to disallow just one comment you don't want on your page.

  9. You can selectively delete a comment, just click on the x in the upper right hand corner of the box. I've done this on multiple occasions.

  10. So, you live a life of such insecurity and distrust or, say, compartmentalization that you wish to have a feature that allows you to edit or approve of your friends posts because you can't be sure, what, that they'll embarrass you? Turn you in? Your mom will put up your baby pictures?

    Then don't let them post. Get new friends. Or maybe social media isn't your thing. Please.

  11. Chuck Mella: Like it or not, potential friends, employers, work associates, and reporters (if you're in the public eye) will check out your FB profile page to learn about you. You are defining your persona to the world every time you post something there. I have a couple friends with, shall we say, unusual taste who like to post wacky videos or links of questionable classiness on my FB page, and yeah, it bothers me a little bit.

  12. Wow, what a convenient app for a smart phone, when a social network will eavesdrop on the sounds around us, so that we can share even more. But with whom, and really, WHY? Too bad I chucked their and all the rest of the social nets and related apps and turned off every cookie on my smartphone browser. Since I bought my very last "too-smart" phone in October 2011 they will have to find another way to invade the privacy of this early adopter/early abandoner. With personal data leaking apps the rule rather than the exception, and upon finding my personal data which could have only been gleaned from Facebook, I am done with all of it. I don't care if it means I only peruse a few things online, so be it, I am not sacrificing any further and I do not buy the line that it is too late to put the lid on Pandora's Box where privacy is concerned. I tested Facebook and Google and put data there to test how far they will go and confirmed they go too far, Their must be some big time regulations on the pike, and one can only hope our outrage is coming on to force the hand in Congress. The EU is working actively on behalf of their citizens while our politicians cave and fail to act.

  13. Facebook has also introduced a new Mobile App. It has the ability to recognize music and TV shows playing in the area of the users. Don't worry if you don't want to share what you are watching or hearing Facebook will hold onto the data. At what point will Americans realize that this company is making money off spying on you for the NSA and advertisers? They are eavesdropping people. Real relationships with people and interactions with people are a far better use of your time rather than posting some sanitized or idealized life to a Facebook page. Mark Zuckerberg is laughing all the way to the bank. You want to change the government- start by closing your Facebook account. We can't seem to vote in anyone who will govern for us so screw the ballot box. Vote with your dollars- no more Apple phones-they helped NSA. No more Yahoo or Google- they helped NSA. No more paid subscriptions for the NYTimes- they sat on the NSA story for a year so as not to disturb an election year. No more Facebook- they helped the NSA. The list goes on. P.S. don't buy any GE products they pay no taxes.

  14. This kind of stuff just makes me laugh out loud.

    Facebook users "privacy concerns"?

    I'm sorry, but I just can't stop laughing...!

  15. I agree with Bruce that privacy settings are complicated even after you succeed in finding them. A user has to keep that uppermost in mind when taking any action on Facebook. It handicapped use of Facebook. It annoyed me that Facebook was so persistent for details of my life. Officially, they got nothing more than my birthdate. As to who can see your list of Friends, I believe it is anyone who has a Facebook account.

    Recently, I deactivated my account for both privacy reasons and a better use of time. I don't miss it.

  16. Putting your actual birthdate anywhere on the internet is an ignorant and dangerous practice. Only where you need to, as in your secured banking, etc.

  17. Ellen if you read this, can you explain how you deactivated your account? I have a Facebook page but dislike it because it's difficult to use, very hard to make changes to years or places. I'm tired of trying to make it work. Thank you.

  18. If you were able, would you have deleted your account? The only reason Facebook has 1.28 billion users is because all the deactivated accounts are included in the number. Half of the accounts on facebook exist because parents have been compelled to open accounts so they could make sure their kids weren't making stupid and irresponsible mistakes.

  19. I, for one, have found that Facebook's privacy features, while a little cumbersome and numerous, are fairly clear. It is fairly easy for me to set the privacy settings to my liking.

    My trick for seeing my page as a stranger would see is it I have a 2nd "fake" Facebook account that is not "friends" with my primary account. From that 2nd account, I look to see what is showing up to the public. I know that Facebook has a feature that does the same thing, but I think this is a safer way to check the privacy of my page.

  20. On a very minor level, this is about dumb users with too-smart phones. However it completely ignores the incredible mountain of evidence, which the EU is set to move on. On that side of the pond they have had a bit of time to digest the reality since Ireland's investigation. Facebook has bent over backwards on that for damage control but there are enough savvy folks who are getting to the bottom of things. This is as ugly as the NSA really. It is the furthest thing from benign or even helpful. It would be nice for it to go the way of MySpace, but then Murdock did not buy it and kill it like he did the Myspace. It is useful for everyone, and would it surprise anyone to know that Facebook sells their data to a lot of folks who use it and are legally prescribed from providing this data in the manner in which they provide it. But on this side of the pond no one cares, or do they> Just not enough do, the rest are too busy wasting time on Facebook talking about TV shows to bother.

  21. My greatest concern with FB is that they force you to share all your photos with any and every voyeur. Limiting the photos/images under your name only to friends (or select friends) is not an option. I wonder why.

  22. Only your profile and cover photos are always public. Look in Help under "How do I edit the privacy settings for my photo albums?" to adjust the settings for others.

  23. Muezzin, you misunderstood. Limiting photos to friends or groups of friends IS an option. The only exceptions are your current profile and cover photos.

  24. I use fb regularly and see no such setting ('how do I edit the privacy settings for my photo albums?'): where is it?

  25. Facebook's record on privacy has consistently reflected a pattern of reactive appeasement, rather than proactive concern. As they've rapidly grown, they've maintained the bluff that customer concern over privacy wouldn't pose a serious risk to subscription / retention / usage.

    I started an account when it was sent around to a few colleges in 2004. That was a mistake. (Although, in fairness, it was hard to predict what it was going to grow into.) I cannot delete my account. I can only "deactivate" it. If you want to know where Facebook stands on privacy, look no further than that fact.

    I'd be happy to see the government regulate some fairness into the picture with this company, given how big a role it now plays in public life.

  26. After several years of intensive use, I eliminated my fb account in 2010 (or, at least, individually deleted all friends, photos and posts, and turned it "inactive" because I don't think at the time one was able to get rid of it completely). In the months after getting off social media, I fully realized what a tremendous time suck it was in my life. A few minutes here and a few minutes there, every single day ...

    Time sucking aside, when a company's assets are essentially based on your private information, that should be a concern.

  27. Do people understand that there's no requirement to join Facebook? "They" can't "force" you to do anything. It's just a silly website.

  28. Your comment while true, omits a very important issue and that is the cost you may incur if you do not join. Let me give an example: You have a child involved in athletics and all of the scheduling information, game results, photos, etc. are only posted on Facebook. Now, while you are not forced to join, you will create a burden for you and your kid. I have experienced this and "re-activated" my account so I could access the information I needed. In a sense users are forcing participation on others and in some instances not even realizing it.

  29. There's also no requirement to tell FB the truth about any personal info if you don't want them to have it. I know many people with fake FB names, birthdays, etc. for this reason.

  30. Is it really a "burden"? You mean to say that email or a phone call cannot address these ponderous difficulties of finding a schedule or a score or other info? Sorry, I don't buy it, and by the content of these other comments, neither does anyone else. It's a weak defense of a useless website, at best.

  31. To the extent possible, I stay as "private" as I can. Only my "friends" can see/share my info and I block any "public" info, such as my showing up on a google search. FB is always asking that I provide additional info and I just ignore the requests. I also ignore FB's "suggestions" for 'likes' and friends. I do not "friend" anyone who I personally do not know and I periodically check my privacy settings to ensure they have not been changed. One can only try. Of course, deactivating my account is always an option, but in lieu of that . . . .

  32. Facebook is not a good idea for a variety of reasons, obviously and most notably a person's privacy. The fact that Facebook has had to address privacy concerns after so much resistance, should give a potential user pause. The collusion between Facebook/Google/ Yahoo and the NSA, to spy on American and allied citizens does not bode well for our democracy. Hence, other than for pure necessities in the form of communication or research, I think people should avoid social media and certainly limit their "apps."

  33. I think Facebook is a great idea for a variety of reasons, and I'm comfortable with my privacy. I've never shared a photo or made a comment that I wouldn't be comfortable having on the front page of this newspaper. I think my friends are the same way. We're not exactly a dastardly bunch, with our cat photos, vacation pics, and comments about TV shows and sports teams.

    There's a noticeable difference between being smart and careful, and being paranoid. I hope you've got the camera on your computer covered up - the NSA might be watching you through there as well. :)

  34. Facebook must be losing users or declining use to start backtracking on their so-called privacy policies.

    The best privacy policy is to delete your account and not come back.


  35. Unfortunately, you cannot delete your account.

  36. @Scooter- Are you saying that if someone dies, their husband or wife could not delete the account? So a person's FB account could go on for years after a person no longer exists?

  37. From what I've read you can ask to have your account deleted. I have no idea how easy OR difficult the process is, however.

  38. I'm not on Facebook, and don't plan to be! Unless I hit a big Lottery, or somehow millions of Dollars come my way. Then a lot becomes a moot point, and you can say to yourself, so what! It's just not worth it, to be out there, with all the meanspirtedness and misunderstandings around. That's why I don't use my real name on this Blog, even though I have a lot to say, and I'm often, kindly recommended! Takes just one distortion today, and that's it! Besides, if I wanted to be misunderstood, or perhaps people don't get my sense of humor, it doesn't need to happen in cyberspace, cause it happens enough in real old fashion life!!!

  39. What they should also do is whenever you want to share something with your peers is eliminate this app that gives access to who knows who of your friends list, contacts, posts, etc. That is also a privacy concern. A lot of people sign to FB because they wanted to share things with their friends/family (at least I did) but when for example I know get the opportunity to apply for a job through FB for some unknown reason and why would I want to apply for a job with FB is beyond me, the third party App gets (if I allow it) access to everything in my page. It is a NO NO!

  40. It seems I'm in the minority in believing there is more privacy on Facebook than the majority of people make use of, based partially on some of the comments here (yes, you can limit who sees your friends; yes, you can determine who if anyone can post on your timeline, and approve it before it appears). It's not perfect by any means -- I'd like to see more in terms of people being allowed to share your posts to THEIR friends (or publicly) -- and perhaps it's not as obvious as it could / should be -- but I know a lot of people who open an account without even visiting the settings page, much less limiting the visibility of their posts -- I won't comment on posts set to public, and generally unfriend people whose privacy settings are public. Still, the basic principle exists, whether it be email or social media -- if you really don't want people to see it, don't post it.

  41. corrrection - that was to be "I'd like to see more in terms of people NOT being allowed to share your posts to THEIR friends (or publicly)" -- as it is, you can share with a friend, and they can then share wherever.

  42. Facebook is a data-mining operation first and foremost. If they are making privacy settings easier to use, it is because they are getting more lucrative data elsewhere on their site. Everything else they do is public relations window dressing. Zuckerberg is one of the masters of the Web 2.0 approach, one that Google perfected first. If it's free on the Web, YOU ARE THE PRODUCT BEING BOUGHT AND SOLD.

  43. Yes, Facebook could come up with an authorization tool that displayed groups of people with whom you are connected, and, that other group, "Everyone Else".

    When FB was first envisioned, there was little notion, if any, of privacy. Information assurance wasn't in the "architecture" but "coolness" was. And as Vindu Goel writes, some users, if not many, are unaware of how the internet functions. It's really like giving a tool, such as a car, to someone without providing training. There are drivers' tests but no "Internet Access" tests.

    And, as Vindu writes, there is that nasty duality between information access and information security. The more secure something becomes, the less access there is to it and advertisers lose their clout. For me, the ideal social media would allow me to select different groups of people as per interests, such as skiing, cycling, tiddlywinks or whatever. Some overlap. This is access management. There would not be an, "Everyone Else" category because there is no need. But there is a need for that category for advertisers.

    Still, advertisers could post on your group page, it's just that their message might not go very far. But it would still work, because FB can put the ads on all of the separate group pages.

    The groups can grow in size, and there could be public groups that are like an "Everyone Else" category, like "Friends of Millard Fillmore". Here, it is known by the user that this is a large group, or maybe not in this case.

  44. Sure some of this has to do with facebook. But A LOT of this has to do with Silicon Valley and the state of programming as a human condition.

  45. For anything you write -- letter, email, fb comment -- you need to be careful. Everything can be 'shared;' that's the nature of the written word. For every email message you send, you should think, 'This could appear on the front page of the New York Times.' That's not crazy, because some viruses send your email all over the places to contacts of contacts of contacts. And for FB this is even more obviously the case. The best M.O. for those who want to use FB to keep up from actual, non-virtual friends or for those who need FB to get professional information, is simply to keep in mind the spreadability of everything you write, and write accordingly. I have been on FB for 9 years, but I do not have my address or phone number anywhere in the system, nor my correct birthday, nor do I write very personal comments on my own page or other people's. I like to think that it's possible to use FB carefully and derive the good stuff from it, i.e. seeing baby pictures and animal videos and learning when professional conferences come up and who's speaking at them.

  46. Why should a person inhabit an almost lived shadowland to join with everyone else in said shadowland. What is the point of this? Why do we have do be half a person to go into half land with every other half person there? If that were all there was to the whole mess, this could be solved by some philosophy and psychology but it is not all there is to it and the solutions are legal and regulatory and do not stop with this site. Americans need to get their heads back on straight and think about things a bit more and then push for restoring the democratic values of this nation or we are all just fodder for the commercial interests.

  47. From time to time, I wonder what I am missing by not being on FB or other social media sites. It seems to me that facebook is now becoming the main, if not the only, way to communicate with people. I am more concerned about privacy issues than I am anxious to connect with people socially, even past friends and relatives I would like to reconnect with and cannot connect with through other channels. Privacy is more important to me and I do not need more complications and an added thing to monitor in my life.

  48. Facebook is mostly just incredibly boring. There's relatively little actual communication -- the format lends itself to sound bites. Most, people post things they think are interesting, but for the most part aren't.

    FB does allow you to reestablish contact with people you haven't seen for years -- old schoolmates, say -- but for the most part, once you say "Hi," you just go your own ways, because it just isn't a very good medium for conversation.

  49. Josh, your comments are a matter of personal opinion, and likely based upon who you are and who your friends are, and that's about it.

    Personally, I have reconnected with a lot of friends on Facebook, my work having caused me to move around a bit during my 50+ years (Cleveland, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York). I have reconnected with former schoolmates and co-workers, along with family members who don't live nearby. We share music, talk about politics and current events, share vacation and work travel photos (many of us go to some really interesting places), and talk about the books we're reading.

    I, along with about 20-30 of my friends, interact on FB every day. Lots of us are current with each others' lives on a daily basis, because we are indeed friends, and we care about each other. And FB allows us to connect, even though we live in places like Boston, Orange County, Anchorage, London, Dayton, Seattle, Dublin, Tampa, and Berlin.

    So for us, FB is a great medium for conversation, and lots of my friends post very interesting things.

    Yes, I have friends in the real world, who are in close geographic proximity to me. But FB has allowed me to rekindle and maintain friendships with some absolutely wonderful people who I've had the pleasure to meet over the years of my life. I am sorry you haven't had such a meaningful experience. It's not for everyone.

    And yes, I know how to set my privacy settings, too. :)

  50. Your comment really states the heart of the matter.

  51. I'm off. Nothing will draw me back.

  52. Most annoying thing on Facebook is that if I comment under a discussion thread or a photo or a link initiated by Friend X, then all 1000+ of my FB friends might potentially see a bulletin in their News Feed saying "Cilantro commented on X's post", even if they don't know Friend X. There's no way to keep my participation in the discussion semi-private if it's somewhat sensitive. (Or if I don't want the world to know that I waste time commenting on FB!) That tends to chill me from participating in interesting discussions.

  53. I have conservative family and friends who I love, but others with whom I can be frank and uninhibited. An easy fix would be to notify only mutual friends of comments made in a comment thread. I realised recently that I was overhearing discussions between my cousins, and people I'd never heard of. At that point I realised those same preacher cousins had probably been getting a profane earful.

  54. Yes, I also dislike this feature. I do not think there is a way to opt out of having one's comments posted.

  55. If I want to keep something private, I just message the person rather than posting. That's how I keep my private vs. my public / semi-public FB interactions separate.

  56. I still don't understand what is so confusing about Facebook's security and privacy settings. I've had things set to "friends only" for a long time now, they have a "view as" feature so you can see your timeline as someone else or the public, and, if in doubt, they have a feature that allows you to make every single thing you have previously shared only visible to friends with a single click. How do people not understand this?

  57. There are about a million privacy settings. Changing them all to stricter settings was tedious to say the least, and not everyone is comfortable enough with computers to do that, or even knows they're there.

  58. Have you checked you settings lately? FB likes to move the goalposts and change the rules - users who want privacy are forced into a never-ending battle just to maintain the status quo.

  59. I'm part of the 82% of the world's population not on fakebook. On this one I'm happily with the majority.

  60. sooo true :) mee too!

  61. I'm all for the anti-social network. In other words dump Facebook before it's too late!

  62. I am pretty computer savy and I cannot figure out who can see what on Facebook.

    I have no doubt this is intentional.

  63. Click on the little lock icon in the upper right, then on "Who can see my stuff?"

  64. "I am pretty computer savy and I cannot figure out who can see what on Facebook."

    You can see what your profile looks like to other users, but you cannot see how your interactions on other people's timelines looks to other users. Who can see if I respond to this person? Who can see if I 'like' this post? No clue.

  65. I haven't left Facebook yet but I'm close. I find everything they do so cynical and condescending as they pretend to care about user experience or preferences.

  66. My "friends", I count no more than ten. Those who will always be there for me and those I will always be there for them when in need. The Facebook "friends" concoct is pure unadulterated rubbish!

    Good luck with your "friends."

    Marcos D.

  67. Here's a novel idea -- fahgeddabout having a Facebook account and put the time to better use. And I don't mean Tweeting instead!

  68. If we recall that FB was started as revenge by a jilted boyfriend to humiliate the woman who dumped him, then the remark that "it's no fun when someone you didn't expect to see it can see it" makes sense and reveals the
    core of FB: it's junior high school cliquishness on a
    vast and most repulsive scale. That is the mentality that created it: the ostracized kid walks by and overhears
    by accident the tittering he's not supposed to hear.

  69. Thank you! From the beginning I've seen Facebook just as you describe it -- I've never trusted the site knowing that it was created out of spite, that from the beginning it was a set up to embarrass people who were cooler than the geeky guy. Nothing has changed that or MZ's basic personality -- not billions of dollars, not fame and power. And FB won't change as long as he is in charge.

  70. Eyes Open: That was the movie version. It didn't actually happen that way. Zuckerberg was just an ambitious computer nerd who liked to program stuff.

  71. Thanks for the correction. But in fact, how it plays out
    is in perfect line with the urban legend: I know a mature woman (this is true, not legend) who is tied up in knots because her daughter won't "friend" her. Now, her neurotic angst is silly, of course, but it reveals how the format of FB encourages adolescent game-playing and
    interpersonal snarkiness. We are well aware of the actual adolescents who have been bullied and tormented on FB--at least in the real world, one can attempt to defend oneself.

  72. Facebook: I will take the privacy friendly companies like WhatsApp that you loved so much and destroy them (eventually) so you would have no choice but to stick with me.

    Also - since I am not on Facebook - is there a setting on every account that will enable you to instantly see how your profile looks to the public? Something that Google+ has?

  73. Yes. There is.

  74. "is there a setting on every account that will enable you to instantly see how your profile looks to the public?"


  75. Yes there is. has been there for years.

  76. Facebook has been ARROGANT about resetting security and privacy settings AT WILL for TOO long. And I bet most of the users on FB dont even have any idea that there is a way to set privacy anyway. Most are ignorant kids and adults who are like kids.

  77. Whenever these facebook articles appear, and they must because 1 billion people can be wrong, the wise old sages on the nytimes blogs all chime in you are a fool for using facebook. All I can say is they are right. I now read the times not only for the quality of the journos but the quality of the bloggers - without which I would feel alone in mad mad world!

  78. If you use Facebook, or have a Facebook account, then you should have absolutely NO issue whatsoever with the NSA.

    If you use the internet, YOU are being tracked and recorded. It really is that simple.

    I know this might sound paranoid or alarmist, but it truly is not.

  79. There is, of course, a simple solution to all of this hand-wringing and worry. Don't hang your life out for the world to see on the electronic laundry line known as the internet.

  80. Facebook privacy=oxymoron.

  81. After the third time in three days my preferences were changed (by FB, not me) to "default" i.e. wide open.

    I deactivated and never looked back.

  82. FB is about as interesting any more as my email which is about as interesting as the mailbox at the end of the driveway. Other than being a decent self updating contact list, the posts have long ago lost much interest.

  83. FB is just a $$$ way to suck out the info on you, make a buck on you and pass your data ruthlessly To all, without your control

  84. Whatever Facebook does will never change how I use this social network. Actually, I don't use it at all, I don't use any social network at all, and I'm in my early 20s. I never bought into the craze nor do I understand why people use it. I can see some of the positives of Facebook in terms of reconnecting people or providing some type of contact information for people that you meet to connect to but I like being more old fashioned, having people enter and disappear from my life. It just seems like a more natural way for people to interact and I'm not willing to change that, especially after Snowden did his duty and inform the public about the potential dangers of the web. Everything was fine before but then came the internet.

  85. If I had even the slightest trepidation about my personal information or a FB post being seen by someone who shouldn't see it...then I would NEVER post it on FB. To me that's just common sense.

  86. I never understood the point of Facebook.My greatest concern is the posting of photos of babies and children by parents .Why post a photo of one’s baby or child that could easily be viewed by pedophiles,or even lead a pedophile or kidnapper to one’s front door,when one can send such photos to friends and family members in ways that do not put a child at risk in such a way?As an aunt to 10,and great aunt to two small boys,this makes me shudder.
    Then ,Hurricane Sandy obliterated my City,and after the National Guard left, power was restored,and I was finally able to move back home, local FB support groups sprang up.They have proven to be a great source of support and provided links to helpful resources over the past 18 months.
    I was recently diagnosed with a rare disease,and have found my greatest source of support and information in,of all places, a Facebook support group. I’ve actually learned of new treatments from this FB group before doctors have mentioned them.I mentioned my support group to a new doctor I saw yesterday. Imagine my surprise when he told me that he said”Would you believe there’s actually a FB support group for this?” It turns out that my doctor met some of the group members at an advocacy conference !
    What I need is a fake FB identity,so I can avail myself of these forms of support,without sacrificing my privacy.I do not post photos,and I urge others not to post photos of children and babies.

  87. Not likely to change my way of using FB. I don't post any text or photos that would embarrass me, beyond a bad bridesmaid dress perhaps. I'll appreciate the reminder to check my security settings. I'm happy with and grateful for this, FB, free, easy to use social networking site/tool.

    I don't hold it responsible if I don't eat enough carrots, go to or skip to yoga class, or call or see my friends more or less. I also don't blame my charge card for the amount of money I spend nor my remote control for what I select on TV.

  88. When I think about Facebook I find myself pondering if I trust the company's senior mgt. I do not.

    So I basically never use it (knowingly). Its on my list to deactivate, and I am procrastinating because that is likely to be a long drawn out effort.

    I do see it as valuable to see pictures and sayings of friends. That is a nice upside. A way for people to stay in touch. Too bad about mgt. and what they are doing with the data we don't know about and cannot control.

  89. The single biggest problem with FB is a lack of real customer service; i.e., being able to actually TALK to someone about an issue one is having. And I don't but that the problem is that they have a billion users. Verizon has hundreds of millions of users, as does Time-Warner, and many other companies. Yet all of them can be reached by phone - sometimes 24/7, sometimes not, but at least I can TALK to someone. When my friend's FB page disappeared completely - everything: page, data, etc. - it took four days before someone finally contacted her after numerous requests for help via FB's "auto-email" program. This is unacceptable in this day and age. In fact, I believe most people would be happy with such a service even if they had to pay a nominal fee for it. I certainly would. What the heck is FB waiting for?

  90. Have you ever tried reaching a live person at Google?!!

  91. I suffer from a chronic, degenerative disease, and I am in pain most of the day. I use the internet as a way of distracting myself from my situation.

    I had never mentioned, linked, liked, or did anything about my condition on FB. Yet one day a sponsored post about my condition appeared on my FB page. Seemed to me data mining brought my condition to FB's attention. I was infuriated. I deactivated my account and do not plan to ever use FB again.

  92. Why would anyone at this point believe anything that Facebook says?

  93. After I deleted my Facebook account I felt a sense of relief. No need to worry about all the privacy toggles. You can just turn it off! Then revert to sharing news via phone and email with the small circle of people that actually cares.

  94. Except you can't delete the account--just deactivate it.

  95. Eyes Open,

    Agreed, but at least it's hidden from public view and more information isn't being added.

  96. The circle enlarges with the passing of years. It might be best to discover who in that enlarging circle has the most recommendable inclinations.

  97. I rarely use my FB page. The whole system is totally obnoxious.

  98. I don't hold Facebook responsible for anything I post, because I don't post anything on it at all. This is one company I trust about as far as I can throw a full-grown 'gator. In all fairness, though, it has provided us with one amazing bit of irony: The fact that Mark Zuckerberg actually was born in ... 1984.

  99. Facebook and Privacy are contradictory terms.

  100. Mark's going to "push users" to review their privacy settings regularly? Really, that's the problem?

    FB's business model is the biggest privacy concern - not users' settings. How arrogant.

  101. I don't post anything to FB, and have never had a FB account. We recently advised our son (who was unknowingly sharing some private pictures on FB) to delete most of these images on his account. Even with enhanced privacy settings, a future employer could ask for his password, or a disgruntled friend could share his private posts.
    A photo that might reflect poorly on our son, could cost him a job..

    Not what FaceBook claims to be about, but it is.

  102. I am not sure how your son was unknowingly sharing private photos on Facebook, but I would like to warn you of something else .Once his image has appeared on Facebook with his name, if anyone else takes a photo of him and posts it on Facebook, the same problem will occur.Then someone can type in”Photos of ___and all the photos of your son that have been taken by others will come up.
    If you son does not want to be on photos on Facebook, he should stay out of photos being taken by anyone else with Facebook,or ask them not to post his photos.

  103. The problem is you can't erase anything from facebook. Even if you quit facebook, if you ever sign back up all your posts will still be there.

    Even when you think you have erased posts, they still live on your friends and friends of friends timelines.

  104. Unfortunately, once they've been on FB, deleting them doesn't mean they are gone. I've tried to impress this on my nieces and nephews, and when it turned out that even SnapChat didn't stop things from being shared beyond the circle of people (and time limit) they thought, I think they finally began to get the message.

    Don't put anything on the internet that you'd be embarassed for your grandchildren to see fifty or sixty years from now.

  105. I quit Facebook around 3 years ago because I realized my personality doesn't gel well with people, which is how I'm in real life too. Facebook and the myriad social networks that exist are not for everyone. People who don't use Facebook don't have to insult/look down on those that do, and vice versa. One can be perfectly sane and happy living with either options. It's not the end of the world.

  106. It's not just a question of who can see what's on your page. I can't keep people from posting ON my page. Day after day, I see friends of friends of friends---people I don't know---posting photos of themselves. All kinds of nonsense. And even after a good effort to stop it, it keeps happening.

  107. You haven't clicked the right box(es) in the privacy settings. I do not see anything from friends of friends on my own page, and friends of friends do not see my posts. And only friends can post on my page.

  108. Did it ever occur to you, SW, that people posting photos of themselves on Your page mean to convey they would like to know you better. read more of your public postings,and to hear from you? It is up to you to reject or accept. Face book has done very well with that in their Washington Post section. Discussing real issues! Frankly there are posters who do not want you to know where they stand because they do not care to stir up "issues". It takes all kinds to create an interesting web-site with an unusually good aura. does rather well at achieving a forum.

  109. Yo, let me make this easy for you. Facebook exists to collect as much information about you as it possibly can do in order to tailor advertising that will cause you to "Like" or click-through. That's how they make money. There are tons of web sites that will tell you how to limit the amount of information you provide to FB, but resistance is futile. If you don't like their paradigm, don't use Facebook.

  110. Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg do not care about your friends or how you feel. It and he care only about how to exploit your information to make billions of dollars by selling you out to any advertiser who is willing to pay for your personal data. To say FB is anything else, is a lie.

    You may be able to keep your data private from other people on FB but not from the data nets used to gather and sell your data.

    This is all a joke.

    At some point in the near future, FB will implode and we'll move on to being human again, talking to each other, and return to being more than fodder for billionaires and consumption.

  111. Lars from Seattle and so many others are spot-on here. The FB business model is broken and can't be fixed by faux privacy sympathy. It's time for social media to have its HBO moment: exclusivity is king and privacy is worth paying for.

  112. There are many things wrong with Facebook, and they are very hard to fix, because almost all of them are directly tied to the monetization scheme. When every fix costs a lot of money, a corporation is loathe to fix anything.

    This makes alternative social media sites that don't gather and sell your private information a very attractive alternative for users (although perhaps less so for venture capitalists.) SnapChat, with messages that self-destruct, and Voycee, a Facebook-like service that doesn't keep a history of your social media posts (surely a blessing for young people facing off against overly inquisitive employers), represent the first wave of Facebook alternatives.

  113. I think this is a good move, but think the problem is users who aren't thinking. Why would anyone think that "public" means "private" or even "limited"? I routinely limit particular posts sometimes even simply blocking them from one or two or a particular subset of "friends" (sometimes simply because I don't think they would relate to, say, something related to my work - so I might send it only to a few colleagues and not to family or childhood friends).

    For a while it seemed that when someone commented on a post their comment brought the whole post and comments thread onto THEIR home page. Then I had to accept that anything said might be seen by hundreds or even thousands beyond my own "friends." I don't see that feature any more (it was truly annoying as I was seeing a lot of posts "Mary Smith commented on John Jones post" when I had no idea who John was).

    The shibboleth applies - be very, very careful what you put online - always.

  114. For all the worry about the NSA and issues of security and touting Snowden who opted first for China and settled in Russia which are not exactly bastions of any kind of freedoms It is really time the media paid this and more attention to the invasions on privacy by companies.

    Second, who in the world believes any part of what they post is private Online in the first place?

    The legal system has not kept pace with the abilities and abuses of the technologies.

  115. The only reason I have a FB account is that it's the only way for some groups I'm in to communicate. However I put as little information as I possibly can on it, and have the security settings up to their fullest. I do not trust FB in the least, nor Google, nor Yahoo (especially Yahoo).
    I think it's uproariously funny that people who are railing about NSA snooping post the most trivial details of their lives out there for everyone to see.

  116. “Some Privacy, Please?” Facebook ,Under Pressure,Gets the Message “

    Why on earth would anyone posting on Facebook have the expectation of

  117. I really want to delete my FB account. The problem is it is very useful for local activism communication since our local papers are very conservative and activists have little to no funding. Thanks to FB I was able to be made aware they were thinking of renaming my street Ronald Reagan Way. A FB campaign quashed that. So I'll stick with it for that purpose until something fills that void and continue my policy of never posting anything personal. I also look at it only once a week for a few minutes now.

  118. Close your account- just do it. Free yourself to read a book, take a walk, volunteer. Close your account- just do it. Free yourself to do something other than posting. We are Facebook free family- we don't miss it.

  119. All new services are better until they are on top. Then they too capitulate in the face of the mighty dollar. The service you become a member of today, when it goes to become a Wall Street investment company, will throw you under the bus as well. What needs to happen is that members, like advertisers, should charge these companies for use of their material. What broadcast company do you know that does not charge to have their product advertise? The argument that since you are using a product, such as Facebook "freely" is a lie: You pay for all these products through your cable and internet fees, which increasingly are higher and higher.

  120. I stop using Facebook. It is for geeks. It is developed by geeks, for geeks. If you are a geek (and a meek), use it.

  121. Although these issues are probably quite trivial to most privacy violations on FB, to me they are a sign of losing total control of privacy online.
    1. I have graduated from 4 universities and colleges, I naively listed that on my FB page. One week later I was bombarded with challenges to contribute to those universities (I have chosen one that I do, not the others). Could this be a coincidence?
    2. I have actually seen my picture used on FB showing up on several sites who listed my FB page. A coincidence?
    I am on the verge of just dropping FB, I would miss the messages and pictures of grandchildren, but I see the vulnerability of this FB site.

  122. Facebook privacy is an oxymoron. It's not your profile on Facebook, it's Facebook's profile on you.

    It is impossible to have control or responsibility on the internet anywhere other than your own domain that you legally own. So grow up and get, use and establish your own domain name. Do not let Facebook or anyone else own you. Facebook cheapens you.

  123. What I find most disturbing is Facebook's push for you to share more, constantly share new media and links and "like" every interest available. Privacy concerns? Please make sure to review it and then continue posting. I try to post as little as possible and my profile is only partially filled out and I get constant reminders to add more interests and info about my life, turning my profile into a profitable demographic. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who is aware of their business model, but the lengths they go to, to maintain that profit margin while acting like they care about user experience and privacy has me quite close to just deleting the account (I never talk to most of my "friends" on there anyway)

  124. This is a drop in the bucket - a token move toward respect (privacy). How about FB's uploading your browser history, tracking whom you talk with, and selling everything about you? FB's predatory practices are the problem, not violations by other FB users.

  125. Yesterday I was asked for my phone number when I attempted to pay for an item, in CASH. I said NO. The twenty-something who helped me probably doesn't see the big deal. I do. I'm tired of all my data being used in manipulative ways.

    When Target had its data breach, I received an email notifying me that they were providing a year's free credit check---- only, I had to provide my social security number to prove who I was...Let's review: Company A proves it's data security is seriously lacking. Then they ask you for more data. HMMMMM. No, thanks. Another problem---I had never given Target my email address. HMMMMMMMM. Never had a Target card. HMMMMMMM. Do you see how this works?

  126. Too little, too late. Only when the bottom line seems to be hurting does this cyber-bully try to soothe us with changes in the "truthy" privacy rules.

    This is the kind of tone deaf "solution" that occurs when smug geeks cross-breed with slick MBA's: an extinct animal cartoon. How apt!!

    Years ago, when I read Facebook's less than forthright privacy "policy" I backed off and left only a business account on the site.

    FaceBook is nothing more than gossip for geeks and sheep.

  127. I'm hoping Facebook will also remind users of this: If you leave a comment under an article a friend "shares" on her private page, but she keeps that marked Public, your comment under the article will also be public. Not only that, but it may end up outside of Facebook under the article's original location on another website! I was disturbed to find one of my own comments this way (including personal banter with my friend, about the article) posted on a news site where the article was linked from. So I hope FB makes Friends the default for article sharing, also.

  128. The problem with Facebook is so many sites require Facebook to comment. Anyone who does not use Facebook is shut out. I am at a loss to understand anyone wanting a Facebook account. I don't care what time you fed your dog today or where you might shop.

  129. That's truly about the size of it and what we truly care to know.

  130. For that, you want an empty Facebook account, with no posts and no friends (sob!), because you don't share its existence (or your alias) with anybody.

  131. I have declined to use Facebook very much, if at all for about the last two years; although I believe that I became a member much longer ago than I may quite remember. Both The New York Times and a particular Huffington Post group have become more up to date with their political concerns and social conduct. In other words, it is "more adult of us".

  132. I keep getting requests to "Confirm" a friend, as if that person is asking me to friend them, but they sometimes are people I seriously doubt actually initiated the request. It feels as if FB is being slippery, sending me names of people it knows I know and hoping I'll confirm. It's too bad to have to be so suspicious, but FB's actions don't inspire trust, largely because of the business model.

    I'm careful about what I post, so basically, FB knows that I love pictures of puppies and other animal videos. If I keep my interactions innocuous, I'm not worried. But I do wonder if they are attempting to manipulate me into friending people it would not otherwise occur to me to do.

  133. From a data strategy standpoint it seems pretty clear that the information they have available for a lot of us users is lacking. Looking at the site's projected favorite books and movies suggest that there is a lot baseline guessing being made based on broad demographics like purely age and gender. Advertisements are often repeats of sites recently visited and identified by cookies which doesn't suggest a lot of predictive methodology going on. Also, a lot of us are generally hesitant to post information anymore, having gotten older, out of college and became more aware of the arms race that tech companies are carrying out in aggregating our data. I don't think any of us question FB is aiming to mine the available data for insights, reuse, and product development.

    The question seems how can FB lead us into trusting the company and becoming more active again. Certainly making us aware of greater protections and clearer privacy may help reduce a barrier to sharing, but I think that the general hesitation is unlikely to drop away with this update -- we know sharing a lot of information is more helpful to FB than anyone else. We need this coupled with positive incentive; to feel like our sharing is primarily benefitting our social interactions not ad-tech, marketers and FB.