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Why Facebook’s New Privacy Changes 2011 Stink

Facebook announced on last Tuesday that they’d be updating privacy settings and rolling them out last Thursday. Gradually people are getting rolled out one by one and it seems to be alphabetically.

I’m not thrilled and in typical Facebook fashion, they’ve made some settings confusing (see below), not to mention they’ve rolled out a ton of changes in many different areas. I’ve also read that they’re “forcing everyone of its 750M+ users to go through a mandatory tutorial” but that’s not entirely true. You just need to go through the how to post tutorial which takes less than 10 seconds.  It doesn’t force you to go through all of your privacy settings some of which are new and of course (insert expletive here!) default to “everyone” which is….*sigh*

Big smiles now, this is going to be easy! Are you ready? Here we go:

Here’s the main navigation under your user name, click Privacy Settings like you have before. But this time it will look different. You’ll want to pay particular attention to your”Control Your Default Privacy” and the settings under it. We’ll also cover How Tags Work and Limiting audiences for past posts. Here’s what you see:

How to navigate Facebook's new privacy settings 2011

The next few sections need to be broken out separately.  “How you connect” is basically how people can find you on Facebook, if they can post on your wall, who can see your wall, etc. Pretty self explanatory. Nothing has changed here from what you had before.

Facebook Privacy settings How You Connect

This next one, “How Tags Work”, is what everyone is raving about. I find some of it to be purposely confusing. Specifically, the first option “Profile Review” allows you to “approve or reject posts you are tagged in before they appear on your profile” – to some extent this is what users have been asking for, but it will also require you to receive more email from Facebook. And to make things confusing the last option is “Tag Review” which sounds the same doesn’t it? But apparently it’s not. And honestly, I can’t make heads or tails out of it. So I recommend setting both of these settings to ON. 

How Tags Work main screen (we’re talking about first and last options):

How Tags work on Facebook 2011

Profile Review:
How to review photos your are tagged in on Facebook

Tag Review:

How to manage photos I am tagged in on Facebook

And if you set the above two to on, then you may also care about whether people can tag in you when they check-in to a location. If you care, then you’ll want to “disable” the option, “Friends Can Check You Into Places”

How to disable friends checking me in to places on Facebook 2011

The rest of the options in between are the same and so are Apps and Websites settings. So we’ll skip ahead to “Limit the Audience for Past Posts”

Whoa Nelly! This is the kind of stuff that makes me bonkers. Facebook tries the fear tactic here and tells you that if you make this global change so that all past posts can only be seen by friends and not the whole world, then if you should change your mind in the future, you’ll have to go into each post and manually change it. Why would I want the whole world to see my sh*t anyway?? My recommendation – DO IT!

How to limit who sees past posts on FacbeookHow to limit past posts on Facebook

Yay! All done!

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.

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