From the beginning of the week, Facebook began rolling out new privacy settings, which were meant to enable the user what information can be shown (to people who are not friends, or are friends of friends, or networks). They were also able to keep their old privacy settings.
In a press release, Elliot Schrage, Vice President of Communications, Public Policy and Marketing said “Facebook is transforming the world’s ability to control its information online by empowering more than 350 million people to personalize the audience for each piece of content they share.”
However, one blog noticed that rather than ‘control’ what information he was sharing, Zuckerberg has opened almost all of his profile to everyone, allowing us to see all his photos, some personal information and events he is planning on attending.
“I can see his wall, his photo albums, and his events calendar. Zuckerberg recently became a fan of Taylor Swift, uploaded graphic photos of “The Great Goat Roast of 2009″ three months ago, and plans to attend the Facebook holiday party on Friday night. I can even tell you where it’s going to be held.” said author Kashmir Hill.
Here are Hill’s screenshots of his profile (just in case he changes his mind!) and his events page:
So is Mark Zuckerberg really grasping the point of the new privacy settings? If their press release is anything to go with, then no, as that is encouraging users to experiment with their privacy control without giving out important info to non-friends (or even friends in some cases), not opening their profile to everyone that lands on the page.
With that much on show it doesn’t quite make sense why he has disabled friend requests, maybe only so he doesn’t have to wade through piles of requests every day. If everyone followed Zuckerberg’s lead Facebook would be a great place for finding stalkers rather than finding friends.
Then again we have to bare in mind Zuckerberg is the founder, he has to have a presence on the website, much like MySpace Tom. Originally it was hard to identify with him, as all you could see was his photo and networks. There was no personality.
Now for those who care you now know that he is a Taylor Swift fan, goes on a few interesting excursions with photos to prove it and you can read his (short) About Me.He is not actually showing any real personal info off – such as his whereabouts or contact information- and he can’t be added to find out anyway (I am only hazarding a guess that he shows that info to friends though).
Personally as soon as the privacy settings popped up on my screen I opted to stick to my old privacy settings, a touch I was thankful for. Although the internet knows a lot about me anyway, I like the idea of having a place where I can upload pictures of me extremely drunk without current or potential employers seeing them, and only my friends seeing where I was going on a set date. Facebook is my place I don’t have to be formal; it’s my little piece of the internet I can relax. Though just to make sure no-one has access to my address as I haven’t put it on there.
If I was Facebook’s founder I would be a little more careful than Zuckerberg on what was available to the internet. For instance, as much as it may fascinate, is it really a good thing we could attend an event he was going to because he made it public information? However while I still have a degree or power to set my own settings which are not forcing me to go all-public, I’ll give Zuckerberg the benefit of the doubt and say he most likely does know what he’s doing (Facebook told me he went to Harvard after all) and is merely opening himself to the users of Facebook. After all, he probably uses Facebook in the same way we do.