It all began with a hoax
. I saw a somewhat inarticulate posting from an acquaintance threatening to unfriend me if I didn't make certain changes on my Facebook
(FB) settings that would allegedly impact her privacy. The first comment referenced a Snopes article
on the topic that denied the accuracy of the message.
But, in fact, I now understand that the new FB Graphic Search
affect user privacy, though not in the way the hoax suggested. I'm going to help you sort it out
I don't like Facebook
. From what I understand, I'm in the majority. But it seems to be a necessity--like flossing and seat belts. Of course, the first rule is never post anything unless you're OK with everyone seeing it
. Still there might be things you don't want the world to know--like where you live.
I originally signed up on FB
years ago to connect with our family who live in the Atlanta metro area. And I greatly enjoy seeing family photos online. We're just back from a visit, and I really do want to use Facebook to share more about our lives. But concerns about privacy have held me back
. So between the trip south and the Web Word
s deadline, I did the research. Here are my findings.
Actually, I like Graphic Search
. It allows you to search for intersections of interests and communities. I found all my friends who like skiing. Then I expanded the search to "people who like skiing." This gave me pages and pages of friends of friends
who share my love of the sport.
Here's where the privacy thing comes in and why you really need to make the necessary changes. Depending on their settings, I could just see their photo or I could read all their postings. Not so serious, you might think. But friends of friends covers a wide territory including groups you might have joined. Think--the world.
Well, not quite, but almost.
By the way, there are 1 billion FB users on the planet. 3 million haven't ever touched their privacy settings
. That's only .3% of total users, but 3 million is still more people than live in Chicago. Are you convinced, yet?Resources
Like everything else about FB
, these settings are not obvious. I found three articles: easy, moderate and difficult
. Pick the one that suits.
- From the Wall Street Journal, a one-page chart that covers everything, but is almost impossible to follow.
I did the first two. Hopefully, I'm now safe from the friends of my friends