Privacy schmivacy (part 1)

Let me say a few things about privacy. I am sick of people whining about privacy. Did you know that Facebook now prohibits your friends from seeing all the photos in which you are tagged? I learned that little tidbit just this past week. You can verify what I am saying by going to Privacy Settings and then clicking “Preview Your Profile.” Enter the names of different friends, and your profile will look different depending on whose name you type in. Not only will your tagged photographs differ, but even your profile wall will look different! Specifically, some of the overly paranoid girls you are facebook-friends with will not even show up on your own profile wall. You can comment on their profiles and it will show up on your screen — but not on anyone else’s! Do the Profile-Preview if you don’t believe me!

I should probably clarify that I blame Facebook itself (rather than individuals) for at least part of this problem. Many people do not even realize the situation and thus operate in ignorance. Until recently, for example, I had my relatively open settings set to where only friends and people in my networks could see certain information. Once I realized that Facebook had decided to start censoring in a completely illogical manner, I instantly changed all my settings to “Everyone” out of principle. But I still blame individuals for voicing all the whiny complaints about “Privacy” that started most of the mess to begin with.

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7 Responses to “Privacy schmivacy (part 1)”


  1. 1 Foxfier April 27, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Shocking. People can control who sees their pictures, even if you are in them? I am in utter shock.

  2. 2 Drew April 27, 2010 at 5:02 am

    My thinking is that if you get online at all, you may as well give people your information. The people with the completely private profiles on school networks particularly irk me. If you’re on a citywide network then I guess maybe it’s more defensible because there are more crazies to deal with (not to mention cops, bosses, etc.). But overall, I think this “privacy” emphasis is just a demonstration of the modern cowardice. And there are even chicks who evidently make sub-groups within their friends who can see particular bits of info (because I’m already their friend and I can’t see it) and then exclude everyone else. Bah

  3. 3 Foxfier April 27, 2010 at 10:31 am

    So, anything that I might say in a letter, or in a gathering of friends, I must copy, publish, notarize with my full name and hand out?

    This is a matter of freedom of association– if those gals couldn’t choose NOT to say something to someone, they will likely say nothing at all.

    If someone knows enough about me to be friended, they don’t have to see my details to find me; on the other hand, I like being able to offer my home address and number to my family and close friends, but would NEVER say “oh, let’s put my phone number out there for two hundred people who are mildly associated with me! Because I would be totally OK with leaving my wallet stuffed with cash in the middle of the school corridor!

    My thinking is that if you get online at all, you may as well give people your information.

    Thank goodness the law doesn’t agree with you! I’d be deeply annoyed if every website I went to had my full name, birth date, mailing address, home address, prior addresses, parents’ names, Kit’s name and data, Elf’s name and data, our political views, our religious views, our schools, favorite books, favorite movies… and that’s not even all the standard information for a networking site.
    Someone who DOESN’T have a private profile is basically leaving their house door open and yelling “hey, I’m going shopping for an hour!”

    Just because something can be stolen doesn’t mean it deserves to be.

  4. 4 Drew May 3, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    You can say what you will, but I’m noticing fewer and fewer tagged pictures available for viewing, period. The more people who latch onto the trend and set their Tagged Photos settings to “Friends only” or even “Friends and Networks” under this ridiculous system, the fewer pictures we will have. Pretty soon, tagged pictures will serve almost no purpose whatsoever as no one will be able to see them anyway.

    And I’m not talking about the law. I’m talking about making brave choices and not being timid.

  5. 5 Foxfier May 3, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Sure there will still be tagged photos.

    They’ll be available to those one friends, rather than one’s psycho ex; just as one’s status will be shown to, say, your girlfriends instead of the guy who is your friend but is also a friend of said psycho ex.

    ’m talking about making brave choices and not being timid.

    Make them for yourself, but you should really not complain about others being security-conscious. “Bravery” is just foolishness that happened to work, this time; ‘timid’ is precautions you don’t agree with.

    Deciding to take chances– such as not making any communications on a set method of communication unless you’d be willing to shout them from the tree tops– is your choice, and yours alone. Most folks use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, rather than some minor storehouse for utterly un-social-engineerable information.

  6. 6 Drew May 3, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I think maybe you fail to understand the extent of the problem. Exactly how many people who freely tag you in their photos ALSO happen to be friends with the other people who will be looking at your profile? I’m guessing not many. In the cases where they are, they will indeed be able to see a FEW tagged photos. In the cases where they aren’t, the list of tagged photos will be absolutely empty.

    Assume we become best pals and then I friend you, but yet I haven’t met many or even any of your OTHER friends and added them. In such a case, your tagged photos will be absolutely empty. And if your photos and half your profile are empty, then what’s the point of my adding you as a friend in the first place, even if I’m your best buddy??

    People have different cliques of friends, and they aren’t all friends with each other. If one person from each of TEN different cliques of friends tags you, and then if they all look at your profile…it will be empty (except for the ones they themselves put up). The only ones who can see your profile will be people within the ten cliques — and even then it will almost be like you have ten different profiltes!

    But you’re a woman so maybe I shouldn’t expect you to understand!

  7. 7 Foxfier May 3, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I do not fail to understand it, I fail to agree that it IS a problem. Tagged photos are nice when they work. If someone wants to make their photographs public, that’s up to them; if you want to make it so that photos in which you are tagged are listed on your profile– it is optional– then that is also a choice. If you want to get copies of the photos in which you are tagged and enter them into your profile, then that is a very simple work-around.

    Try thinking of it as believing that the existence of photographs of yourself, of which you do not have copies, is a horrible problem– especially as it interferes with your habit of carrying a copy of every photograph of yourself as a cloak.

    And if your photos and half your profile are empty, then what’s the point of my adding you as a friend in the first place, even if I’m your best buddy??

    There’s this strange thing called “conversation.” It can take place in a cafe, face to face; via a conference call; even by leaving written messages in a safe place.


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