Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A Facebook Rant

There have been recent concerns and reports regarding private messages on Facebook being publicly visible on peoples' timelines. The issue was that there were claims of a glitch on the system causing all private messages dated from 2010 and before being displayed on the a users timeline for all to see. This was obviously quite shocking for many, as things could get very awkward very quickly if this was the case. Users scrambled through their timelines and panicked as they saw fragmented, embarrassing conversations on their walls. My friends started posting status updates like:

"Alert: Facebook has douched it up again.
Your private messages from 2010 and earlier can be seen on your timeline. This is not a hoax- it was true for me. Go down to the part of your timeline and hover your mouse over the posts and click "hide".

Guess what though, even if you hide the posts on your own wall, the messages that you sent in 2010 and earlier will still be visible on everyone else's wall. So, in other words, boooooooo Facebook, BOOOOOO. Everyone hide."


"Guys, if you haven't heard yet, all of your private messages prior to 2010 are publicly accessible on your timeline. Facebook have obviously stuffed up on their privacy settings when they switched to timeline view.

If you go to your timeline and use the year nav on the right to open 2010, you'll see a box on your timeline with "friends have posted to your timeline". That box needs hiding, cause it's got all your messages in there.

Do that for each year prior to 2010 and you should be sorted."

I quickly followed such instructions, worried about ANYTHING I might have said to my friends in confidence being exposed to unintended audiences but I was still really peeved about the possibility of my posts still being visible on other peoples walls. 

There has since been a lot of coverage about this issue:

Sydney Morning Herald

Some of my friends are still convinced that their private messages have been exposed. I think this is silly in light of all the information that has been given to us and by the fact that Facebook has not seen any serious lawsuits or at least taken any action in 'fixing' said 'glitch' or 'problem'.

Facebook used to be a much cosier place where we would share a lot more information with each other without worrying and without realising how long that information would stay there. I still have a lot of private messages on Facebook but they are private. I do, however want to delete a lot of them and this in itself is an issue. 

You can permanently delete private messages from your profile (however you get through the process) but unless the recipient of those messages also permanently deletes them, they will always be stored somewhere in their archive of messages. This concerns me very much, but there is nothing we can do about it so I have resigned myself to take a lesson from all this and that is to reconsider the consequences of communicating using the internet. Once it is out there, it is out there forever. 

What I also hate is how whenever I tag a friend in a photo of mine, I suddenly get a bunch of strangers and randoms interacting with this photo. DO NOT WANT! I was quite sure I had everything on my profile, photos, posts, the lot - set to 'friends only' definitely not 'friends of friends'. If anyone can help me with this little issue (without the obvious- don't tag anyone) then that would be peachy.

So my rant comes from:

  • being annoyed at stupid friends still worried about old private messages being exposed (they were always visible on friends walls - now timelines).
  • being annoyed at myself for initially getting caught up in this panic
  • my frustration at Facebook for repeatedly overhauling the site sparking these panics and issues. "WE DON"T LIKE CHANGE!!"
  • The complexity of the privacy settings on Facebook and how to change/navigate these settings
  • Not being able to properly delete messages or anything you post off the site. (It will be deleted or 'hidden' from your timeline but will still exist somewhere else).
  • Having to keep my Facebook profile because I will miss out on so much (events, business offers, news) if I delete it. Without getting into the 'discovering who your real friends are' discussion, the reality is, no matter how close or distant I am to my 'friends' or 'aquaintances' my social life and relationships WILL suffer if I don't use Facebook. Even if I DID delete my profile, it will always be sitting there in cyberspace waiting for me to come back and reactivate it.

Argue with me, agree with me, add to anything I have missed....vent away!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog, comments and feedback are always deeply appreciated, but please refrain from spam, follow for follow comments etc.