Facebook Mucks Up
Another Privacy Train Wreck
Did Your Private Messages Get Flaunted?
There’s a lot of people on Facebook this week that are FEELING their privacy has been violated.
While, it turns out, it actually hasn’t (most likely)… the problem arises from a nuance that is so misunderstood that it has baffled even some pros!
You may have seen the now viral message circulating Facebook:
While it isn’t supposedly possible for a bug/glitch to have caused this (as two separate servers are involved)… it sure FEELS like it to many people… so what gives?
Over the last two years people have gotten wiser about how to use Facebook – and about what data was shown to which people.
(My family still doesn’t really get it… and they’re a great example of how I know FB is doing a poor job… )
If you backtrack 2, 3, 4… years ago… everyone assumed that wall-to-wall posts were private communications!
(They never were, but that, for the moment is irrelevant!)
What does this mean? It means that some of the older communications, are wall posts, but really never should have been!
(I have one in my archive, from my mom, who stated she was sending me a private message but was a wall posting even way back then. She didn’t know better at the time.)
Worst, even if known to be public, they really weren’t intended to be flaunted quite so… ummm.. gregariously as Timeline does.
So, this alarm is making people aware of these posts, and by applying today’s system to yesterdays data, people are suddenly feeling very invaded!
How we use Facebook has changed– regardless of whether that was FB’s intention or not.
Yes, there’s some rather questionable content that was wall posts from way back then… because ordinary people didn’t know better.
This is why the courts always have to get involved when businesses try to apply NEW privacy rules to OLD data (but in this case, the data visibility was a confusing issue.)
We’ve gotten wiser to Facebook’s ongoing privacy SNAFUs over the years!
But it really doesn’t matter whether it was a data leak or an understanding “leak”… people are feeling violated.
So… what to do?
You may wish to do “something” about this…
TheNextWeb has a useful, no-hype article, that will walk you through your options for dealing with this.
Keep in mind that both parties would need to adjust settings as all parties own what is wrote on THEIR wall (rather than what is wrote by them).
There is of course always the possibility that YOU have a case that DOES involve real leaked data.
While I have yet to see one, I can’t discredit that maybe someone does!
If you do, you MUST submit a bug report at http://facebook.com/knownissues on the report tab (don’t write on the wall, it’s useless). Fill out a report and help us get these cases investigated and solved.
A Second Opinion
Just in case you want another opinion on the issue, you can check Snopes here as well.
Bruised Fingers & Toes
Regardless of whether this was a real privacy breech or just felt like one… this has done little to reassure the public of Facebook’s good natured spirit.
There’s a lot of really angry and hurt individuals at the moment that no amount of logic is going to appease.
Dear Facebook… there really is limits to how far you can bruise even John and Jane Doe…
Facebook’s ability to handle old data without aggravating people has earned it a big fat “F” this week!
Hopefully, this post helps you understand that there are some grains of truth to the “hoax” that is currently circulating Facebook.
And… if you think you really HAVE been compromised, given you information both on what to do about it, as well as (importantly) how to report it.
ReadWriteWeb’s article talks about ways that Facebook could have handled this differently and is an interesting read if you want to go further down the rabbit hole…
Stay safe out there!
~ Kim ~
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