Facebook Will Let You Determine Privacy Levels For Each Update

The next time you don’t get that job because someone in HR saw your Facebook pics of you at the weekend cosplay orgy, you’ll have only yourself to blame. (But not for the orgy, which sounded like a really good idea at the time.) Starting soonish–it’s being rolled out now–you’ll have the ability to set privacy levels for each status update. That sound you hear is the collective wail of moms everywhere who are about to be shut out of the more salacious aspects of their kids’ lives.

“Facebook details new privacy settings” [Cnet]

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  1. roguemarvel says:

    And I just had a friend yesterday complaining about her mom being her friend on Facebook. This should make her happy.

  2. summerbee says:

    So, this means we’re going to have to come up with a hundred different lists of varying privacy levels. Friends from high school, friends from college, enemies from high school, acquiaintences from college, professors from college, lame co-workers, fun co-workers, parents, my cool aunt + cousins, “best friends”, people who are cool with status updates about drunken shenanigans…

    Granted, I’m not really complaining — it’ll be nice to finally get a better hold on what I’m sharing, but it’s going to involve a lot of work if we really want to customize things. And, of course, go back in TIME and apply the same filters to old updates / photos / etc.

    And then keep track of who sees what.

    Yeah, this is why I prefer Twitter now. SIMPLICITY.

    • bsh0544 says:

      You prefer Twitter because you have no control over who sees your updates?

      Couldn’t you get the same effect on Facebook by just not using the privacy levels?

      • macoan says:

        That was my thought – If you want everyone to see everything, then no – you don’t have to do any types of lists.

        But I have my hot air ballooning friends in one list. Old high school friends in another list. Family members in another list. My genealogy research people in another list.

        So the new privacy things will be great since now I can post about a cemetery / genealogy type of find for only my genealogy friends to see – and those old high school friends won’t see that I do a lot of cemetery research and think I’m some sort of devil/goth worshiper or something like that.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      A simple medium for simple minds
      (directed at Twitter, not its users)

    • Valerie Flame says:

      Am I reading this wrong or are they forcing people to be searchable? Some people don’t want to be found by others. At all.

      But go to that page where you used to be able to choose who searches for you an you get:

      “Your privacy settings are secured for your protection.”

      with a lock box. How is putting your info out there against your will “for your protection”? What if you have, say, an abusive ex and don’t want them to be able to find you, but you still want to try to live a relatively normal life? Or any number of a million other reasons?

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        But go to that page where you used to be able to choose who searches for you an you get:

        “Your privacy settings are secured for your protection.”

        There should be a button to the right of that quote that says, “Change Settings”.
        You can still change the setting, you just have to re-enter your password first.

  3. foodfeed says:

    i thought that was what myspace was for.

  4. pop top says:

    If you don’t want certain people to know specific things about you, then why are they your friend on Facebook in the first place?

    • tbax929 says:

      For me, it was because coworkers kept friending me, and I felt obligated to add them. I quickly realized this was a bad idea, and un-friended them, which may have been more of an insult to them than if I’d just ignored their initial friend requests. Oh well, lesson learned.

      • hotdogsunrise says:

        Having different settings could help out with work friends.

        I’ve tried not to let any of my co-workers know that I use facebook. And I have already decided most of them will never get accepted as a friend. Sorry. I spend way too much time with you already!

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      I think part of the problem is the behavior of friends of friends. I can see album photos of people I don’t know if someone I’ve friended likes or comments on it.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      Because sometimes work friends think they’re friend friends and would be insulted if the ugly truth were laid bare.
      Or you have a “modern” mom who thinks she really wants to know all the dirty details which you purposefully keep her blissfully unaware.
      Because my cat friends and dog friends say they want to be in the same group, but when so grouped, the only results is rent noses and tufts of fur floating about.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      A lot of my local friends use facebook to plan outings and discuss local goings-on, and I don’t know that everyone I went to high school with needs to be subjected to that. I don’t MIND them seeing it, but I feel bad for cluttering up their newsfeeds.

    • burnedout says:

      I work with college students and a lot of them will accept friend requests from people they don’t know figuring it was someone from class or a party when it’s actually a dummy account set up by professors, the PD or Student Activities overlords trying to suss out illegal activities and unexcused absences (alot of this started after the Duke Lacrosse team drama). Anyway, this gives them a little more control over what new people get to see (of course I still question the wisdom of posting your half-naked drunk and passed out photos in the first place, but apparently I’m the only one who sees that as a better solution).

  5. ddmeightball says:

    “The next time you don’t get that job because someone in HR saw your Facebook pics of you at the weekend cosplay orgy”…

    Pics or it didn’t happen…

  6. DeathByCuriosity says:

    Ah, just like LiveJournal back in the day.

    Well, now I can post happy comments about my (liberal) faith and politics without offending the few Glenn-Beckian conservative Christian friends I have and provoking hateful comments from them.

  7. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    The next time you don’t get that job because someone in HR saw your Facebook pics of you at the weekend cosplay orgy,

    I’m trying to figure out how that guy in HR is able to see your Facebook pics in the first place.
    Do most people these days go on a job interview, then add as a friend, everyone they interviewed with?

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      They can search for you and theoretically see pictures if you don’t have the right privacy settings up, or see through your friend’s pages if they don’t have the appropriate privacy settings up. Some employers now require you to give them access to your Facebook page before they hire you, particularly in the law firm world.

  8. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    The inability to do this is why I’m only Facebook friends with a handful of people that I know in real life.

  9. theblackdog says:

    I am kind of against the idea of being able to lock up each of your updates to your lists, if what the article writer says is correct.

    Anyone who has ever had a livejournal know you can make filters on there, and with that, many users abuse the filters by using it to tell everyone about how they’re having some drama with (for clarity) “friend X”. Of course, by talking smack to everyone but Friend X, the smacktalk gets back to Friend X, they get mad, they post their own entry and filter the original person out, or some other form of drama blows up because of it. I could see this same kind of filter abuse going on with status updates.

  10. yagisencho says:

    I’ve been censoring myself the entire time I’ve been on Facebook because of the broadcast nature of status udpates. This is long overdue.

  11. yagisencho says:

    I’ve been censoring myself the entire time I’ve been on Facebook because of the broadcast nature of status udpates. This is long overdue. I already have a dozen group profiles set up, so am ready to go.

  12. RandomHookup says:

    Two words seldom used in the same sentence: “cosplay” & “orgy”.

  13. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    Why is my list of friends and pages now available to everyone in the world (whether I’ve friended them or not)? It really pisses me off that Facebook now considers this “publicly available information,” whether I want it to be or not. There is no option to make it private.

    • starrytrekchic says:

      I’ve managed to get my publicly available info down to two things–profile pic and name.

      For the friends, you have to click on the pencil icon on your page (not home–the little pencil next to the friends box on your profile). From there you can choose to make them unavailable. (And that’s their idea of simpler.)

      I just deleted my gender and pages and didn’t have my current city listed (and hadn’t joined any networks). If you’re willing to delete all of that and change your profile pic to a dead cartoon bird like I did, then the only thing available (besides the dead cartoon bird pic) will be your name.

      Absurd that it comes to that, though.

      • segfault, registered cat offender says:

        I don’t care for my name, college, and profile pic to be searchable, but don’t want my friends list or anything else to be available to non-friends. I’d still like to make my friends list available to people I’m friends with, and I think taking it off my profile will prevent that, but is probably preferable to the alternative (making yourself non-searchable).

        I thought the whole point of this privacy update was supposed to be to make privacy settings more customizable, not the wholesale removal of existing protection.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        For the friends, you have to click on the pencil icon on your page (not home–the little pencil next to the friends box on your profile).

        Oh, thanks for that tip!

  14. wickedpixel says:

    WARNING!!!

    I just updated my facebook privacy setting and the default setting were all changed to allow “Everyone” to see the various aspects of my profile, photos, status messages, etc. I had to manually change them all back to my previous privacy settings.

    • She_Goes_to_Eleven says:

      I was just prompted to update mine, but only one or two were set to “Everyone” and had to be changed – most were set to “previous setting” (which happens to be friends only for pretty much damn near everything.)

    • starrytrekchic says:

      Don’t stop there. They changed other things you’ll only be able to change by going through the old security settings–and some things you CANNOT change back.

  15. starrytrekchic says:

    All I can say is fuck facebook. And I’m someone who rarely curses!

    My security settings are normally maxed out. They took the liberty of changing everything with their simple mode to ‘everyone.’ I have no idea if this was in effect in the time I was away from facebook, but I immediately used the “simple” layout to change this back to my old settings.

    Except it wasn’t that easy. They made other changes that I had to go back through the old security settings (every one of them) to correct. Several things had been switched from ‘friends only’ to ‘friends of friends’ and, appallingly, ‘everyone’ even though I had supposedly restored my old security settings. And you have to investigate every layer. I had to switch my profile pictures back to private via a menu of a button of a menu of a menu.

    And it’s even worse. There are two things you can’t change. One is the ability of people to request you as a friend–it can either be everyone or friend of friends. There is no ‘no one’ option. Meaning, despite my most anti-social tendencies, I’m going to have to deal with the choice of whether to accept friends of friends–even though in the two years of using facebook I’ve done everything in my power to minimize the number of friends on there. Sure I could I accept people I don’t actually want as friends–or I can offend them. Thanks, fb, for giving me that choice.

    The second is a certain amount of info is made available to everyone. Since I never got a fb url and I have my search settings restricted to only friends, this still only affects friends of friends, but now they get to see my gender, current profile pic, pages (wtf?), friends list, name, current city (!), and networks.

    Facebook needs to understand the variety of people using its network. Not all of us are social butterflies; some of us are tinfoil types (okay, it’s not that bad) who only want to keep in touch with a few close friends (we’re called introverts!), don’t want to risk offending people, and don’t want any information available.

    I guess it’s back to my standard of entirely fake information–though I’m still going to have to deal with the friends of friends wanting to add me problem.

    • starrytrekchic says:

      Oh, and now your profile pic is shown wherever you post or comment–anywhere on fb. I don’t know if it’s retroactive, but there’s nothing you can do about it (except no longer post or comment–or have a fake profile pic)–and you know, go through and delete every post you’ve ever made on FB forum or page. Major privacy violation.

    • flugennock says:

      Actually, I’ve got an even better idea… it’s called a Web Site… you know, an actual standalone site, with your own domain, where you can only post information you want public and withhold information you want private, and have it stay that way.

      Seeing the kind of shenanigans pulled by Facebook and MySpace make me even more glad that I prefer to use the grownups’ Internet.

      • starrytrekchic says:

        Not sure how that’s relevant to what I want (complete privacy–nothing posted publicly, the ability to keep up with a handful of online friends in a more complex way than available through email or forums and without them having to go to another site).

        Might be great for you, but definitely not what I need or want.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Facebook needs to understand the variety of people using its network. Not all of us are social butterflies;

      I think they see that as a problem. One of my Facebook friends actually sees a message about how I’m only utilizing Facebook 50% and that they should suggest people for me to friend.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      but now they get to see my gender, current profile pic, pages (wtf?), friends list, name, current city (!), and networks.

      I just figured out how to fix this. Go into your Profile > Info and click the Edit links for your information. You’ll see little locks to the right of each line. If you click on them you can change it back to being Friends of Friends, Friends Only, or Customize.

  16. flugennock says:

    Facebook? Privacy?

    B’wahh ha ha ha ha haaahhhhh… Oh, damn, I’ve wet ‘em.

    Sorry about that… so, is there anything in there about not selling user information to advertisers? Huh, didn’t think so.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      There is when you go into your settings.

      If you don’t believe them, that’s another matter.

  17. flugennock says:

    Here’s a little more accurate take on Facebook’s new “privacy” settings:

    http://gawker.com/5422805/facebook-begins-privacy-con

  18. Valerie Flame says:

    Am I reading this wrong or are they forcing people to be searchable? Some people don’t want to be found by others. At all.

    But go to that page where you used to be able to choose who searches for you an you get:

    “Your privacy settings are secured for your protection.”

    with a lock box. How is putting your info out there against your will “for your protection”? What if you have, say, an abusive ex and don’t want them to be able to find you, but you still want to try to live a relatively normal life? Or any number of a million other reasons?

  19. MsFab says:

    When I got the little prompt, I had the option of either using the new privacy settings, or keeping my old ones (I have my setting set to Friends Only, and some lists that can’t see certain things that other friends can see). I chose the “keep old privacy settings” button cause I didn’t want it to change anything. Anybody know if those still actually work?

  20. burnedout says:

    This will be really good for parents and gparents who want to share kids’ pics with family and friends, but keep out the creepers.

  21. spamtasticus says:

    The new facebook “privacy” settings hide a hideous secret. You can no longer hide your friends list from the general public. This is a massive security risk.