Use Facebook? Of course you do. Alright, maybe not that one person at the back. Chances are you understand all too well how difficult it is to get total control over your account – that is, understanding exactly who and what sees your information. No one could blame you. The only way to protect yourself from Facebook’s nonsense design is to simply not use it. Today, that’s easier said than done.
Facebook has long been accused of being difficult to use on purpose. The less you configure your account, the more information Facebook will be able to build up on you. It’s much like a casino. The harder it is to get out, the easier it is to stick around and gamble some more. In the end, it’s the businesses you’re dealing with that are the major beneficiaries.
It’s not just us commoners that find Facebook too complex, either. Over the holidays, Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi posted a somewhat humorous photo to her Facebook, which was seen by a friend of her sister. Ahh – the joys of tagging. This photo, which was not meant to be public, was. It was then re-tweeted, at which point Randi got up in arms over it happening, causing the original tweeter to remove their post. We can only assume that no one has ever told Randi about the Streisand Effect, because that “private” photo is now as public as can be. Oh, look at what we have here:
Why exactly Randi put up a stink about this particular photo getting loose is beyond me. I could name a hundred other photos that would be far more embarassing than this one – but regardless, the point here is that it wasn’t meant to be seen by anyone but Randi’s friends, Facebook friends and family. If the sister of the founder of Facebook could let this happen, isn’t that a sign that things should change? What would it take for Facebook to begin taking our privacy a little more seriously?