Scarcely a day goes by without another Facebook privacy scandal, often spread, ironically, via Facebook comments and posts. From publishing private messages on public timelines to asking users to tattletail on their friends who are using pseudonyms, Facebook’s intrusive behavior is starting to raise flags, even among non-web-savvy users. Is it time for a more secure social media platform?
Private Messages on Timelines?
It started with a rumor, according to Rage Against the Minivan, and turned out to be true. All you have to do is check your own profile, and you’ll see that some of your private messages from 2010 and earlier have been posted as public postings on your timeline. Granted, it’s unlikely that most people would be digging around in your profile all the way back in 2010, but if you’ve got a stalker, they just hit paydirt, thanks to Facebook. Check for your messages, and remove them, if there’s anything you’d like to keep private.
Pseudonyms Ahoy! Are Your Friends Tattling On You?
As reported by Digital Trends and Talking Points Memo, Facebook recently initiated a new program to check and see which users are using pseudonyms, or fake names. If you want to keep your name private on Facebook, make sure your friends know it, and that only your friends know your real identity, or you may not be as anonymous as you think.
Someone I know asked recently whether setting all privacy settings to ‘Friends Only’ didn’t protect them against all of the privacy issues that come along with using a service like Facebook. Unfortunately, the privacy settings you choose are at the mercy of software when it comes to the outside world, (in other words, a bug could make it all public in a minute) and all of your private information is available for use by Facebook when it comes to the inner workings of the site.
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