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An Excellent Revision and Several Things to Consider

It seems one of our favorite things to do in our connected society is bash Facebook and it's privacy settings. Just in a bit of full disclosure, it makes me crazy when you do that. Yes, you. Mark Zuckerberg and the folks at Facebook have created an amazing tool for keeping in touch, networking, and sharing photos and information and ideas. But that's not why Facebook exists. Facebook exists to make money.

It's not a public service, and it doesn't owe you anything. It's your job as a user to know about your privacy settings on Facebook and monitor them. That said, Facebook has made some changes recently that you should be aware of. Here's a look at three "new realities" about Facebook privacy today:

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1. You can no longer be on Facebook and "hide."

One of Facebook's privacy settings used to allow you to control who could find you if they searched your name on Facebook. One of the options was no one. So, you could be on Facebook, but not be searchable. Last week, Facebook ended this option. So now, unless you are a minor, you will come up in Facebook searches if you have an account.

Now, does this mean that everything you post to Facebook is searchable? No. Only things you have set to "Public" in privacy settings will be available to anyone who searches your profile.

And if you have blocked someone, you will not come up in their searches.

2. It's important to understand individual post privacy settings.

As we all become more searchable on Facebook, it's important to be aware of what we are sharing and with whom. You can customize exactly who can see every individual status update and photo you post.

I've written in detail about how to change these privacy settings here: The Most Useful Facebook Privacy Setting You're Probably Not Using

3. You still control your content, and you are responsible for how it is shared.

There is yet another way of the "copy and paste" status updates in which people seem to believe they need to post a "copyright notice" on Facebook that tells Facebook that you own your content and it does not have the right to monitor, disseminate, distribute, and a long list of other actions with it. These posts do nothing, other than annoy those who already know they do nothing and confuse those who don't. (You can read more about them at snopes.com.)

Truth is, you have always owned the content you upload to Facebook and been able to control who sees it. You still do. If your privacy settings are locked down to where only you and your mother can see it, Facebook honors that. When you join the site (as with any site), you must accept the terms and conditions Facebook sets forth. They include granting Facebook giving Facebook the permission to distribute the things you post, according to applicable privacy settings.

That means it's on you. Complaining that Facebook is invading your privacy in one of myriad ways just isn't valid. At the end of the day, this is a site that is free for you to use and used for enjoyment. But it is your responsibility to be aware of what you are sharing, with whom, and the repercussions of that. You do have control over it. Educate yourself and take that control.

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Posted in Shopping Post Date 02/13/2016


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