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Even Mark Zuckerberg Isn’t Sure About Getting More Public


Facebook IconMark Zuckerberg and I aren’t Facebook friends. That’s cool; I don’t know him. Until recently, all I could see of his profile was his picture, networks and friend list. But this morning, either the Facebook CEO had decided that’s what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, or even he didn’t know what the new privacy settings changed.

I’m going to guess that it was B, because since the articles on True Slant and ValleyWag have run, Zuckerberg’s profile is a lot more private.

On his Page (where you can be his fan, not to be confused with his profile), Zuckerberg defends the change:

For those wondering, I set most of my content on my personal Facebook page to be open so people could see it. I set some of my content to be more private, but I didn’t see a need to limit visibility of pics with my friends, family or my teddy bear :)

Oh, really? Because when I try to visit his profile, I get a “Mark only shares some of his profile information with everyone.” message at the top of his profile, and no photos.

Zuckerberg does still share some of his info with everyone: his basic info, personal info (only the about me: “i’m trying to make the world a more open place.”), education and work, and five of the pages he’s a fan of. (These five rotate; screen caps from the privacy changes indicate he has 17 pages.) Also public: his links, friends and events.

There is, of course, another possibility as to why some people like Kashmir Hill can see his photos—they have mutual friends (Hill’s is another Facebook employee). When you update your privacy settings, the new default setting for photos is to make them visible to “Friends of Friends.” (I’ve contacted Ryan Tate to see if he also has at least one mutual friend, but haven’t heard back yet. Mark and I share no friends.)

But really, as Facebook is pushing more people to go public, and if Zuckerberg is really “trying to make the world a more open place,” he could do a lot more opening himself. The CEO of the site might be seen as an example to users—and if he really wants them to go public, should he be willing to do the same?

What do you think? Was this an accident on Zuckerberg’s part, or because Tate and Hill have mutual friends?

  • goran

    great observation!!!!! he is not following what he preaches…hopefully something better will come along with a founder that stands behind his principles and facebook will just be a distant memory. it’s actually outrageous.

  • Rich Lee

    I don’t have a problem with this. I have renewed my privacy settings and am glad that the options were so clearly explained. Despite Scott McNealy’s famous quote, “Privacy is dead….get over it” , nobody is obliged to share everything about themselves to everyone, including everything about their friends (whether their friends know/want it or not). I doubt someone as smart as Mark would not know about a major change in his company policy. For the sake of tranquility, simplicity and security, there are many routine aspects of famous peoples’ lives and relationships that need not be known by bloggers, scammers, stalkers and gossip columnists.

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