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With Facebook, You Can Like But You Can’t Hide

facebook-icon 1Jumbo shrimp. Working vacation. Facebook privacy.You get the oxymoronic gist of it, right?

Facebook’s ideas around privacy have always been controversial so the latest turn of the privacy screws by the king of the social media hill shouldn’t surprise anyone especially in the ‘all revenue, all the time’ world of being a public company.

So what’s the latest? Well, it seems that Facebook is taking away their account holders’ ability to hide from the search function. USAToday tells us.

Facebook on Thursday announced the final phase of removing an old privacy feature from the social media platform. The feature, which allows users to be hidden from search, will finally be taken away for users who have it enabled.

The feature, called “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” was removed from Privacy settings last year (noted in a December blog post) for those who didn’t have it enabled. When enabled, the setting removes the ability for users to access a Timeline profile via search, even when a user puts in the exact name of the person he or she is locating. Now, users that still have that feature enabled will begin to see removal notices from Facebook, indicating that they will be present and visible in Graph Search along with the rest of the Facebook user base.

No big deal, right? Considering how few people it likely impacts now it won’t be a big deal. The USAToday article, however, does point out the real issue though.

Of course, the sunsetting of this feature for those who care about it the most only stresses the importance of checking and updating Facebook privacy settings often. Now, it’s more important to consider the content of the Timeline itself: a “private Timeline” is only such when content is marked explicitly “Friends Only.” As Facebook continues to make search easier, it’s important to keep in mind how these changes impact social media privacy at large.

We are so far past the point of expecting anything that remotely looks like privacy with Facebook that it almost seems pointless to even bring it up. Now that there are very few options for people who want to play the privacy card we may never need to address this issue again. That is until someone gets hurt as a result of having no privacy in the social space.

How do you feel about Facebook and privacy? Should there be ANY expectation of privacy with Facebook? Please chime in and let us know how you feel.

  • http://blog.wishpond.com/ Adella @ Wishpond

    Hi Frank.
    Great point! Facebook still needs to work on their privacy settings. The feature hasn’t really changed and still shows profile pictures, cover photos and few news
    feed activities. This topic has been heavily discussed to figure out the levels
    of privacy that users want. From a user’s perspective, the solution can be
    providing broader privacy options. One of options that I’d recommend is simply
    hiding profile pictures and cover photos if users don’t want to unveil to the
    public.