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Facebook Caves In, Meets Members' Demands for Greater Privacy

Facebook Caves In, Meets Members' Demands for Greater Privacy

"Your profile should feel like your home on the web..."

For the last few months -- or longer -- the words Facebook, transparency and privacy were never positively associated. On Tuesday, however, two potentially monumental things happened: 1) Facebook has announced changes to its site. 2) The changes are intended to improve user privacy.

In an official Facebook blog post called "Making It Easier to Share With Who You Want", the company announced improved privacy measures after months of heat from users on everything from phone numbers to facial recognition technology:

Today we're announcing a bunch of improvements that make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want. You have told us that "who can see this?" could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward.

. . .

Plus there are several other updates here that will make it easier to understand who can see your stuff (or your friends') in any context.

Facebook puts the updates in two categories: what shows up on your profile and what happens when you share something new.

Watch the report by Slate below or read about more specifics further down:

Your Profile

According to the blog post, "Your profile should feel like your home on the web -- you should never feel like stuff appears there that you don't want, and you should never wonder who sees what's there."

So here's what Facebook has changed:

Like a shorter and simpler settings page, a new inline menu shows who can see certain parts of your profile; it can be changed with a click. See below.

You can now can confirm or reject photos or posts that you were tagged in by other people. You can also confirm or reject people who are trying to tag your photos or posts.

There is also now a "View Profile As" button that allows the user to view their profile as others see it. Now they know exactly what is visible to other people.


On the sharing of photos, posts, etc., Facebook also has installed inline controls that let's the user specify who can see each post, picture, etc. It's called the "Public" button. What about when someone posts an unattractive photo -- and tags you? Now, you're given the option to untag, send the tagger a message to take the photo down completely or block the tagger completely.

Users commenting on the blog post were especially thankful for the fact that there is now a better photo removal system. But even though user complaints about privacy are being remedied, one of the popular comments under the blog post was that there is still no "dislike" button.

[H/T PC World]

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