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Facebook and the new privacy settings

All Facebook: The Unofficial Facebook Resource blog has a useful posting:

10 Things You Need To Know About Today’s Facebook Privacy Changes

1. You Can Opt Out Of Applications
2. You Can Hide Your Friends List
3. You Can Hide Your Interests
4. Much Information Is Still Public By Default
5. Instant Personalization Is Still Opt-Out
6. You Can Hide Information From The Past
7. You Should Review Your Settings
8. Privacy Now Only Takes One Click
9. There Is Now A Single Directories Settings Page
10. Settings Will Be Rolled Out Over The Next Few Weeks

More detail in the post.

These are the things that every infomration professional worth their salt needs to know and be able to advise their patrons about. Black and White thinking where people think Facebook privacy issues are either like hiding in a hermit’s hut or that using Facebook is broadcasting your personal daydreams from your mind to the world aren’t helpful or correct.

I worry about those librarians who broadcast to the world on Twitter and blgos etc. that they have given up on managing privacy settings and have exited Facebook. Our profession is the very profession that should be able to assist people in managing these issues. I certainly would not choose to leave a digital trail that can be read by future employers that I have given up on learning those skills and keeping up to date. That’s almost as bad as not being in a social network (virtual or real) at all in society.

There are lots of paces to find ths infomration on the web but I do hope that ALA is planning on publishing a Library Technology Report on managing privacy in social networks . . . soon. I’ll bet it’s a bestseller.

It is a reasonable expectation of users that I can get advice on this from my library and librarians, whom I have indicated for years that I trust a lot.


Posted on: May 26, 2010, 9:26 pm Category: Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Ghyslain said

    Given up on managing privacy settings or simply frustrated and wish to make a statement about the incoherent and cavalier way facebook is handling privacy issues? Professionals I know are walking away in protest, not in a mea culpa to incompetence. There IS a difference.



    Yes, I realize that is one perspective. I also think that if I was hiring a librarian who wasn’t on Facebook that I could also potentially think:

    1. Here is someone who isn’t conected to the majority of our users who remain on Facebook.
    2. Do they have something to hide?
    3. Here is someone who can’t easily keep up to date on managing privacy issues in a top 5 website.
    4. Would I hire someone who decided to remain off the net entirely for the same reason of privacy? Facebook is obviously not the only place collecting personal information (Google also does for example). Do I need to worry that this info pro will choose to not use Google?

    Given the choice between hiring someone who gave up and bailed in protest (valid or not) and hiring someone who knows how to handle Facebook and keeps up with the privacy settings issues, then some employers make the choice to hire the connected person.

    Just an employers’ perspective that I hear very often from recruiters and employers…

    Either way, I certainly wouldn’t be broadcasting my disconnectedness on the web to be found later by the standard recruiting and HR search tools as they create a profile for employers.