It seems like every couple of months users of Facebook get to re-learn how to control what the world’s most popular social-media site shares of their personal material. As before, the whole point of ‘social media’ is to share, so complaining that Facebook ‘shares’ seems misguided at best.
Which is not to say that we must simply accept what FB tells us to accept. A development backed off the implementation of the sharing mechanisms after a weekend of ‘useful feedback.’at FB demonstrated how one can implement the sharing of home address and cell number. The posting itself is mostly code and not likely to inspire, or scare away, the majority of subscribers. Nevertheless, the outcry was severe enough that Facebook
Well, now it’s back up.By default, the settings allow your ‘Friends’ to see your cell phone and home address. They can not, in turn, share your cell and address. That said, security experts worry about phishing efforts that are already an issue through Facebook and its growing third-party (gaming) developers.
Bianca Bosker at The Huffington Post interviewed some of those experts and concisely stated two oft-heard themes of their complaints:
Though Facebook prohibits applications from selling users’ information or sharing it with advertisers and data brokers, malicious, rogue apps spreading phishing scams and other ruses are not uncommon on the social network. With just a few errant clicks, an unsuspecting user could potentially hand over her home address to a scammer peddling diet cures or free iPads in an effort to compile credit card data and other personal information.
Others are concerned with what they see as Facebook’s willingness to change the rules of play–first encouraging people to share personal information with a more limited group of friends, then allowing that data to be accessed in new, unexpected ways.
If you are concerned about sharing such information, be sure to review your Security Settings within your account (still not a particularly user-friendly experience). Click on the image to the right to get a sense of what you will encounter and what your choices are.
The level of concern should surely be equitable to one’s use on Facebook. If you are an occasional user who has not put such information up on your site, then recent developments probably do not require any particular response. Nevertheless, you will want to keep an eye on where FB moves the privacy goalposts next.
If your use of Facebook is for your nonprofit’s or charity’s outreach, then outreach is what you want. Sharing is good. And hopefully Friends of Friends keep expanding your circle and bring in support. The phones and addresses listed are surely those of the institution or organization, and we want them to reach as as many people as possible. Besides, incriminating pictures from your organization’s last New Year’s party probably are not part of the site anyway (Right?).
Social-media sites haveabout what information they are sharing and with whom. Money flows through the information we ‘leak’ as we use these sites. Most of us consider a trade of information for free services to be a fair exchange. Just be sure to keep abreast of what of that information you are sharing – your social media will not be doing it for you.