Facebook Privacy Settings: First Results [en]

I spent most of my day reading a collection of posts about the privacy setting changes Facebook made in December 2009 (thanks, David!) and looking at the screenshots of privacy setting pages a bunch of you sent me (thanks so much — if you haven’t sent me screenshots and would like to do it now, it’s not too late!) Thanks a lot also to those of you on Twitter who helped me out by answering questions or giving me feedback on what was or not visible on certain pages.

So, here is an unordered list of my preliminary findings:

  • Your profile and certain elements of it are “publicly available information” and there’s nothing you can do about it: your name, profile photo, list of friends, pages you are a fan of, gender, networks to which you belong, and current city (so don’t try to hide your list of pages from your public profile, you can’t).
  • You cannot hide your list of friends from your friends, and by default, it appears on your public profile (steps to remove your friends’ list from your public profile are a little counter-intuitive).
  • Your relationship status, gender preference and “looking for” information are now in the same setting as who are your family members. Unless you set this to “only me” your “relationship stories” will be published to your news feed (there used to be a way to opt out certain types of “stories” from your newsfeed — that is not possible anymore). Anybody else notice how there are suddenly more “relationship stories” in your newsfeeds? 😉
  • It seems that the “show public profile in search engine results” is now checked by default, even if you had unchecked it previously. You might want to make sure it’s the way you want it. (Anybody else getting an annoying alert asking you if you’re scared of search engines?)
  • Did you know that your friends can share information about you through the applications that they install?
  • Checking out my ex-students profiles (I’m not friends with them, but have “common friends” with many) I got to see a lot of wall posts and photographs that were probably not intended for the public at large. This tells me that they’re probably not aware of how public what they are posting is (even if most of it is quite innocuous, it’s a problem that people do not have a clear picture of how public or private the information they publish is).
  • Based on the screenshots I received, not many people seem to be taking advantage of friend lists to manage their privacy. I have lists and love the idea of being able to use them like this, but curating the lists is a lot of work and mine are very messy.
  • One of the big changes is that you can now specify how public each item you post is. However, I’m not sure how “Everybody” is supposed to access one of my wall posts if my public profile does not show my wall (my posts are by default “Friends Only”).
  • If you post on a friend’s wall, that posting inherits your friend’s privacy settings for “Posts by friends” (which might be “Everybody”!) and as far as I can tell, you have no way of knowing what those settings are. It also seems that when you comment upon a post, the comment inherits the privacy settings of the commented item (not 100% sure about this, can anybody confirm)?
  • You cannot completely hide from applications anymore.

Always happy to receive more screenshots or interesting links.

Call For Screenshots: Facebook Privacy Settings [en]

I’m giving a workshop on Wednesday to a group of teachers on Facebook privacy settings. Of course, Facebook changed their privacy settings in December, so I’m having to scramble to get up to speed before giving the workshop. This is why I’m asking for your help.

I was pointed to an article about the new settings, but I’m sure there are other good ones out there: 10 New Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know — please leave links to articles you found useful in the comments.

The main thing I’d like to as your help for is that I’d like a little collection of examples of privacy settings — mainly to help me understand what settings people are using, and possibly as examples to show at the workshop. I will anonymise any identifying information like e-mail addresses etc which might appear in the screenshots, no fear! Here are links to the various pages I’d love to receive screenshots of, if you have a few minutes to indulge me (e-mail firstname dot lastname at gmail — you know what my name is, don’t you?):

Don’t feel like you have to send me screenshots of all of these if you think it’s a lot — anything more than nothing is great for me. If you want to explain why you use certain settings, I’d love to hear about it too (in the comments or by e-mail).

A huge thanks to those of you who’ll take a few minutes to provide me with material!

Version française du semblant de podcast précédent [fr]

[en] A French version of this post: This Is Supposed To Be a Podcast.

Bon, allez, je suis bilingue, il faut que j’assume (hein Thierry)! Je viens de mettre en ligne un billet audio en anglais, et voici donc une version française qui recouvre à peu près ce dont je parle. C’est plus facile de faire deux versions par oral que par écrit.


Pour les liens relatifs à ce que je mentionne dans ce bla-bla, visitez la version anglaise de ce billet. En bonus pour la version française:

Si vous avez un truc pour qu’il y ait moins de bruit dans le micro, volontiers. J’ai essayé de l’éloigner de ma bouche mais le résultat n’était pas terrible.

This Is Supposed To Be a Podcast [en]

[fr] Un embryon de podcast, en anglais. Quelques banalités comme la difficulté de parler à "personne", malgré mon experience de dictée avec Dragon, un peu de pub pour coComment et mes vidéos d'Inde, et ma première publication audio en novembre 2002. Il y a une version française maintenant.

Well, here we are. Sorry for the air in the microphone, I’ll get better at this.


Download the audio file or use the widget above.

Errata: I mentioned coComment in #wordpress, not #joiito; I finally used a 48kbs mp3 format instead of 128kbs.

Links I mentioned:

Thanks to leftjustified, I will soon be optimising the mp3 file you’re listening to. I’ll blog the instructions separately.