i won’t go on a long tirade about how obnoxious the recent facebook changes are. although it does drive me crazy that it entirely squelches any iota of creativity in how i talk about myself. but that’s not my biggest beef.
i don’t usually get all up in arms about the privacy thing, but this is a problem. i can’t quote verbatim, but here is the gist. “if you do not link to any of these pages, these sections in your profile will be blank. by making these connections, you are making them public.” so if i want any information to be displayed, i have to make it public to EVERYONE.
i liked the old customization. it was a disastrous, misleading rubik’s cube, but i pretty much had it figured out. got people you feel socially compelled to be “friends” with on your profile but don’t really want them to know everything about you? put them on a list and customize. that’s not possible now. leaving aside that maybe i really only wanted my close friends to know what music i like and where i work, this has some actual concrete consequences.
how about this one: somebody who’s just left an abusive relationship?
before, that person could have continued (for simplicity’s sake, let’s say “her”) social networking in a pretty uninterrupted fashion. block the old (for the sake of simplicity, let’s say “boyfriend”) and all of his friends and family, or put them on limited profile and customize her privacy settings and move on.
now, if she wants anyone — her own friends, her family — to know her interests, the name of her job, or for god’s sakes, her CURRENT CITY, she has to “like” that “page.” and that information is publicly available, not just to all of your friends, but to everyone on facebook. she can’t use facebook at all without the constant fear that awful mcwifebeater is breathing down her neck.
i recognize that this is a first-world problem. she can just leave facebook. but doesn’t that kind of suck? zuckerberg has claimed to be all about privacy, but i think we know it’s all crap. it’s just too bad he’s completely gutted what was kind of a useful and interesting tool.
eta: in her comments below, vividprodigy points out some helpful privacy functionality that hadn’t yet kicked in for my profile after the changeover. so i will amend my above complaints to simply: it’s an extraordinary limitation on creativity and originality, and it sets an expectation that facebook ought to be product- or interest-centered instead of centered on the individual. and if facebook isn’t good for navel-gazing, then what the hell IS it good for?! 🙂
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