Business Insider reports this alleged exchange between Mark Zuckerberg and an unnamed friend around the time Zuckerberg launched “The Facebook” at Harvard:
Zuckerberg: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuckerberg: People just submitted it.
Zuckerberg: I don’t know why.
Zuckerberg: They “trust me”
Zuckerberg: Dumb f—-s.
What’s really ironic about this exchange? It illustrates the enormous interest we all have in keeping our private Internet exchanges private. Perhaps Zuckerberg said this as a joke and didn’t mean it, but it obviously comes off badly — and the public Facebook posts of millions of people will come off badly, too. Think of how you describe a bad day at work to your mom on the phone versus how you describe it to your boss. Now go to Facebook and look up “work sucked” in the “Posts by Everyone” search. I just found 15 public “work sucked” posts from the last five hours, here’s one from Karen:
“Im home and work sucked as usual!! Now Im gonna crawl into bed and wake up in a few hours to do it again tonight!!! :p”
Hopefully Karen’s boss doesn’t check her Facebook. I have no ties to Karen, and we have no friends in common. Facebook is publicizing her probably ill-considered post to the world, along with the ill-considered posts of millions.
I was annoyed by Facebook’s practice of setting up new profiles as public by default. I was slightly less annoyed with how much information Facebook sells to marketers, since that’s once of the few ways they can make money off of non-paying users. I was angry when Facebook changed everyone’s privacy settings and dishonestly claimed their old settings were the same. These changes to privacy mean a lot, whether they know it or not, to the hundreds of millions of people using the site.
Facebook’s most recent changes to the privacy of 400 million people have attracted criticism from the European Union, along with elected officials and consumer watchdog groups across the board.
Are your settings safe? Props to Business Insider for this handy guide to making your profile private. Facebook has made it clear it can’t be trusted with anything you don’t want to share with third-party companies, friends of friends of friends, future employers or any authority figure, ever.