When it comes to how I view my online social media behavior I practice the tried and true – ‘Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want your mother to see’. This has served me well over the years and while it does impact what I might post ribald and cheeky replies, I don’t feel it my online social behavior is all that different from the way I am in person. I am probably not the right person to judge that I realize.
Like many people I receive messages from my FB friends to change access to their photos and posts in my preferences as it pertains to our FB friendship. For the most part I have felt that people tend to over-dramatize their worries about non-friends access to people, posts, and photos within the FB network. However I do comply and change the settings on behalf of any friend that asks.
This week I really got a sense of what can be creepy about FB. A friend of mine ‘liked’ a photo of a Mom and her 2 daughters. I had never met nor even seen the family before. But because the photo was ‘liked’, that ‘like’ pops-up on my status feed since we are FB friends. I then notice that the photo has 20 ‘likes’ and out of curiosity I mouse over the 20 likes. 20 names pop-up (I knew exactly none of the people) and while I didn’t, I could write down their names and then FB message them directly referencing my friend as a link between us.
So I’ve changed my mind and wholeheartedly agree that FB users should protect their profile from being viewed by FB depicted category ‘Friends of Friends’. There is clear and present danger in the fact that I can reference a person that two complete strangers have as FB friends as an entree.
A recent and well-done article on techlicious.com offered pointers on how to better protect your FB privacy settings.
It’s an increasingly creepy world out there. FB users and netizens need to become even more wary than ever before. Sad but true.