After weeks of mountingcriticism over Facebook's labyrinthine privacy settings, the
social network finally caved Wednesday. CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted the
company "missed the mark" and announced sweeping changes to Facebook's
privacy settings. Should users at last rest easy about their personal
photos, videos and wall posts? Depends on who you ask (after the jump):
Problem Is Solved! applauds Slate's Farhad
Manjoo: "I found the new settings drop-dead simple to use... The
privacy page is dominated by three big master switches. The buttons are
marked 'Everyone,' 'Friends of Friends,' and 'Friends.' Pressing one of
those will decide most of your Facebook privacy settings in one go... It
took me just a couple of minutes to find most sections of the page, and
the master switches do take care of the most pressing criticism that
the site has faced--that confusing settings were causing people to
inadvertently share too much with everyone on the Internet."
Gets a 'B' for Simplicity, writes Ian
Paul at PC World: "Facebook's new privacy controls look a lot
better than before, but there are still a lot of Web pages you have to
wade through to fully control your privacy. Current Facebook settings
require you to go through six pages and their respective sub-pages to
get all your settings, while the new controls require you to go through
four pages: Basic Directory Information, Sharing on Facebook,
Applications and Websites, and Block Lists. But there's no telling how
many sub-settings are underneath these four new simplified sections. I
haven't been able to get a close look at these settings yet, but I have
to wonder just how effective these new controls will be. Also, there are
some privacy controls that aren't filed under your Privacy settings,
but instead are stashed in your Account Settings and your Profile page.
That gets really confusing."
Stil Too Complex, writes Danny Sullivan at Search Engine
Land: "I'd give it an A for effort but a C+ to B- for actually solving
the overload problem... It's a far cry from the simplified structure
some wanted and that Facebook claims to have delivered. To fully
understand how Facebook may be sharing your information, you have to
drill-down into three of the four major areas. Once in some of these,
there is further drilling to do. It's less work than in the past, but
there's still a whole lot of drilling going on."
Pushing You to Overshare, complains the never-easy-to-please Ryan Tate at Gawker: "Facebook
recommends you make all your photos, status updates and posts visible to
the world. Users have said time and again that this is the sort of
information they'd rather keep private, especially when it comes to
photos. Facebook should keep this information private by default, and
let not-so-private people change the settings to share more freely. Of
course, that would make it harder to compete with the likes of Twitter,
which has tons of public status updates and pictures."
Personal Use, I'm Satisfied, writes Robert Scoble: "Facebook largely
solved its privacy problems by giving us simpler choices and giving us
more control over our info and what we want shared with whom and I think
Zuckerberg won over enough of the critics to -- at minimum -- allow us to
move the discourse around Facebook to other issues than just privacy."
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