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Facebook changes default privacy settings

May 25, 2014


Small but significant changes on Facebook

When you first signed up for Facebook, anything you posted was set, by default, to be seen by “public.” By having this default setting in place, every picture, status update, and game request could be seen by everyone, not just your friends.

While most people know how to change this setting to “just friends,” occasionally you forget to change it when you are in a hurry and could inadvertently share something with the public that you intended to be only for your friends. Facebook’s recent update, changes these settings.

Facebook states, “while some people want to post to everyone, others have told [Facebook] that they are more comfortable sharing with a smaller group, like just their friends. We re recognize that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share just with friends, compared to the reverse.” The first time you post something on Facebook, following this update, you will see a dinosaur asking you what audience you would like to post to and showing you that the default is now “friends.”

They have also addressed the issue of privacy settings in general. Many users are still unaware of the fact that if you post something with “public” as the audience, anyone can see it. Facebook states its intent to address this concern with the rollout of a “new and expanded checkup tool” for privacy. This new tool will guide users through a review of their settings, step-by-step.

This is NOT a fail-safe for your privacy

While this is a good update, you should still be aware that this is not a fail-safe for your privacy. While posting to “friends,” it does considerably cut down the amount of people who see your post, it is not air tight. Anyone you are connected with, can share this status, or take a screenshot of your profile, and everyone they are connected with will see it, creating a kind of ripple effect. This can be problematic if you are connected with business contacts, but this is the peril of any social media platform: good and bad.

If you use the Facebook app from your iPhone, you will notice simplified settings here as well. Instead of choosing who you share your posts with from underneath your status, you will see the option above the data field. Additionally, Facebook added the ability to “anonymously login” to apps. Now you can log in to your apps and choose what information they receive. No more sharing everything by default.

This update will help users who have not touched their privacy settings in a while, as well as, remind the rest of Facebook’s users to keep an eye on their settings and with whom they share their content.

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.


  1. Never used Facebook and glad!

  2. I wish they would just quit messing with it and let us figure it out!

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