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BroadVision Marketing Blog

How can a person maintain Facebook friend group privacy?

Posted by Jaco Grobbelaa on Tue, Dec 20, 2011 @ 04:27 PM

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Zuckerberg explains Timeline"]SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Facebook CE...[/caption]

Facebook is going through a major upheaval among savvy users, according to internet news services. For one thing Facebook unveiled its Timeline recently, an act that followed closely on the news that Facebook privacy practices were found faulty by the Federal Trade Commission. Furthermore, this past summer elderly people in various places in the United States were scammed based on Facebook information they probably thought was private, but instead was used against them.

Some of the seniors, top worries when it comes to learning to use Facebook came from an article by Colleen Greene on “Helping senior citizens learn how to use Facebook” at (11.2.10)http://colleenscommentary.net/2010/11/02/helping-senior-citizens-learn-how-to-use-facebook/. Greene asked the elderly what their concerns were and their top concerns were privacy risks.

The Telegraph (12.18.11) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/8940136/How-to-delete-your-Facebook-account.html did an article on “How to: delete your Facebook account , and adjust key privacy settings”.

Did you know that Facebook’s privacy policy is more than a thousand words longer than the Constitution of the United States? The Constitution is 4,543 and Facebook boasts 5,830. This is probably due to the fact that Facebook has spent the last 18 months revising its privacy policy that makes a growing amount of information public by default while instructing users that they must opt out if they want to keep their information private or share it with just their most trusted friends.

Some commentators are predicting that people will leave in droves while others think that people will be lulled into giving up more and more privacy. Dropping Facebook is called “committing Facebook suicide” and is a very drastic measure. Facebook does want people to stay connected and has given them ways to create more privacy for themselves, but to do so the user has to go through 50 different settings and around 170 different options in order to have complete control.

We will leave Facebook suicide for another day. Today let’s look at how to achieve groups of friends as a way to have privacy. Facebook is caught between a rock and a hard place in this instance. People want to be social and like the ease of sharing information in the platform, but they are also getting scared of sharing too much or sharing it with the wrong people. Facebook is also a money making proposition and sells information to advertisers as well.

If you are just setting up your account (the few of you who are left), Facebook gives you many settings that you should prioritize to make sure that you don’t share personal information, private comments and photos.

If you have been on Facebook for a long time and are very popular with lots of “friends”, you might consider creating friend lists. These lists will help you group your contacts so that you only share certain things with certain people. Some groups might be “Close Friends”, “Acquaintances”, “Family” and “Work”. Time consuming, yes, but this is a good idea. People can be in more than one group if you want.

To create and edit friend lists, log on to Facebook, select “Friends” from the list under your profile picture under the left side of the page. On the next page click the “Create a List” button, enter a title and hit enter. Add friends from the list by typing their names or selecting them from the list. Be sure to click “Create List” to save your changes. To control what groups sees what, click on Account, choose “Privacy Settings”, select “Profile Information” and work your way through each option.

There that was easy. Not, but you can do it. Perhaps you can work on it a little at a time. The one thing you must remember to do is click on the “Create List” to save your changes or all the work you did will be for nothing.

What do you think about Facebook privacy issues? Do you want to keep some things within different groups? Please let us know what you think by commenting in the box below.

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Topics: United States, Social network, Timeline, privacy settings, Federal Trade Commission, Privacy, Facebook Timeline, Personally identifiable information, Facebook, Social Media

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