Locking Down Facebook

Shame on me, but I really don’t pay attention to things like privacy settings, terms of use, or any other fine print when I add myself to a service. I typically wait to see if there’s a backlash from the community and then I act accordingly. This particular issue snuck up on me, though, and I didn’t even realize what I had done.

My Facebook profile is fairly open to anyone who would like to connect. I’m a social person and I really don’t have any secrets (or money for all you hackers out there), so I connect with everyone. About the only exception to this are geolocation tools. I think it’s kind of creepy that people I don’t know and live in some other state care about where I check in.

Anyways, in this case, someone posted something to my wall that was offensive to a good majority of the population. I won’t go into detail… it wasn’t porn, just a truly tasteless attack on their faith. I’m not a religious person, but I have the decency not to insult people who are. Faith is something that’s not only sacred, we’ve already figured out that folks don’t mind killing themselves over it. For many people, their faith is all they have. In my opinion, it lacks any decency as a fellow human being and it’s just downright mean.

What happened within minutes was that people unfriended me… along with a deluge of comments on what a jerk I was. (The irony is that I let the person who did it know that I was disappointed in them). So, because of one person in my network lacking any kind of decency, I’ve had to lock down my permissions. I still am allowing friends to post on my timeline… but no one else is going to see the information. To get to this screen, click the down arrow in Facebook (top right this very moment) and then select How You Connect. I’ve circled the two settings I’ve updated.

For you Facebook gurus out there, does this also stop any content from making it to my wall from another persons’ wall that I comment on? Or will this do that?

7 Comments

  1. 1

    That permission change isn’t going to change anything in these regards. Your friends will still see when you comment or like something. Your only option is to not comment on those items. The recent gross photos on Facebook are a deliberate exploit of how Facebook works.

    Basically, Anonymous created several fake accounts, linked them all together, added a bunch of real people, uploaded a ton of gross images, then liked and commented on all of them. When you commented on that photo, it was featured on your friends walls because it already had so many other comments and likes. Facebook is working exactly how it’s supposed to: feature the most popular content (if your friends have engaged with it).

    The only way around it is to ignore or hide that content, and if you’re like me, inform your other friends about it so they know as well.

    -Jack

  2. 3

    Actually, I’m referring to what most people are seeing: the item in their news feed. If someone posted an item directly to your wall, that’s a different story. My guess is that you’re referring to your news feed, though. Yes?

  3. 5

    I’ve always made a point to lock down my Facebook settings. I’m no more anti social than you, but I started this once I began to get friend requests from some rather suspicious people. Granted, I don’t have the investment in social networking as you do with your career and visibility, so I don’t have an interest to be followed or friended by thousands of people who don’t otherwise know me from Adam.

    Besides, I don’t need anyone’s help to put my foot in my mouth, I can do that quite well on my own.

  4. 7

    The default should be in automatic lockdown and make all of the privacy features easy to find. Then leave it to the individual user to open the features they want. That is what a scrupulous website owner would do.

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