Sunday, October 23, 2011

Are Facebook Privacy Settings Now TOO Simple?

Recently I tried to change my privacy settings on Facebook. Now I realized that they made some more changes not long ago to simplify the settings. Those were great actually. Then they made some more changes. It was my understanding that the privacy functions remained the same, but that a cleaner, simpler interface was put in. After my experience now though, I'm not so sure this is true.

I went in hoping to block an annoying Facebook friend from being able to comment on my posts, when instead I couldn't find anything of the sort.

Now this below is an example of the previously improved Facebook. This is the one I was happy with! It was simple, yet allowed very specific controls. It was straight forward, but could be detailed.

With that interface you had a lot of control, including blocking specific people from seeing or doing specific things. Now it's practically all or nothing. Public or "No one" or "Friends of Friends" or "Friends". There's no option to single specific "friends" from being able to do things.

I guess Facebook thinks that if you're their friend they should be able to interact with you how all your other friends do, but that's not reality. We all have different relationships with our friends: Some very close, some just acquaintances, others maybe good friends, but don't tell very much to, and then there are even others we hardly talk to at all (or don't want to), but would be too extreme to not call them a "friend". In other words, we're too chicken to delete them from our account.

There is an option to "restrict" or "block" friends (and there is a difference), but all that does is show them your public info (or in the case of blocking, nothing at all). What if you want to make the "limiting of personal information" a little less noticeable than that? Well TOO BAD, Facebook took that option away from you.

I find this rather a nuisance to be honest. Really, I am trying to get as many people to migrate over to Google+ because they allow complete free control of who and how you interact. They don't dictate what you can and can't do.

I really hope this is just in one of those "in-between" stages that Facebook has, but I'm thinking this will remain the same for a while. However, it seems like the in-between stages that Facebook had in the past I liked and then they changed it.

Now don't get me wrong I'm not one of those "I Need One Million Likes to Bring the Old Facebook Back" nut-jobs. Those people obviously are naive and don't realize that technology is constantly changing. But what bothers me in tech is when changes are made, but features are lost or cut as a result of those "good changes". I understand some features must go and that new ones might be better and we'll live without them—I'm fine with that, but this is different. This is the lack of control that we have over our accounts and frankly, I don't even think most people have noticed. At least none of my friends have.

What are your thoughts? Has Facebook gone too far? Should we just sit patiently and wait for the next changes?

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