99 Comments

Summary:

Facebook launched some fairly impressive new features and services at its recent f8 conference, but some of them were also more than just a little scary. Since a lot of what the company talked about was introduced in either “developer speak” — involving terms like API […]

Facebook launched some fairly impressive new features and services at its recent f8 conference, but some of them were also more than just a little scary. Since a lot of what the company talked about was introduced in either “developer speak” — involving terms like API and JSON — or involved social networking jargon such as “social graph” and “activity map,” we thought it would be handy to break it down for those who aren’t as well versed in such things (maybe your mom, maybe your brother-in-law — maybe you). What do these changes mean? And what should you do if you don’t like the prospect of automatically sharing your activity with everyone you know on Facebook?

Liking without logging in:

The biggest change Facebook has launched will let any website you visit display a simple “like” button, for example on a story at CNN.com — although CNN has decided to use the term “recommend” instead. If you click that button, it will show all of your friends back on Facebook that you liked that story, by posting it on your Facebook wall. It will also show you — in the same box on the CNN site that has the “recommend” button — how many of your friends liked that story.

Note: The most important aspect of this feature is that CNN and other sites will be able to do this without you logging in with a user name and password, and without you clicking any Facebook Connect buttons. All that is required is that you have signed in to Facebook at some point before you visit the site.

Instant personalization:

As Liz explained in her piece on this issue, some sites will be allowed to take this ability even further, and show you personalized content based on the details of your public profile at Facebook, which they will be able to read and interpret without asking you. At the moment, only three sites have this extra ability, which Facebook calls “instant personalization” — they are Docs.com (an online document-hosting and editing site from Microsoft), the music site Pandora and the review site Yelp.

Note: The important thing to note about this feature is that it is opt-in by default, which means it is turned on automatically, and you have to specifically turn it off if you don’t want these services to read your profile and customize their services for you.

What should you do?

The easiest way out of all of these new features, of course, is to simply not log in to Facebook, or to cancel your account. In order to do that, you have to go to this page, down at the bottom, and click “deactivate.”

Note: Doing this doesn’t actually cancel your Facebook account, it simply hides it. As Facebook explains on its help pages, “[Y]our profile and all information associated with it are immediately made inaccessible to other Facebook users. What this means is that you effectively disappear from the Facebook service. However, if you want to reactivate at some point, we do save your profile information (friends, photos, interests, etc.).” If you want to actually delete it, you have to go here (this link will only work if you are already logged in to Facebook).

But what if you don’t want to cancel your account? Then you can do one of several things:

* Turn off instant personalization: Uncheck the box at the bottom of this page. This will prevent Facebook from allowing Pandora and Docs.com and Yelp to show you customized content based on your Facebook details.

But as the site Librarian By Day explains, this won’t prevent your friends from sharing certain data about you with those services. And how do you stop that?

* Block those applications: If you don’t want any information to be shared with those specific apps, either by you or by your friends, you have to specifically block each and every one of those apps (luckily there are only three so far).

You can control which applications are allowed to share your data, as well as what your friends can share about you, on this page. All of your privacy settings — such as what turns up when people search for you, who you have blocked, and so on — can be controlled on this page.

* Don’t click the “like” button at any of the sites you visit: This will prevent you from sharing that information with your Facebook friends, or having it show up on your wall, and sites won’t be able to send updates to your news feed.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): Why New Net Companies Must Shoulder More Responsibility

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Jacob & Kiki Hantla

This article also appeared on BusinessWeek.com

  1. just to be clear: if i log in and then log out of facebook, then i visit cnn.com and click the recommend button, will cnn be still able to share with my facebook friends?

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    1. No. You need to be logged in to Facebook for it to do that.

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  2. Scandalous.

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  3. Did you actually read what this does – it only shares information you have already flagged as visible to EVERYONE. Not just info available to Friends or to a Family list – but EVERYONE. It’s the sort of stuff you leave available so people can tell it’s you – like your hometown or location – not your personal details you don’t want given out.

    If you don’t make the data public on Facebook – nobody sees it – not even these web sites.

    Morons.

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    1. That’s true, Rick — it does only use your public information. Still worth letting people know what is involved though, I think, and how to change it if they wish.

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    2. Yes, but the partner sites get this information automatically, without you providing it to them. My name, city and profile picture are public on Facebook, but there’s normally no way to link my browser to my profile (if you’re not Facebook and I haven’t explicitly signed into your site with Connect).

      Wouldn’t you feel weird walking into a store and having some random clerk already know all this public information about you? It’s just public data, right?

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      1. Maya Grinberg Sunday, April 25, 2010

        Thats a great way of thinking about it, actually.

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    3. For the purposes of this feature, the following information is always public and you can’t change this:

      Your name, gender, and profile picture.
      Your location, and home city.
      Your networks and Pages (which includes any interests you’ve converted over to the new system).
      Your friends list.

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      1. At least for some sites (e.g., CNN), clicking on the “like” button in a page makes that page part of your public profile (available to anyone).

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      2. Your friends list is not always public. Actually, I have seen a lot of profiles with most of the stuff you listed made private.

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  4. Yo Rick, settings I had set to ‘Friends Only’ reverted back to default after this new change. My birth date, job, and location were all of a sudden available to ‘Everyone’ that I had previously set to ‘Friends Only’. I did not choose this. Facebook did.

    I’m not a moron. But you are certainly ill-informed with FBs deceptive practices. They are banking on people like you to not pay attention to the changes they have made. That’s how they succeed.

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  5. The concern is how much tracking Facebook and other 3rd party sites can do of your activities.

    Check out the faqs on this service here:
    http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=1068

    This snippet “No information is published back to Facebook unless you interact with social plugins or explicitly authorize a website to publish to Facebook on your behalf.” implies that no information is published back to FB, but as a web services administrator I know that unless they intentionally are turning off logging if the 3rd party site is accessing a FB service that identifies you, that access is most likely logged somewhere at the very least to identify potential problems with the service.

    How does the 3rd party site know it’s you visiting the site? They have to do some kind of query into Facebook and that query will show up in a web log somewhere on Facebook servers.

    Note the snippet on this page “By clicking “No Thanks” on the Facebook notification on partner sites, partners will delete your data. ”
    The 3rd party site must know some information about you by you visiting the 3rd party site (whatever personal information made available. The minimum is your name which really is enough.)
    I’ve opted for this No Thanks, but I still see a “personalized” page for Yelp. It sounds like from the snippet that the company “forgets” my data, but that doesn’t indicate that FB forgets my data.

    Any service that implements this new Facebook protocol, is basically giving Facebook a growing monopoly over your identity, your browsing habits, and potentially your friends and their browsing habits.

    If you look at any big company web service (I’m thinking of Google/Yahoo here) you will see detailed privacy standards as to how long they will retain your information. With FB integrating a bunch of sites with their service as the central hub they are encroaching on privacy with the expressed intent of improving the user experience. It would be nice if FB actually identified exactly what they log, how they log, and how long they save these logs.

    Check out

    http://graph.facebook.com/YOURFACEBOOKUSERNAME

    to see what information is shared about you publicly. It may be more than you realize if your settings on Facebook are more permissive.

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  6. This instruction is very helpful. I don’t want to share anything for third party developer or company. The problem with this is opp out instead of opp in.

    I hate facebook feature to share everything about me without I am knowing. Facebook is privacy hell

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  7. Aaarrgh, now you’ve got me all confused, should I click the ‘share on Facebook button’ at the bottom of this article or not?

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    1. Yes, please do :-)

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  8. You don’t need to block each specific app because you have “What your friends can share about you” settings in Privacy Settings. And there you can choose what your friends can share about you.
    Much easier and gives you more options if you need it.

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  9. I am sick and tired of facebook always duping peoplewith their private info. Every time they make a significant privacy change, they leave the box checked to accept, as default! A lot of my friends don’t even use or change that privacy box, so i imagine there must be millions of users around the world who have absolutely no idea! A huge proportion of facebook users are not that intelligent to understand it all, that’s a fact. It’s highly unethical for facebook to do this to people – I don’t like it whatsoever.

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  10. Thank you guys, best article/ guide i could found so far on this particular subject. keep up the good work!
    cheers
    R

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    1. Thanks, Roger — glad you liked it.

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  11. Don’t go along with stupid newspeak. “Opt-in by default” is what is commonly known as opt-out.

    @Rick: You weren’t already making this available to thousands of websites. That’s very different from making it available to whomever finds you on Facebook.

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    1. It says it right next to the check box: “Allow select partners to instantly personalize their features with my public information when I first arrive on their websites.”

      Public Information is what you classify as viewable by Everyone. If you don’t want your name or city available on Facebook, make it visible to Friend only. Nobody will ever be able to find you again, but that’s still your choice.

      I don’t understand what people are getting so upset about. Every time you swipe your debit card or credit card the retailer gets your name and they often ask for your zip code too – which you give them. Some places ask for your phone number too. Where’s the outrage about that?

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      1. Rick,

        You’re not thinking this through. Purchasing something with a credit card is an entirely different relationship than simply browsing the internet. A credit card transaction is a specific action taken by you right at the moment of purchase. You don’t buy something unless there is a certain amount of trust between you and the merchant. The merchant and your bank are under regulation as to what they can do with the personal information collected. And all the data doesn’t go back to Facebook to be collated with everyone else’s.

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  12. @Rick Where did you get that from ? Can you share a link ? I have read the statement a couple times and it is totaly unclear. If what you say is true, then FB has a confusing UI.

    “If your friend uses an application that you do not use, you can control what types of information the application can access”

    ^^^ It does not say that the only information is the public one.

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    1. It says it right next to the check box: “Allow select partners to instantly personalize their features with my public information when I first arrive on their websites.”

      It’s under: Privacy Settings – Applications and Websites – Instant Personalization

      Share
  13. [...] article, Your Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them, is an easy to understand explanation of the new changes and the ramifications to your privacy. [...]

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  14. @Rick
    Yes, but the majority of people never change those settings, THEY are the morons..so EVERYONE is set EVERYWHERE.

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  15. [...] points to a GigaOM post that explains how to block some of the “instant personalization” changes that Facebook [...]

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  16. [...] Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google (see below) who has not technically left, but has deactivated his Facebook [...]

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  17. I think I’m going to cancel all my social media profiles – this is going to far and secondly I’m not that interested in myself or my friends to brag about each other all day and what we “liked”.

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  18. This is very helpful. Privacy is always an issue. Certain aspects of communicating data seem fine. Others, not so much. Appreciate the clarity of what to leave on (and what to turn off), at our discretion of course.

    The comments are also illuminating. Just one more reason to keep our social networking activities focused, in a viral community. And likewise, those of our kids.

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  19. [...] are tons of articles about the new issues with privacy that came out of the f8 conference. This one on GigaOm is a good one (and thank you to Downtown Women’s Club for posting it on Facebook…the [...]

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  20. I feel socially raped and I don’t ‘like’ it!

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    1. I dislike the fact that we cannot have any privacy on our friends and also that FB has made our profiles available to friends of friends when some of us want to stay private. I block everything to be honest. The newsfeed thing is sooo stupid. If I notice one of my wall postings to someone in a newsfeed I delete it and email them. Quite a few people I know have shut down their accounts and I tell you that FB is getting close to pushing people too far and many will start deleting their accounts in the next few years if it keeps up. They think that they can outsmart us..NOT!

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  21. Very Interesting, Thanks so much for sharing :)

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  22. [...] know about Facebook’s privacy setting, check out GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram’s post – Your Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them This entry was posted in Social Media and tagged Facebook, privacy, setting, Social Media. [...]

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  23. [...] Ingram at gigaom explains the complex changes facebook made and what you should know about them, and how to turn them off. Share and [...]

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  24. Karen Stuebing Friday, April 23, 2010

    Thanks for the heads up. It wasn’t really clear to me how to block these applications because I just got a checkbox and when I tried to uncheck it, it warned me that people who used these apps would still be able to use my info. It directed me to FB’s FAQ which shed no light on it either.

    I had to click each app and block them individually.

    What amazed me is the number of people using these apps.

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  25. I can’t stand that stupid feature…Do they think we are all unintelligent idiots? They have reasons and ulterior motives for doing this…Just like Amazon tracks where you shop and then later on you will see a pop up ad on the same web site you were on with advertisements…Kind of made me stop and look around my computer to see if someone was peeking through…I don’t know…Kinda creepy..I’m just say’in…

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  26. I don’t know…Kinda creepy…I’m just say’in…

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  27. I think Facebook is way too invasive!!

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    1. get some clothes on woman

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  28. Good tips; especially the turn off personalization one.

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  29. [...] all common sense. On Facebook? I bet you haven’t checked your privacy setting in eons. Go to this post by GigaOm and check (and change) them right now. You may be shocked at what Facebook is tracking, all because [...]

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  30. Posted this on FB.

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    1. Me too!

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  31. [...] button is part of a group of tools called social plugins, and they’ve caused another uproar about privacy and accusations that Facebook is trying to take over the Internet. But it’s also an [...]

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  32. Facebook is a great advertising tool as well and can be used as a sounding board if you WANT to be noticed…

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  33. Thanks for sharing–the window just popped up on my profile, I’ve turned off those settings. I don’t see how they can keep information working without you being logged in, though (by default, you stay logged in to Facebook until you manually log out).

    There’s also some group on Facebook with detailed instructions on how to properly deactivate an account. I think it’s called How to Deactivate Your Account.

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  34. Without further “personalization” Facebook’s annual revenue per user – $1 Billion / 500 million users = $2.00 a year – will continue to languish @ just $0.005 a day from each user.

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  35. [...] Your Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them By Monique Pouget – This week at the f8 conference, Facebook launched a plethora of BIG updates to the features and services of the site. There’s been a lot of chatter about the changes, including some major questions about privacy concerns. This could be Facebook’s attempt to make the web (and the search engine results!) more social as we know it. For now, we’ll have to just sit back and wait to see how the updates affect our online experiences. I’m particulary intrigued by the “like” feature and it’s ability to spread content on the web faster, and unlike Matt Cutts, I won’t be deactivating my Facebook account. This article from GigaOM is a great guide to getting around the recent Facebook changes, and it’s great for the less-than-savvy social networker. It may be titled “your mom’s guide,” but the handy information is useful for people of all ages and skill levels. [...]

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  36. As I see it, Facebook itself is a security hazard. Period.

    Any privacy rules it tries to apply will only do so much to secure so much personal information on its database.

    Remain.Simple

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  37. [...] Your Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them Tech Insider [...]

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  38. I don’t think they’ve rolled this out to everyone yet (it happened to my profile just last night), but Facebook is (or will be?) changing any and all data in your profile into links to public pages. Even though YOU can control who can see what on your profile, information on the pages is very public.

    For example: I like the show Glee. It was listed as one of my favorite television shows. I was not, however, a fan of the Glee page. Now, if I want to list Glee as a favorite television show, it automatically makes me a fan of the Glee page. When I “Unlike” the Glee page, Glee no longer shows up on my profile as a favorite television show. The Glee page is public – if I “like” it, the public can find out.

    For something like Glee, this seems innocuous. In the broader scheme of things, however, it can be an issue. Think of any issues, activities, etc you enjoy that you don’t want to be broadcast to the entire public. With the new Facebook program, you either have to take this information of your profile entirely or be comfortable sharing it with the general public. Privacy is completely out the window.

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  39. [...] And we need to watch each other’s back on social platforms.  Because opt-in by default is something we all need to be aware of -http://gigaom.com/2010/04/22/your-moms-guide-to-those-facebook-changes-and-how-to-block-them/ [...]

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  40. [...] Follow this link: Your Mom's Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them [...]

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  41. I think the bit about “instant personalization” is based on a misinterpretation caused by Facebook’s inconsistent terminology.

    The way I read it, “instant personalization” only uses public data from your profile (privacy setting “Everyone”).

    If you set the privacy for part of your profile to public (i.e. “Everyone”), you should not be surprised that everyone can see it.

    If you have private information in your profile, and the privacy is set to “Everyone” that is something you should change in your Facebook privacy settings.

    I’ve asked Facebook to clarify this. They should be consistent in their use of either “Everyone” or “Public” to describe the setting for data anyone can see.

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    1. That’s not the issue with Instant Personalization. It’s not just that if Yelp knew who you were they could view your public information, it’s that Facebook is telling Yelp who you are.

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  42. Keith in Canada Friday, April 23, 2010

    Also the only data on you your friends can share via “Instant personalization” is your public (privacy setting “Everyone”) profile data.

    If your Facebook profile privacy settings are correct, nobody is going to see anything about you that they cannot already see by going to Facebook and looking up your name.

    Personally, the only public (Everyone) information on me is (should be) my city and one folder of safe photos. (This is revealed to help people figure out which of the several persons with my first and last name is their friend when making friend requests.)

    Again, the misunderstanding is Facebook’s fault for not being consistent for using “public” in some places and “everyone” in other places.

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  43. The main question that no ones seems to be addressing in regards to “Instant Personalization” is how to block Yelp, Docs and Pandora as well as future fb strategic partners.

    fb help says “you can block applications by finding the ‘About applications’ page in search. With Pandora I found their main application page in fb and there was a “block application” text button in the upper left hand corner of the Pandora/fb application page. With Yelp this is not the case. With MS Doc, or docs.com there is no application page in fb. So….. how all these articles keep talking about the need to “block applications” so friends interaction with these applications/fb strategic partners don’t pull our information. But no one is giving directions on how to block the said applications; not even fb help is very clear on this.

    Can you shed some light on this? I hope I have clearly described the problem. Thanks

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  44. [...] still collecting my thoughts on the recently Facebook changes and its implications but this is a good post about what they are and how you can opt [...]

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  45. Keith in Canada Friday, April 23, 2010

    Remain.Simple you make a good point, but the issue is not just Facebook but the architecture of the Internet.

    You cannot trust the privacy of anything on an internet computer or on an LAN connected to an internet connected computer.

    The only way to have total internet privacy is to never use your real name, address, phone number, credit card, SSN, etc. on an internet connected computer.

    Even then, national security agencies can build up a profile of us using supercomputers to analyze what is posted on forums and blogs, through our phrasing, password and userid choice, and vocabulary.

    Facebook is less a threat to privacy than Google, and Facebook is far less a threat than the slow reaction to hackers and security threats by government law enforcement and privacy organizations.

    With Facebook, just remember that “Everyone” means everyone, i.e. public. And remember that nothing is completely safe from scriptkiddies, hackers and intelligence agencies.

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    1. Well said. Thank you.

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  46. Keith In Canada Friday, April 23, 2010

    Josh, just change your profile so no security setting is “Everyone”.

    Then go to your photo albums (and anywhere else) and do the same.

    (The only info you should have as everyone/public is just enough so your friends can figure out which Josh is the Josh they want to send friend requests to.)

    There are at least 2 places in FB to control security. The setting for the data itself, and the setting for the application trying to access that data.

    Remember, “Everyone” means everyone. In IT security we use the lingo “public” instead of “everyone”. The confusion is someone at FB used security lingo (“public”) to in Help for regular users, where as the pull down menu for setting security says “everyone”; thus confusing lots of people.

    I hope that helps. (I don’t work for FB, but I have 30 years experience figuring out poorly written computer documentation in a wide variety of environments.)

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    1. Hi Keith,

      Thanks for you input. I just don’t have the energy to type out the whole thing about how “Instant Personalization” effects applications like Yelp, docs.com and Pandora, which can pull your public information through your friends activity with those 3 applications unless the 3 aforementioned applications are manually blocked. I’m familiar with what you are talking about above but don’t see how it relates to my question. :)

      I was able to block Pandora – MANUALLY at Pandora’s fb application page. I can’t even find a docs.com fb application page. Yelp’s fb application page does not have a “block this application” text button like Pandora’s fb application page does.

      No offense, but I’m not sure how you took my issue into the answer you provided as from my POV we are talking apples/oranges. Thanks so much.

      Share
  47. Dude, your mom is hot!

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  48. The article discusses how to turn off Instant Personalization. This is a separate issue from apps having access to your data.

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    1. Actually Billy, with all due respect this is an “Instant Personalization” ( IP ) issue. As the fb opt out directions say for IP say that these apps ( Pandora, Yelp and docs.com ) will still pull your public information through your friends activity with IP unless you MANUALLY block them, them being Yelp, Pandora and docs.com.

      So even if you turn off IP, you are still open to IP pulling your public information, through friends, when in turning off IP you thought you were not having your data pulled by Yelp, Pandora and docs.com. You have to read the opt out stuff very clearly and in two places to pick this up. I don’t have the energy to go and find it and post it. Just communicating and trying to be understood in describing fb privacy issues is sooooooooooooooo f&^cing draining.

      Share
    2. So, all I’m asking is

      1: Why there is no fb docs.com appliation page so I can block
      2: Why Yelp’s fb application page does not have a “block application tab”?
      3: Why Pandora’s fb appliation page does?

      I just want to block docs.com and Yelp from pulling my info through IP from friends activity.

      Make sense?

      Thanks

      Share
      1. Josh, et. al

        In order to block the applications, goto: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=1068#

        Scroll down to “How do I opt-out of instant personalization?” and expand the paragraph; right-click/open in new window each of the 3 apps listed and block them (Facebook is down at time of this posting, so you’ll have to wait a bit).

        Facebook not only made this recent Instant Personalization change very confusing, they also obscured and made more difficult finding exactly WHERE to block these apps by burying the how-to in the FAQ – it SHOULD’VE been linked directly from the “Instant Personalization” settings area.

        Hope it helps.

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    3. Social plugins and instant personalization
      How do I opt-out of instant personalization?
      You can opt-out of instant personalization by disallowing it here. By clicking “No Thanks” on the Facebook notification on partner sites, partners will delete your data. To prevent your friends from sharing any of your information with an instant personalization partner, block the application: Microsoft Docs.com, Pandora, Yelp.

      Thanks Billy, above is from the fb help page- but again this doesn’t tell me HOW to block docs.com and Yelp as there is no button on their fb application pages. I can’t even find an application page within fb for docs.com. I seem to not be able to communicate this point effectively, lol. So, I’ll ask again….

      How does one MANUALLY block the docs.com and Yelp applications?

      Share
  49. How about using multiple browsers? Use one browser, say Safari, for facebook – and only facebook, and Chrome, firefox, or flock for everything else. Will this keep the facebook partners from knowing that you are signed on to facebook? Or does this work cross-symultaneous-browsers-ly? Where do the hooks lay, in the cookies or completely in the server-side of transmissions?

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    1. Browser ‘A’ doesn’t know you are using browser ‘B’. Thus, for example, if you had two Gmail accounts, you could log into one account with one browser and into another account with another browser.

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  50. Diesel McFadden Friday, April 23, 2010

    Per Facebook’s FAQs, you can’t turn off programmatic access to “publically accessible information” with ANY privacy settings. Even if it isn’t visible to friends on Facebook (ie. nothing set to “Everyone”), it will ALWAYS be visible to programs from Facebook ID via the API:

    “Publicly available information includes your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, friend list, and Pages. This information makes it easier for friends, family, and other people you know to connect with you.

    Publicly available information is visible to people visiting your profile page, and Facebook-enhanced applications (like applications you use or websites you connect to using Facebook) may access this information. It does not allow people without Facebook accounts to contact you.”

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    1. Diesel wrote:

      “Publicly available information includes your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, friend list, and Pages. This information makes it easier for friends, family, and other people you know to connect with you.”

      BINGO! That’s exactly where the bite is – in Pages. You may not care the fact that you like “Bacon” is known to the world…but there might be other Pages you’ve liked that you don’t want broadcasted to “Everyone” (political, controversial, etc.)

      Share
  51. [...] Your Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them (tags: facebook) [...]

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  52. [...] 他在GigaOM的一个帖子解释如何屏蔽用户的“即时个性化(instant personalization)“的一些变化,这个功能是Facebook在周三才部署的开放图表计划(Open Graph announcements)的一部分。 [...]

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  53. [...] Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Jacob & Kiki Hantla via gigaom.com [...]

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  54. [...] Your Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them – GiogaOM“Instant personalisation” is “opt-in by default, which means it is turned on automatically, and you have to specifically turn it off if you don’t want these services to read your profile and customize their services for you.” [...]

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  55. [...] Your Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them – gigaom.com Facebook launched some fairly impressive new features and services at its recent f8 conference, but some of them were also more than just a little scary. Since a lot of what the company talked about was introduced in either “developer speak” — involving terms like API and JSON — or involved social-networking jargon such as “social graph” and “activity map,” we thought it would be handy to break it down for those who aren’t as well versed in such things (maybe your mom, maybe your brother-in-..   show all text JayHMT: <i>[protected tweet]</i> susanbeebe: .@mathewinice article you wrote re Facebook privacy – Thanks! http://goo.gl/rhpE . h/t to @mattcuttsfor his tweet.  Tweet This | Buzz This [...]

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  56. [...] Your Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them – GiogaOM“Instant personalisation” is “opt-in by default, which means it is turned on automatically, and you have to specifically turn it off if you don’t want these services to read your profile and customize their services for you.” [...]

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  57. I actually ahd no idea thay you are able to turn off the instant personalize option…thanks for posting this- very useful!

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    1. You’re welcome. Thanks for the comment.

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  58. That’s quite scary! I think facebook has gone to far and soon they will be another social network to take the reigns and facebook will end up like myspace.

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  59. Hi! Thank you very much for the tips. Sometimes I do find these new features to be very troublesome. I mean, I am sure they added the features for everyone’s benefit but then I feel insecure about my information being viewed by people I don’t know. I’ll definitely practice this guide! Thanks again!

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  60. It’s ingenious, it just scares the living crap out of me.

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  61. Thanks so much for the info! Sometimes it’s a bit much tryin’ to explain how to protect the ‘rents rights and privacy! This outlines it and is very helpful!

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    1. You’re welcome. Thanks for the comment.

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  62. Kris – that totally did the trick!

    As of yesterday clicking on the hyperlinks in the fb help section in Inst. Pers. would bring me to the actual web sites of Yelp, Pandora and Docs, which is why I was having such a hard time figuring out how to block these apps. I guess the app pages just hadn’t populated in fb yet.

    I thought I was going crazy in not being able to have anyone understand what I was talking about. All is well and fb’s strategic partners are now blocked as much as can be.

    Cheers!

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  63. [...] Your Mom's Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them [...]

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  64. Big Brother didn’t have it this easy.

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  65. What bothered me is that once again facebook changed something without telling me. If this was as simple and naive as it looks, there should have been an “enable” button instead. What concerns me is that it looks that it is quite important for facebook to manage and leak information out, even for just a short period (until I click disable).

    It started off as a networking site with a couple of pictures and some fun comments on people’s walls. The most worrying part of facebook used to be not to break your finger from poking.

    If we actually had an opinion regarding our privacy, it should have been enable.

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  66. Interestingly, when I just logged in to FB to opt-out of Instant Personalization, it was already disabled. It also now has it’s own settings page. So – either they’ve now made this opt-in, or the fact that I have a whole bunch of privacy settings set to “Only Me” made “Instant Pervertion” off by default.

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  67. Can’t say I like Facebook. It’s generating a he** of unnecessary traffic over the Internet, updating egos for egos. It’s using the hyenna traits in us to make us feel ‘connected’ and ‘updated’. BS, what I’m wondering about is if they really delete your ‘personal files and stuff’ when clicking at that ‘I want to get off’ button. 14 days it says, and then you’re gone :)
    Really?
    Sure…

    I guess it’s the same as Hotmail and Gmail, they save your files even if you delete your account. And it’s rather hard to hide your identity, even if you want, no matter where you are, as long as you have familly and friends writing. So if you want to be secure? Don’t know, pay sites, if there now is any not saving your mails :)

    Ah well, welcome to the information society, whether you want it or not.

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  68. Can’t say I like Facebook. It’s generating a he** of unnecessary traffic over the Internet, updating egos for egos. It’s using the hyenna traits in us to make us feel ‘connected’ and ‘updated’. BS, what I’m wondering about is if they really delete your ‘personal files and stuff’ when clicking at that ‘I want to get off’ button. 14 days it says, and then you’re gone :)
    Really?
    Sure…

    I guess it’s the same as Hotmail and Gmail, they save your files even if you delete your account. And it’s rather hard to hide your identity, even if you want, no matter where you are, as long as you have family and friends writing. So if you want to be secure? Don’t know, pay sites, if there now is any not saving your mails :)

    Ah well, welcome to the information society, whether you want it or not.

    Share
  69. It’s ingenious, it just scares the living crap out of me. [2]

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  70. I turned all this off and logged out of FaceBook and CNN still knew my name and facebook profile. This is BS. I recommend using a browser just for facebook.

    There’s a group good group to keep up to date on all latest privacy news at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=27233634858

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  71. Thanks to facebook Orwell: 1984 is coming?

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  72. [...] GigaOM: “Your Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them” [...]

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  73. When I go to block these apps it says
    “You have blocked the following applications. This means they cannot access any information about you or contact you. This option is available from the Requests page. If you want to remove the block for any of these applications, click remove.”
    Where’s the ‘Request’ page? Sorry I’m an old timer trying to find my way around fb.

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  74. If you access CNN, say, after you had been on Facebook and had not used the Logout in the Account Tab first, and before you disallowed the personalization option, CNN has permanently associated your profile picture, name, friends list, etc.. with the cookies it left on your computer. So even though you have disallowed the personalization, CNN can still recognize you. So make sure to delete all the CNN cookies first. You can test this yourself by accessing a newspage on CNN. If your photo and name show up in the Comment section after you have disallowed personalization, then delete the CNN cookies in your browser, and try again. They will put new cookies in, but they won’t be tied to your FB name and profile pic and friends.

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  75. [...] in turn points to a GigaOM post that explains how to block some of the “instant personalization” changes that Facebook is [...]

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  76. [...] restino, almeno, gli strumenti per decidere: la corda è già molto tesa ed eventi come la cancellazione dell’account Facebook da parte di nomi come Matt Cutts dovrebbero essere un segnale più che [...]

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  77. Just checked my settings and I guess I didn’t realize there were that many settings that needed to be set. Wow, I liked the article and appreciate the tip. I changed my setting to allow only the amount of information I want released to be released.

    Nice job. thanks.

    @Rick, your arrogance is showing…oops.

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  78. “The important thing to note about this feature is that it is opt-in by default, which means it is turned on automatically, and you have to specifically turn it off if you don’t want these services to read your profile and customize their services for you.”

    That would be opt-out, because you are in by default with the OPTion to get OUT.

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  79. I wonder, has anyone written some app to check the facebook privacy settings automatically (even if this is not FB specific?) Or, maybe the same app could “set” settings? Just curious.

    John

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  80. [...] actie onderneemt is de nieuwe instant personification uit te schakelen. Op sites als deze, deze, deze en deze staan manieren om dat te doen. De strekking van hun advies is: je moet wel erg veel van [...]

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  81. [...] armament build-up a couple of days ago, thanks to @gorditamedia‘s re-tweet of Giga-Om’s post, “Your Mom’s Guide to Those Facebook Changes, and How to Block Them”. Whew, that was [...]

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  82. [...] -Account hat schließen lassen, verweist in einem diesbezüglichen Tweet jedoch auf einen Artikel, der einen Zusammenhang mit Facebooks kürzlichen Änderungen nahelegt. Nachdem eine ganze [...]

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  83. [...] opted-in to and what information they are sharing — or how to turn it off (we recently posted a simple guide to doing this). Finding out what information is being shared through Facebook’s new open graph protocol and [...]

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  84. [...] into and what information they’re sharing — or how to turn it off (we recently posted a simple guide to doing this). Finding out what information is being shared through Facebook’s new open graph protocol and [...]

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  85. [...] now this interaction is available with content across the Web, such as liking or commenting on articles — something that news organizations like CNN and [...]

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  86. friends and groups are still viewable to anyone, no matter your settings.

    I changed all of my privacy/app/whatever settings to the most restrictive possible, and then searched my name from another dummy account.

    From the dummy account, I could see on my wall everyone I friended (in historical order) and what groups I joined.

    clickity click.. account deactivated!

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  87. Diana Dupuis Friday, April 30, 2010

    I am a “your Mom” referred to in the title. I am also a programmer, a professional web geek, and the one who taught my son programming in the first place. I do not need a young man to show me how to use Facebook and the idea that simply saying “your Mom” conveys to all readers “a person who is techno illiterate” is sexist, ageist, and offensive. Also, in many cases, it is just plain wrong.

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  88. [...] Who Are The Top 10 SEOs in the World? By Monique Pouget – In SEO, you’re only as smart as the company you keep, and we think it’s super important to stay up-to-date on news, tricks, and tips that affect our industry. SEO Book did us all a favor, and put together a pretty comprehensive list of the top 10 SEOs in the world. Although the list is missing a few of my personal faves (cough cough, Rand Fishkin, Michael Gray cough cough), and the female SEO population is vastly underestimated (helllllo, Lisa Barone or Rhea Drysdale anyone??!), but the collection is a great starting point for those new to the SEOuterspace. At Thunder, we’re big fans of Matt Cuts, Stephan Spencer, and Danny Sullivan. Post comments point out that many of these SEOs know the industry, but aren’t too involved in implementation, so proceed with caution. Nonetheless, still a great snapshot of industry gurus, and I’m excited to check out a few new SEOs I haven’t followed before. [...]

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  89. Great article.

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  90. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Very helpful article. I would push thumbs up, but I’m afraid of liking any articles now!

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  91. I am having trouble figuring out how to block applications. When I go to that page it says I haven’t blocked anything, but I can’t figure out where to type in that I want to block something.

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  92. starting to get p***-off Monday, May 3, 2010

    What about the new profile changes. Yesterday I got a screen that said FB was turning all of my profile info- home town, interests, jobs, education, movies, etc.- into links to “pages,” which could be anything from a user-created page to a silly wikipedia, for example. So besides turning your profile into a bunch of generic links- forget trying to be witty or clever–that info is now PUBLIC and available to anyone on FB or the web or to advertisers. If you don’t want that info public, you can select not to link it to pages, but then it DISAPPEARS from your profile. So you either have to let everyone in the world see it, or you don’t get to have it at all. Only want your friends to see where you live? Where you went to school? What you like to do in you spare time? Sorry! Not anymore.

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    1. I hear you!
      I hate the fact that my profile layout changes every 3 months. I need to adapt to a new profile. I understand facebook think they are helping us but the good old quote says – “don’t fix something that’s not broken” – and I think that applies here.

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  93. [...] Facebook has come under increasing fire for privacy-related issues surrounding the new features it launched at the recent F8 conference. Four senators sent a letter to the social network criticizing the company for opting-in users to the new features. One of the senators, Charles Schumer, has also sent a letter of complaint to the Federal Trade Commission about the changes (we put together a simple guide to the new features and how to disable them here). [...]

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  94. [...] You can read a great tutorial on how to adjust your Facebook privacy settings over on GigaOm in the post “Your Mom’s Guide To Those Facebook Changes, And How To Block Them“. [...]

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  95. [...] Facebook changes and what to do. [...]

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  96. [...] Information regarding this article and other helpful ways to control your account click on this link:http://gigaom.com/2010/04/22/your-moms-guide-to-those-facebook-changes-and-how-to-block-them/ [...]

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  97. [...] how to control what information is displayed, and how to disable applications (we put together a comprehensive guide to the new changes and how to disable them if you want [...]

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  98. [...] Facebook is taking a lot of heat for its newest batch of “improvements” as it seeks to solidify its supremacy over the social Web, and provide users with “instant [...]

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  99. [...] for another maelstrom over user data retention.) Facebook’s privacy controls continue to be way too complicated — the whole product itself needs significant improvements. And lastly, it is suffering [...]

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  100. you all fight with 3rd party website’s, meantime Big Daddy is pulling out personal information about all of you after settings get a reset after the new updates. Always look at the big picture.

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  101. “opt-in by default”

    What kind of doublespeak is this? If it’s by default, it’s opt-out, not opt-in.

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  102. [...] to peer recommendations and drives home the importance of being involved. Om Malik of the tech site GigaOM summed it up to the [...]

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  103. [...] Privacy As a Competitive Advantage in Mobile By Chetan Sharma May. 31, 2010, 9:00am PDT No Comments        0 Over the past few months, the debate over privacy and its role in the continued evolution of information technology has been reinvigorated. To some extent, the controversy isn’t new, nor is it surprising. Whenever there’s disruption in the market and the boundary conditions are tested, there’s going to be consternation. [...]

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  104. I have an code problem so i want to block my this id but i do so many things to block it.they doesn’t works.

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  105. [...] concerned about privacy and security of their information, as well as advertising and the recent unpredictable changes to the navigation and features on the site. As a whole, the social-media sector — which was ranked for the first time this year [...]

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  106. [...] graph plugins to millions of websites, and fought multiple governments and privacy advocates over changes to its user settings. Zuckerberg, meanwhile, has gone from being the archetype of the twenty-something web entrepreneur [...]

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  107. Thanks,
    Having spent a morning trying to untick a LIKE box,(for something I hated!) I appreciate any help. I hate the traps FB sets for the unwary, today’s was to tick a like box (after having a friend recommend something to view) before u view…I caught on after that and didn’t SHARE it too!
    I want to know how it is that I am ALWAYS refusing to “share” and won’t give FB my Hotmail contact list, or password, yet it keeps “kindly” offering me friends to connect with… FROM MY CONTACT LIST.

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  108. ok so im just 15 and my mom keeps telling me ill have my facebook erased if i keep this up. she thinks im liking “inappropriate” pages (sometimes its not actually me, i heard that some accounts are being hacked) and putting up inappropriate pictures (i edit pictures with picnik, and one of them i editied of a friend. she loves vampires, so i made the picture black white and her lips red along with her name on the side in red). and some of my posts are “inappropriate” according to my mom. but they’re not. AT ALL! and its pissing me off because what i post is NOWHERE near what 80% of the people on facebook (or at least my friends list) post on their walls! i need to block my mom or something. but i cant let her figure out that i blocked her or i could get my facebook “taken away” or just get a warning. any help? ):

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  109. [...] about programming, this seat-of-the-pants approach could help explain some of Facebook’s backtracking on privacy features and other elements of the [...]

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  110. [...] faced from users, consumer advocacy groups and government entities over the privacy implications of every change in settings, a move to full asynchronous following — no matter how tightly controlled or monitored [...]

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  111. “* Don’t click the “like” button at any of the sites you visit: This will prevent you from sharing that information with your Facebook friends, or having it show up on your wall, and sites won’t be able to send updates to your news feed.”

    Well that’s one thing BING will not like to hear. They plan to introduce a search engine for Facebook that will highly depend on “Like it”- clicks and less on backlinks as Google does. Time will tell :)

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  112. This is not up to date. At The NY Post, certain stories have your photo and all info, despite the fact you are NOT logged into FB at the time and DID disable instant personalization. This is outrageous.

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  113. [...] do a little housecleaning with your online privacy. Check out the Facebook privacy settings, and make sure you understand them. Clean up your LinkedIn profile, and other places where you appear online. You should be in charge [...]

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  114. i cant use my moms rules on my special facebook. sorry!

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  115. Re-typing this cause I’m not sure if it passed through before:

    I hear you!
    I hate the fact that my profile layout changes every 3 months. I need to adapt to a new profile. I understand facebook think they are helping us but the good old quote says – “don’t fix something that’s not broken” – and I think that applies here.

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  116. @alexismadrigal: your proposal made me think of this photo I used for a GigaOM post once about Facebook :-) http://t.co/0gvsbP5W

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