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Facebook tightens privacy settings

By Scott Tibbs, August 30, 2011

Facebook has made a change to tagging photos, wall posts and notes: Users can now pre-approve tags, so they don't show up without the consent of the person being tagged.

There are definitely advantages to this. First, I have seen people lose control of their account to spammers. Those spammers then post pornographic pictures and tag the hacked person's friends as a means of distributing their pornography. Usually, those pictures have absolutely nothing to do with the person being tagged. They are simply a way to distribute filth. I had to de-friend a couple people who lost control of their account because of inappropriate tags.

The only problem I see is the tagging feature in wall posts and notes contribute to some free-flowing discussion on Facebook that would be impeded by forcing the tags to be pre-approved. Hopefully Facebook will allow users the option of permitting tags without pre-approval. That way, each user can decide on a case-by-case basis whether they want to control all of the tags that link to their profiles.

What I found interesting is the lede for the story: "drunken revelers rejoice." Now, those embarrassing pictures taken at a party will not be connected to your account unless you approve them. I have a better idea though. Don't allow those pictures to be taken in the first place and don't put yourself in such an inebriated state that you could have photos taken of you without your consent or knowledge.

Here's the reality that people need to recognize. Not one single thing on Facebook is truly private. You should never post anything on your wall or in your photo albums that you would be horrified to see on the front page of the newspaper or on the 6:00 news. True, you can limit who sees your stuff to your friends, or even specific groups within your friends list. But once something is on a website, it is in the public domain. You have completely lost control of it.

Social networking has made our lives much more open to the public than they were even ten years ago. What is posted on social networking sites can affect your marriage, your family, your political ambitions and even your present or future employment. Think carefully about what you want to share and what would be better left offline.