In the last few weeks, Facebook has released a privacy pop-up that is being referred to as the “Privacy Dinosaur”. This pop-up, alerts users that their status, image or album update is public, and gives the user the option to change the privacy setting of the update. This, coming from a company that prides themselves on openness and hopes of connecting the world, seems slightly off-beat.
The on-going rivalry between Twitter and Facebook is partially due to the access of information and content from users of Twitter as opposed to Facebook – which makes it even more bizarre that Facebook would push for more privacy. However, sharing information publicly has definitely caused issues in the past for both Facebook and Twitter, and has ruined many careers and reputations in the process. People tend to become brave behind a keyboard, not thinking about the consequences until after they share information that really shouldn’t have gone public in the first place. Let’s not forget about PR Executive, Justine Sacco, for her infamous ‘Aids’ tweet before she travelled to South Africa or the Buckingham Palace guard who was fired for calling Kate Middleton names over Facebook.
People tend to be moving towards private forms of social sharing such as Snap Chat and Whatsapp, which Facebook coincidentally bought for $19 Billion this year – and now Facebook is changing their tune, encouraging users to trust them in protecting their privacy. Of course, this privacy is slightly ambitious as the user has to indicate that they would like their information to be private, but at the very least a simple system is in place to remind users that not everything has to be public. It would be incredibly interesting to see the results of the “Privacy Dinosaur” and the ratio of users who do and don’t change their updates to private.
Why the Dinosaur?
Why not? Dinosaurs are high on the list of internet pop culture creatures, kudos to Facebook for recognising this and giving us a cute, polite dino to quickly remind us to watch our p’s and q’s. Facebook have yet to comment on this particular detail, but we are happy to accept it.
What are your thoughts on privacy settings, do you use them or are you happy to share everything with the public?