Facebook CEO Bares All, Embraces New Privacy Settings

by Pam Dyer

Facebook CEO Bares All, Embraces New Privacy Settings

While privacy gurus, security firms, and users try to decipher the implications of Facebook’s new privacy settings, at least one person is embracing them: Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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Zuckerberg, who is usually extremely private, has opened up his profile so that anyone can see his wall, events, and photos. And what’s in the CEO’s profile? His photo album is pretty benign; Valleywag has posted their favorite images. It appears that he’s a fan of the Killers, The West Wing, and Taylor Swift. And his wall shows he actively uses Facebook’s “like” and commenting features.

Nothing has the potential to irritate the legions of Facebook users quite like a mammoth site update. Facebook says the new privacy settings make it easier to control the information users share (even though it’s really about increasing traffic and visibility). The reaction to the privacy changes was mixed. Zuckerberg’s blog post got the thumbs up from over 48,000 users, and the comments section of the Facebook blog was loaded with praise for the new rules. But there was also a lot of complaining and a brewing backlash. Instead of being thankful for having more control, most users are just confused by the changes. Those who aren’t confused are angry — or an unfortunate combination of both confused and angry.

(Remember when Facebook rolled out a minor redesign of its status feed in October? Lots of Facebook users were pretty angry then, too.)

TrueSlant’s report suggests that Zuckerberg doesn’t understand the new settings, which is highly unlikely. It’s more plausible that he’s trying to show everyone else that there’s no harm in opening up. He would certainly look hypocritical if he kept his profile limited to his friends. So opening up his profile was a smart, premeditated move — he’s leading by example. But it’s not likely to sway Facebook users who are skeptical that openness is in their best interests.

Have you adjusted your privacy settings? Do you think Zuckerberg’s move will convince Facebook users to open up? Please leave a comment!

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  • http://www.pix2brix.com/ Alison Moore Smith@Win with 1

    Pam, very thorough post.

    I saw the furor you mentioned. Personally, the day I get so emotionally involved with any social networking site that a design change makes me ANGRY, is the day I check myself into a recovery unit!

    There’s enough really important stuff to be angry about. FaceBook ain’t it. :)
    .-= ´s last blog ..Decorate Your Walls =-.

    • Pam Dyer

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Allison!

      I agree with you, but it always seems like there’s a huge uproar about things like this. It’ll be interesting to see if Facebook revises the privacy policies yet again in order to placate irate users and privacy watchdogs.

  • http://www.pix2brix.com Alison Moore Smith@Win with 1

    Pam, very thorough post.

    I saw the furor you mentioned. Personally, the day I get so emotionally involved with any social networking site that a design change makes me ANGRY, is the day I check myself into a recovery unit!

    There’s enough really important stuff to be angry about. FaceBook ain’t it. :)
    .-= ´s last blog ..Decorate Your Walls =-.

    • Pam Dyer

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Allison!

      I agree with you, but it always seems like there’s a huge uproar about things like this. It’ll be interesting to see if Facebook revises the privacy policies yet again in order to placate irate users and privacy watchdogs.

  • http://ninoholic.com/ El Nino

    No i dont think the others will convinced with Mark movement. Exposed your privacy can be horrible, especially when its about your political / religion views that you wrote onto your wall.
    Some.. no, i mean there are many peoples never growth up to accept that differences.
    You’ll never know whats kind of flame you’ll received into your inbox :)
    .-= ´s last blog ..Joomla Community Builder Author Access Level Automatically For Newly Registered Members =-.

  • http://ninoholic.com El Nino

    No i dont think the others will convinced with Mark movement. Exposed your privacy can be horrible, especially when its about your political / religion views that you wrote onto your wall.
    Some.. no, i mean there are many peoples never growth up to accept that differences.
    You’ll never know whats kind of flame you’ll received into your inbox :)
    .-= ´s last blog ..Joomla Community Builder Author Access Level Automatically For Newly Registered Members =-.

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  • http://seekeroftruth.info/ Ben

    Anything that brings awareness about privacy to the masses is a good thing in my opinion. Sure there will always be some who get confused or angry but that can’t be helped.
    I mean if your creating a profile on the internet and expecting it to remain completely private then personally I think that’s a little naive.
    While some commentators are saying Facebook is suffering from “Twitter envy” with it’s real time status updates, my biggest question is what effect are we going to see on the search engine listings? How is Google going to assimilate all this new information?
    Will our searches now be filled with dribble about farmville and mafia wars, or what somebody had for breakfast?
    I hope not but I guess we will have to wait and see!
    Seekeroftruth
    .-= ´s last blog ..Google Sitelinks Come in How Many Flavors? =-.

  • http://seekeroftruth.info Ben

    Anything that brings awareness about privacy to the masses is a good thing in my opinion. Sure there will always be some who get confused or angry but that can’t be helped.
    I mean if your creating a profile on the internet and expecting it to remain completely private then personally I think that’s a little naive.
    While some commentators are saying Facebook is suffering from “Twitter envy” with it’s real time status updates, my biggest question is what effect are we going to see on the search engine listings? How is Google going to assimilate all this new information?
    Will our searches now be filled with dribble about farmville and mafia wars, or what somebody had for breakfast?
    I hope not but I guess we will have to wait and see!
    Seekeroftruth
    .-= ´s last blog ..Google Sitelinks Come in How Many Flavors? =-.

  • http://www.bowflex-review.com/NS_300_X.html Lindsay@NS 300 X

    I have joined facebook for more than two years. Beside twitter, this social networking is one of my favorites. I have never tried to find Zuckerberg profile on facebook until I read your article. I was surprised to find that he is really exposing his profile. I will think hundreds time before do the same thing.

  • http://www.bowflex-review.com/NS_300_X.html Lindsay@NS 300 X

    I have joined facebook for more than two years. Beside twitter, this social networking is one of my favorites. I have never tried to find Zuckerberg profile on facebook until I read your article. I was surprised to find that he is really exposing his profile. I will think hundreds time before do the same thing.

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