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So Facebook has heard (yet again) the call from users to keep their information "private." I say that in quotes, because their whole business is built on selling people's info one way or another. So instead of the current 170 (!) options you have to wade through now, you'll have "simplified" privacy options. Probably like this:

Can we tell anyone we want your private stuff?

  • Sure
  • OK
  • Uh huh

I had to laugh the other day at a news story. Apparently, the IRS is now on Facebook looking for tax deadbeats. Reporters were asking people on the street what they thought about that, and one of them said something like, "the government shouldn't be looking at my private stuff."  Private? You posted it on the world wide web. If you don't want the world to see something, maybe not putting it online for everyone on earth to see would be a good start!

Employers are looking at Facebook these days too, not only for current employees, but also for potential ones. So go ahead, post some wild party pics. Five years from now, when you've forgotten all about the party, it will be shockingly fresh to a potential employer. Or say something nasty about your current employer. It's a funny way to resign, and you'll have a new status to post on your wall!

Look, I know Facebook and sites like it are great for some folks. I'm just not keen on the idea for me. But if you are going to use such a site, maybe you should stop and think about what you're posting, because once it gets on the web, it's there forever. Even if you take it down, someone has probably saved it off somewhere and reposted it (especially if it was embarrassing!). 

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  • There’s no law against lying on Facebook. If you want to mention that you made twenty Billion dollars last year selling reconditioned Pet Rocks on ebay, go ahead. I have many Facebook friends who are totally fictional. The data FB is trying to mine is useless.

  • Chita

    There may be no law against lying on Facebook, but it’s usually the truth that gets people on trouble. Many legal cases are using Facebook info to show the true character of a defendant. For example, “that a young adult did not learn his lesson after a DUI that killed someone because he posted pictures of himself at a party weeks later, with a drink in his hand” so that he would possibly get the maximum sentence allowable.

    While that certainly may not be the extreme for the majority; enter at your own risk. Google “Facebook profile used to serve legal docs in Australian case”

  • Jack Beckman

    As Chita notes, may people tell the truth – in fact most people that get into trouble with social sites post too much information about themselves. If you’re not on the social networking site to post stuff about yourself, then why are you posting at all?