Facebook’s New Settings Make Stalking Easier?

It was just another daily Facebook-check when a message from Mark Zuckerberg appeared on the top of my newsfeed. Blah, blah, blah. Shut up, shut up, shut up. We know there are millions of users on Facebook – my mother is on it for God’s sake – no need to write us a message about it, Mark! (Yeah, we’re on first name basis.)

Bored, I closed the letter and contined on to my daily Facebook routine (you know you have one, too):
Check notifications
Check boyfriend’s page
Check cute guy in class’s page
Check for new photo albums of friends…

And then I typed in my ex-boyfriend’s name. We’re not friends on Facebook anymore (so dramatic), but I just have to check if he’s changed his picture!  Don’t judge – you know you do it.

And that’s when I saw it. All of it. I had access to his whole entire Facebook page! And when I clicked his new girlfriend’s name – just to see if her Facebook picture had changed or to see if we had any more friends in common than we had the day before – I had complete access to her profile, too! I was able to learn all about her, see all 111 of her photo albums (Note: I’ve limited myself to only view the ones since their relationship started. No need to see her receiving her high school diploma…) and glean the fact that she is a fan of Chelsea Handler. (Ugh. Why does this girl have to be cool?)

It was like I died and went to Facebook heaven. I just wanted to reach into my computer and lay a big, wet one on Mark Zuckerberg’s face.

How did this suddenly happen? And isn’t this the exact opposite of what “Privacy Settings” are supposed to do?

Well, it turns out Mark’s letter was explaining some changes, which most users don’t know about. Namely, that they actually need to do something to maintain the privacy settings they originally set up. And since they aren’t making those changes, I (and others like me who could basically graduate with a BA in Face-stalking) are now able to access all the juicy profiles we were once locked out of.

But don’t get so excited just yet. While this is great for hunting down that skank who stole your man, it also means that your profile is open for the perusing. Even more, these new changes now share your status updates and links with everyone on the Web. And your information is also being shared with other sites, such as DIGG.

That means that you gotta hop on over to FB right now and change those privacy settings. And while you’re at it, you should probably be a little more aware of what you say on the ol’ FB because you never know who’s reading it now. An emotional quote about your latest break up may make you feel better, but it’s going to annoy your friends not going to impress your future boss.

You may like these new settings (I know I do…). You may hate them. Regardless how you feel, Mark did try and warn us. Too bad most of us weren’t willing to give up valuable stalking time to hear him out.

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