back to article Facebook screams at users: 'Sort your privacy. NOW'

Facebook has ordered its 350 million users to sort out their privacy settings right now, before it throws the switch on its revamped security system. The social networker farmer in chief Mark Zuckerberg, told its users last week that, "We're adding something that many of you have asked for — the ability to control who sees …


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  1. Stu Kennedy
    Thumb Up


    About time tbh,

    Hopefully we will stop seeing old granny tits posted everywhere

  2. Stef 4

    I can't wait...

    ... for absolutely nothing to change.

    I for one welcome our privacy setting overlords who still own everything we post there.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    here is a security update for ya

    if you dont want people to see if dont put it online - DUH

  4. Stevie Silver badge


    There's only one privacy setting for images stored on a network of any kind. It's called "everyone, including those with a copy of photoshop".

    I suppose they could call the four settings "Anyone your so-called friend cares to show this to", "Like option one but with a faster post-production time", "Anyone other than yourself, cos' you know, the first time you'll get to see the new version is when someone shows you your head with a new body" and "Waste four hours figuring out who you want to see this, then show it to everyone whether you want to or not".

    Do people really think their browser is the only one that has the "save picture" feature?

  5. Anonymous Coward


    I'm reminded of another SN site that is rather popular in the Netherlands. Recently they began an admittedly quite clever campaign telling people to be careful with their information and not open everything up to everyone.

    The silly bit? I've got my account set to only allow friends (well, people I've connected with) to see my profile. A side effect is that I don't get to see profiles of people I haven't connected with - apparently because that's not fair. Riiight.

  6. Duncan Hothersall


    "given its role in eroding any restraint or modesty on the youth's part over the last few years"

    Wheel yourself back inside, granddad, sheesh. And it should be "on the part of youth".

    1. Jason Togneri

      @ Duncan Hothersall

      > > "given its role in eroding any restraint or modesty on the youth's part over the last few years"

      > And it should be "on the part of youth".

      Depends - considering some of the stories regarding social network sites and photos that have made the news in recent years, I'm wondering exactly which part is being shown with a lack of restraint.

  7. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    youth and modesty

    "Which will be a treat to see, given its role in eroding any restraint or modesty on the youth's part over the last few years." Right, and contributing to desertification in the Nejd.

    I did not run with the wildest crowd, but I have been around long enough to remember (if not take part in) trends such as

    a. streaking, ca. 1975. (For the youths among you this involved persons usually of college age running about naked out of doors.)

    b. Xeroxing of body parts usually covered by clothing, ca. 1980.

    But I do applaud El Reg's hiring policies, which exclude those who are or have been unrestrained and immodest. Guess it's just as well I never went into journalism.

  8. Stephen McLeod Blythe
    Thumb Down


    Perhaps a more pressing concern is users who want to delete their accounts but *still* can't. You can only 'de-activate' them, with all the info remaining with our friends at FB.

    I'd never touch anything with them again with a barge-pole. When I delete, I want it deleted - not just hidden.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How to delete

      You've always been able to delete your facebook account. You go here

      Your account will be deactivated for 2 weeks, and then if you DO NOT log in, it will be deleted. If you really want out, stay out, otherwise if you log back in, you cancel the delete request.

  9. Gannon (J.) Dick

    Stuck on Stupid

    The ability to keep your head down comes in handy. Facebook did the right thing, if the alternative was to promote the shameless. They still want you to envy the shameless, in a Darwin Awards sort of way. That is after all their business model. But these features will not affect that.

  10. Ian Ferguson

    Surely it's Facebook's responsibility, not mine

    If I have already set a privacy setting on Facebook, I expect it to stay set.

    Unfortunately they keep changing the rules, and it's difficult to know what to expect.

    I know email preferences are different to privacy; but I had unsubscribed from ALL Facebook emails by unticking every box in the settings, but about a week ago Facebook decided to re-tick some of those boxes without my permission, and I started receiving email from them again.

    Seeing as I'd given explicit opt-out instruction, I think that's a bit off.

    I've gone off Facebook, I'm only going to post private information on Twitter now. [irony alert]

  11. Anonymous Coward

    What warning???

    I can't be the only one who has heard nothing from Facebook about this matter... normally when I log in there's some sort of annoying banner across the screen asking me to do something, but at the minute there's nothing. Nor any emails from FB.

    WTF? because, well, WTF Facebook.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Interestingly the default options are the most lax, not your current settings. I wonder how many people will get caught out by that?

  13. Steve Foster

    Missing setting, surely?

    Where's the "friend of fry" option?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ian Ferguson

    Agree totally, I have my privacy settings set to private so i expect that not to change, any additional privacy they compromised is a bit of a pointless exercise surely?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Default is change to wide open

    Oh, so that will be the in-your-face option to change all the carefully-crafted privacy settings you already have in place (at most Friends-only" and often only subsets) to "Everyone" or "Friends-of-Friends" (=Everyone, given some people I know)? Nice.

    New! Secure your server with iptables! Here's how:

    # iptables -F

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Facebook's Idea of Privacy

    I have a facebook profile. I have a video on my profile which only my friends can access. Or at least that's what facebook would have me believe.

    Here's the video for anyone who is not my friend:

    (it's a ~20s clip of Orbital playing "Know Where To Run" live)

    Such a URL would be trivial for anyone with a packet-sniffer to detect - e.g. if you are accessing facebook via a public wireless access point....

  17. Eddie Edwards


    What warning is that then? Do I need to subscribe to the "I give a shit" group to receive this?

    Anything on Facebook is public. Get over it.

  18. jake Silver badge

    Privac\y is easy.

    If I was expecting privacy, I wouldn't have personal info plastered all over !GooMyFaceYouTwit ... In fact, I probably wouldn't have a !GooMyFaceYouTwit account in the first place. And guess what? I don't, and never will! Problem averted. Imagine that :-)

  19. Steve Roper

    What I'd like to see... the ability to create groups for your friends, which you can then assign privileges to (FB does allow you to group friends but doesn't allow you to set privileges by group), in much the same way as you administer user groups on an office network. This way, I'd assign four main groups: Immediate Family, Extended Family, Good Friends, and Acquaintances. Then I'd be able to post stuff that I only want my family members to see, as well as stuff I only want good friends to see, etc.

    Yes, I know that people have the Save Picture and Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V abilities, but I also have a trust network with certain people, in that I know that my mother and father, for example, would not show anyone else something I intended only for them. Knowing who I can trust not to reveal something IRL is a major part of how I would assign friend privileges on FB. As it stands, I'm careful in what I post on there because this functionality is not available.

    Finally, I have all my privacy settings maxed out and they're going to stay that way. Anyone searching for me can see my profile picture and name and that's it. And I have one simple rule in using FB: If I don't already know and like you IRL, I will not friend you on FB. For me it's a tool for communicating with friends and family. I have a blog for everyone else.

  20. David S 1

    Rubbish way of forcing any change

    So, they offered us two options for each broad category of information: change to "their recommendations", or stick with the current settings. In the absence of any real explanation of what "their recommendations" were, the sensible option, which is what I did, was to stick with what was currently set since I had taken some time to positively decide on them. Thus it was a rather pointless exercise for myself, and I imagine, many others.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Dont want private info leaking out...........

    Dont use SN sites.

    All for saddos anyway.

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