back to article Facebook boss admits privacy 'errors' and promises revamp

Facebook boss Mark 'I'm CEO… bitch' Zuckerberg is seeking to soften user anger over privacy erosion with an admission that the social networking site has made some mistakes. Using an op-ed piece in Monday's Washington Post as a soapbox, Zuckerberg has promised to simplify the site's increasingly complex privacy controls and …


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  1. ShellyH

    I'm off...

    Hmmm, I had it up to here (quite high!) with Facebook's regular dubious policy changes. I moved to a couple of weeks ago (was featured in the Huffington Post last week). All cool.

  2. The Metal Cod

    The Proof Of The Pudding

    Is in the eating. This smacks of damage control and nothing more. Zuckerberg's brand is damaged after his latest batch of bad press and he's desperate to stop the slide.

    Once a privacy offender always a privacy offender in my book. Unless proven wrong. Which I rarely am.

    Come on Zuck, prove me wrong.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: The Proof Of The Pudding

      You may or may not be correct, but I am duty bound to refer you to Bee's Razor: No one cares what's in your book.

  3. Patrick O'Reilly

    Err.. Opt-In

    Mr.Suck-a-berg when you say "We will also give you an easy way to turn off all third-party services." shouldn't you mean 'opt-in'. Otherwise we'll be back where we started.

    Queue icon of MZ riffling through a ladies handbag.

  4. Neill Mitchell

    Is it me?

    Or did he say all this crap last time Facebook messed with privacy settings?

    Why don't these people learn?

  5. Ian K

    'I'm CEO… bitch'..."dumb fucks"...


    We know, we know, you've got a grudge. And it's getting old fast.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      On the contrary

      That little prick is so ingratiating that it bears repeating.


      Until people finally get the idea that Big Z doesn't have the slightest respect for them. At which point they might just leave Mr CEO and go for better places (if they exist).

  6. Mark Eaton-Park

    I blame advertising

    You mean you are all putting your real identities into Farcebook? DOH!

    What is the general rule about information on the internet? If they want your info it is because they hope to sell it, so have you had your cut yet?

    Any WWW database of people is a choice plum for advertisers and will, IMHO, always be plundered whilst money is to be made

    Give the web your ID and you might as well give them your life too

  7. Jelliphiish

    it's not you

    this is part of their recycling policy.. by using the same bollocks twice, it's doubled the efficiency of the first use. while it's the law of diminishing returns.. i guess it'll be good for another few uses.. after all.. i still get reallllly old mails from people who have their own personal info wavefront set to 1995.. like the one with the air vents on the back of the house in wales.. OMG they look like a middle finger lolz (etc)

  8. Tzael

    Side-stepping the problem

    Facebook's attempt at damage control is focused on "simpler privacy controls". They sound as if they're completely side-stepping the issue of shared data; trying to draw our attention away from the actual privacy policy Facebook adopted.

    Simpler privacy controls sound great in principle, but if those simplified privacy controls still don't let us prevent some personal details from being hidden then what good are they? Are we going to be able to hide our date of birth after the new privacy controls are introduced? Will we be safe to fill out our interests, without those interests automatically being converted into 'connections' (regardless of whether or not those connections are shared)?

    Facebook is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. I would be VERY surprised if we have complete control over our data and how it is shared after Facebook introduce their new privacy controls. The changes to the privacy controls will buy Facebook time to prepare for the next assault on their lack of respect for privacy.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    'Five core principles'

    Facebook has already failed on the first four; all they've got to do for the full nap hand is start charging.

    As for his 'improvements' :- No, no, no, no, no. Opted out by DEFAULT, or nothing. End of.

  10. Chris Hatfield

    The masses, outside the geek-o-sphere aren't that bothered about privacy

    Analogy: it's like smoking. You know there are detrimental effects but these won't kick in for years & years & years (probably).

    About Quit-Facebook-day - I wonder if there will even be a nett loss of users. I'm guessing it won't even make a dent!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, it's a lot like smoking...

      ... and the masses aren't that bothered...

      ... until the day comes when they can't get health treatment, because they've been recorded somewhere on a database as a smoker...

      ... whether they smoked or not.

  11. Gavin McMenemy

    Should we be surprised...

    ... at how badly this has played out when you consider that the CEO has his own entry in this fine reference site?

  12. Deb Swinney

    Nice bark. Nasty bite.

    Sadly, just today Facebook forced me to switch all my music, tv and movies from my profile to Pages, which are publicly visible. Only alternative was to remove them all from my profile (which I did). So it seems that the words are just words, the contempt for privacy remains.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      all interests become public pages or die

      Yep same here (removed them from my profile too) - ironic to be reading this article when more privacy-destroying changes are happening on the same day!

  13. Anonymous Coward

    was anyone else staggered to read

    the first 4 of their 5 "core principles"

    They're about as rich as an oil company coming out with:

    1. burning oil does not cause any kind of pollution

    2. we have never and will never make money selling oil

    3. you have complete control over oil prices

    4. we never accidentally spill oil into the sea

    I'm genuinely speechless. I think I'm going to go outside and drive my car into a brick wall. Bye.

  14. James R Curry


    I logged into Facebook this morning and was forced to change my employment and location information into page links, with no option to keep this information private.

    Is this an example of the simplified privacy? Removing more options and forcing users to publish by default?

    I left the location information. I deleted my employer from my profile.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Real Information

    You mean people put their real information in Facebook? Wow, what a concept. Almost all of the information in my profile is completely incorrect. You know, if a reasonable percentage of people did that, it would make sales of the information completely worthless. ;-)

    Bill, err, Dave, err, Tim, err, John, err, Simon, err, ...

  16. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    Doing a Ratner

    ***"Zuckerberg describing early adopters at Harvard "dumb fucks" for trusting him with their data have hardly helped Facebook's cause."***

    Lets hop Zuckerberg and the whole (un)social networking bullshittery goes the same way as Gerald.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dont eat kittens (why is a title compulsory?)

    After having pretty much all my interests, job, etc, turned into 'pages' my response was to simply delete all of that information from my profile, and updated my date of birth to something ridiculous. I think the only accurate thing in my profile now is gender and name.

    1. Captain Underpants

      I've done much the same

      And found that you can change your gender to "select sex" too.

      F'em in the A, if that's how they want to play it.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward

    I was slated here recently

    for dissing facebook, and (more crucially) the sorts of people who feel the need to go on it, by stating that satan will win a downhill skiiing competition before I go on.

    Well, guess what ? I'm *still* not on it. And I still have to be convinced I am missing out on something.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I was slated here recently

      A show of hands for who cares if this guy is on Facebook or not.

      1. Nanki Poo

        Well, I for one . . .

        have just had my very first good reason to toddle off and join Facebook... the fact that the (no doubt) highly interesting and riveting AC above will be one 'character' I wont be meeting there. I'm sure I shall be culturally poorer for it...

        they should try it, it could be a good place to shout off in order to cover their own insecurities. ;)

        Peas and Love


        </hand down>

      2. Tom Maddox Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Just to be certain

        My upvote means I approve of Sarah's post, not the previous commentard.

    2. Doug Glass

      Ain't IT Nice ...

      ... seeing the crap splatter? Or is it egg? Whatever.

  19. Michael 82

    next task..

    audit and remove anything from facebook that I dont 'need' on there..

  20. Anonymous Coward

    "We just missed the mark."

    This is starting to be Facebook's standard response to their ever-increasing bungles.

    Dear dumb fucks, er, I mean valued Facebook user,

    We just missed the mark on our latest (_____feature name_____). We have heard your feedback and are now working on fixing the (_____privacy issue_____). Rest assured that you can continue to use Facebook without worrying about your chats becoming public, er, I mean, having someone delete your friends without your permission, er I mean,.....



  21. Doug Glass

    MZ ...

    ... is just another lieing corporate tool. His major failing in the world he has chosen to put himself into is he simply doesn't know how to play the corporate shell game.

  22. Levente Szileszky

    Errr Sugarhill Gang...

    ... this latest round of promises are still coming from the same butt-ugly, sex-craved late-teen "I'm CEO bitch"... do you believe him?

    Seriously: do you?

    I don't and though I only allow my friends to take a peek at my info (no sharing allowed whatsoever) I will now delete pretty much EVERYTHING except my birth date and my name (public records anyway), end of story.

    Meanwhile I bet he's busy ramping up his efforts to dampen the hit from the upcoming "The Social Network" movie:

    Good luck for that, dear Cukorhegyi errr... I mean Mr Sugarhill, of course.

  23. jim 45
    Thumb Down

    sorry but...

    ... referring to your users as "dumb f#cks" is not something you can simply undo by planing a puff piece in a newspaper.

  24. Leeroy

    Facebook privacy confusing ?

    Straight from Facebook "Privacy settingsApplications and websites"

    "If your friend uses an application or website that you do not use, you can control certain types of information the application can access. Please note that applications will be able to access your name, Profile picture and gender, as well as any information that is visible to everyone. They will also be able to access your Connections, except the connections noted with an asterisk below. In those cases, although the information is considered a connection, you can control whether an application can access it.

    * Status updates

    * Online presence

    * Website" etc etc

    Its nice that the asterisk's are not shown on the facebook page but you are provided a tick box with no simple explanation to acheive your desired result. A copy and paste as above inserts the tick boxes as asterisk's.

    Im glad i am breaking their T&C by using a fake name email etc

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Life without FaceBook...

    Still goes on...

    Is still enjoyable...

    Has zero effect on my number of friends...

    But then I'm very wary about 'fads' and 'just doing what other's do'....

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