So here we have a prime example of why I am glad I quit Facebook. Yesterday (or the day before? time confuses me) Facebook introduced a new gizmo called “Places,” which lets you or your friends tag your location.
Let me repeat that. It lets you or your friends tag your location.
It’s one thing to be smart about your own privacy and not announce that you are at 1234 Maple Avenue with your three small children. It’s another to trust that your friends aren’t going to be stupid and announce “Grace and I are at Joe’s Bar and Pub at 53 North Up Street! WHOOOEEEE DRUNK LOLZER!!11!” And apparently info about who your friends tag is available to their third-party applications—so even if you haven’t given these apps your info, your friends could.
I mean yes, you can turn it off. But like all of Facebook’s features, it’s an opt-out. One of the ways Facebook has been successful with all its updates over the years is simply forcing them all on its users, so that even when people resist change they will have no choice, and generally everyone comes around. (Newsfeed, anyone?)
So. Another anti-privacy feature that you have to turn off, and one that gives your friends even more power over your profile.
I think that’s the main thing I dislike about Facebook. Here on my blog, and on Twitter, I am in control of what I do. I may be an idiot sometimes, but it’s all me. On Facebook, what other people do affects my profile and my image, and frankly I don’t trust that 200+ “friends” will always be thinking about how what they post on my FB wall will look to my coworkers. It started with the tagging of pictures, and now we’ve worked our way up to the tagging of places.