Facebook policy upsets millions

NEW DELHI (InfoTech): Millions of Netizens suddenly face the prospect of having key personal information and posts made accessible to everyone, un

less they consciously monitor their privacy settings.

Facebook, the world’s largest onlinesocial networking site, recently announced that in order to encourage members to share more information on the internet, it has upgraded its privacy settings, making several categories of information of its users visible by default to everyone.

Why this assumes significance is because Facebook allows its users to chose their level of privacy, by letting them restrict access to either friends, friends of friends or everyone. It’s a feature that has helped the site gain many users and is in line with its mantra of “control what you want to share.” But with the recent change — unless users actively manage their privacy settings themselves — their information like Family and Relationship, Education and Work, and their posts will be made visible to everyone, regardless of what their previous privacy settings were.

This has made many of the sites 350 million users see red. “The way these changes have been implemented has created a sense that I’m being forced to share more than I want,” says Manish Sinha, an IT professional. Online observers believe the revised settings are a tactical move by Facebook to get search engines to index more information from the website, in order to counter growing competition from microblogging sites like Twitter.

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