Facebook Founder Changes His Own Privacy Settings

FacebookRepost from Read Right Web – Good post on Facebook’s most recent Privacy Setting changes.

Following one of the biggest changes to the culture of Facebook in years, founder Mark Zuckerberg has changed his own Facebook privacy settings to reflect what’s now recommended for everyone else.

“For those wondering,” he wrote this afternoon, “I set most of my content on my personal Facebook page to be open so people could see it. I set some of my content to be more private, but I didn’t see a need to limit visibility of pics with my friends, family or my teddy bear :)” Hopefully he’ll remember that not everyone on Facebook feels the same way about privacy.

Zuckerberg has both a personal profile and a Facebook page on the site. Most of his photos are on his personal profile.

As of this week, Facebook users are no longer able to make their profile photos, home towns and friends lists viewable only by approved friends. Those are all public now. Posted Facebook content, like status messages and photos, are for the first time “recommended” as a new default setting to be public – for any users who hadn’t edited their privacy settings before. The company told us last night that only 15 to 20% of Facebook users had changed their settings before.

As a public figure it would be understandable if Zuckerberg didn’t want his friends and family photos exposed to 350 million Facebook users and the web at large – but as the founder of a world-changing company that just did an about-face on the privacy recommendations that have been at its core throughout this massive period of growth, it makes more sense for Zuckerberg’s photos to be as public as he recommends yours be.  Of course if you’re a person who wants to show your status messages and photos only to approved friends, you can opt-out of the new settings at any time. And if there are specific people you don’t want to see those things, you can easily block them as individuals.

But after years of saying that Facebook data is private between friends because that’s what makes people comfortable enough to share – this is a radical change. Zuckerberg used to post his photos privately, what made him change his comfort level? (And how do the people in those pictures with him feel?)

It’s a good thing you’ve got that teddy bear to squeeze, Mark. These changes are likely to get pretty rocky. Especially given that you’re probably not going to stop suggesting that people open up publicly after this campaign alone.

What are your thoughts on this Facebook change?  Is Facebook on target or off?