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article imageFacebook switches default settings again

By Ryan Hite     May 22, 2014 in Internet
Facebook made the default setting public for a period of five years. It has now reversed its policy to make it a private profile initially after criticisms about publicity of people who do not want to be public.
Facebook on Thursday reversed its 5-year decision to make the default sharing setting for new members public.
Those who join the social network will find their postings now automatically set to "friends" instead of public. First-time posters will see a reminder to choose the extent of their audience for their first post. If the individual doesn't pick one, it will go to "friends" automatically. Facebook made the change to protect users from oversharing. "We recognize that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share just with friends, compared with the reverse," the company wrote in a recent blog post.
The decision comes as Facebook over the past year has become more of a player in real-time conversations using hashtags and a trending topics list, among other things. Facebook hasn't released any figures about its ratio of public-to-private posts, but Consumer Reports' did research in 2012 and found 28% of Facebook users make all their posts public. The company is responding to feedback from users.
Facebook has been especially vulnerable to criticisms about privacy among users. Critics have complained that even if you deactivate your account, the information would still remain on the network and be subject to any web searches. By taking a proactive stance, Facebook should be able to minimize those incidents.
For critics, the latest move is likely to be seen as not a full measure since it applies only to brand new users, not the 1.2 billion people who use the network every month already. In coming weeks, Facebook has planned to roll out a Privacy Checkup tool to remind users about their privacy settings. Facebook initially made "public" the default for new users in 2009. "Friends" has always been the default for users aged 13 to 17.
You can learn how to change your facebook settings to private here for those who have an account already.
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