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Facebook Changes Provoke Uproar Among Users

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago

426

coastal984 writes, "Facebook, the college (and now, high school and professional) networking site, launched changes to their web site this morning, provoking a massive and immediate response, and not the one the company had hoped for. Hundreds of protest 'Groups' formed, the largest of which have over 10,000 members, and sites like this student portal sprang up to pour scorn on the recent changes. The biggest gripe is the new "News Feed" on every page that tracks recent changes, activities, and comments made by everyone the user is connected to, such as a change in a user's relationship status." These details were all public previously, but it was only through intentional browsing that they would be discovered. In the words of one user, "Stalking is supposed to be hard."

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426 comments

Yeah, stalking IS supposed to be hard (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049472)

They're taking all of the sport out of it.

Re:Yeah, stalking IS supposed to be hard (3, Funny)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049482)

Back in the old days, you had to get someone's surname, phone number, a directory and a mp book before you could even get started. Fun times, fun times...

Re:Yeah, stalking IS supposed to be hard (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049813)

Yeah, but getting information about someone while walking uphill both ways in the snow gets old after a while..

Re:Yeah, stalking IS supposed to be hard (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049758)

Stalking is one thing, but common sense is another.

I fail to see what useful purpose there might be for using one's own name when posting to such a forum. An alias is just as useful and over time, the persona of the alias' owner becomes as "real" as our own, but with a little serving of anonymity for safety.

I'm not saying this is impenetrable, particularly if we post pictures of ourselves, but it's a start.

Re:Yeah, stalking IS supposed to be hard (2, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049763)

"Then again, in the words of one intelligent facebooker user, "There's a difference between 'publicly available' and 'publicly announced.'" "

That IS funny. Facebook users wanting privacy.

I wonder how the commentator came to the conclusion *this* facebook user is 'intelligent'.

Bahahaha..

You can't make this stuff up.

rick

Re:Yeah, stalking IS supposed to be hard (2, Insightful)

rlbond86 (874974) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049810)

You fail to realize what a useful tool facebook is. It serves as a campus directory, a list of every person who shares a class with you, and a means of organizing large groups of people. Generally facebook affords some privacy while allowing oneself to have an online presence.

And yes, we do not want our breakups made public. Don't criticize what you don't understand.

Re:Yeah, stalking IS supposed to be hard (4, Insightful)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049826)

So, just to clarify: you don't want your breakups made public, but you post information about those breakups on a website that's wide open to every person with an .edu email address? I bow before your brilliance in understanding the term "public".

"Stalking is supposed to be hard" (4, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049474)

WHOOSH

I think there's a fundamental misunderstanding of what sites like Facebook are.

That's public information, folks!

Re:"Stalking is supposed to be hard" (1, Redundant)

BenFranske (646563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049530)

I agree. It amazes me that even after a lifetime of exposure to computers and the internet today's students (and corporations for that matter) still fail to grasp that once the cat is out of the bag on the internet there's no going back. If people don't think that someone isn't archiving all the data they can get their hands on through Facebook they're completely naieve. Does this mean I don't use Facebook? No. It just means I'm aware that anything I post on the internet is fair game for anyone else to read and do what they want with. See my commentary [franske.com] from a few months ago for additional thoughts on this matter.

Re:"Stalking is supposed to be hard" (5, Insightful)

Karthikkito (970850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049544)

Yes, and in many counties, so is the amount of property tax you paid, how much you contributed to Sheriff candidate X, and so on -- but one has to go and look for it. This move is much like everyone on your street receiving an update each time you do something that would be placed on public record.

Re:"Stalking is supposed to be hard" (1, Insightful)

MankyD (567984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049586)

Yes, and in many counties, so is the amount of property tax you paid, how much you contributed to Sheriff candidate X, and so on... There is no law that makes you type information into face book. The responsibility falls squarely on the users.

RESPONSBILITY - TAKE SOME.

Re:"Stalking is supposed to be hard" (1)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049594)

Hear, hear.

If you're going to post information about yourself to the public, then don't bitch and moan when the public finds out about it. "Security through obscurity" doesn't apply to social networks and doesn't really work anyways.

Re:"Stalking is supposed to be hard" (5, Insightful)

MadJoy (908843) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049637)

Then again, in the words of one intelligent facebooker user, "There's a difference between 'publicly available' and 'publicly announced.'"

Re:"Stalking is supposed to be hard" (2, Insightful)

MankyD (567984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049825)

"There's a difference between 'publicly available' and 'publicly announced.'"
No, there isn't actually and it's beliefs like this that scare me. Anyone who believes they led a more private social-networking life before was living under a false pretense. I can't say it enough times: all of this information could quickly and easily be found in one location before - facebook.com. That has not changed.

Furthermore, if you don't want this information announced to the facebook.com world, don't put it on facebook.com. The responsibility falls directly on the users to use discretion.

Security through obscurity will be the death of us...

Re:"Stalking is supposed to be hard" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049784)

Er..there's a difference between public information behind a slight wall of privacy(you must be my friend before you can see my info) and putting my every move in a nice, easy to read RSS feed. America's all about "let's feel safe instead of actually be safe" so why should I not have that on facebook?

Don't Put Yourself Online Then (5, Informative)

MankyD (567984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049483)

If you don't want to be stalked, don't put your personal information online. All of the data these "feeds" display can be found through browsing anyways. This just centralizes it. I rather like this feature myself.

Re:Don't Put Yourself Online Then (1)

BenFranske (646563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049542)

If it makes people think twice about what they say and do in public I don't think it will be an all bad outcome. The internet is a public space. Just because data is only directly available to one group doesn't mean it will stay in that group, someone is bound to be collecting it and selling it in anyone interested.

Re:Don't Put Yourself Online Then (1)

EngMedic (604629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049617)

Yeah. Basically, facebook is MySpace done right, and with pretty formatting.

Re:Don't Put Yourself Online Then (1)

lonasindi (914571) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049635)

I was actually very pleasantly surprised to discover this change this morning. I'm the type of person who likes to know as much as possible, and this presentation of information is very glanceable and usable.

I know i'm in the minority, but I will enjoy this while it lasts.

Re:Don't Put Yourself Online Then (1)

ovapositor (79434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049709)

I guess some clever data miners will have a field day but really.... how many feeds can you keep track of. I don't want to be that connected to that many people on that level. What a hassle :)

Re:Don't Put Yourself Online Then (1)

sekunder (1000643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049778)

AFAIK, and i do have a facebook, you can't turn it off. this is problematic a)cause it takes up way too much space on the screen (my pokes are now off to the side. i liked having big "you have been poked" reminders. not to mention that on individual people's profiles it's huge). i like facebook because it lets me keep up with my friends from back home now that we've gone our sorted separate ways. however, since there's no option to turn it off, it's like you can have a nuclear bomb or no war at all. sort of. not that intense though. but you know what i mean? if i could just get rid of the feed on my profile, i'd be happy. or move it, or something. i don't mind the feature, but it's a bit too detailed. i think it was released too early - early in this case meaning not perfectly to my specifications, you see (: it just doesn't have enough customizeability yet.

Re:Don't Put Yourself Online Then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049790)

Actually, you're dead wrong. You can set your profile to private, like I have. You can hide details, like I have. Now every moron can get in and see my profile.

Fuck off, Facebook.

Stalking is supposed to be hard? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049489)

I like my victims easy... but maybe that's just me. I'm not in it for the rewards, just the sweet treat at the end.

Facebook (2, Interesting)

epsilon720 (307234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049498)

Yeah, I noticed these changes last night right before I went to bed. It is, simply put, damn creepy. Obviously all of the information given by the news feed would be normally available to the attentive and compulsive facebook browser, but having it all summarized is just bizzare. Person X has joined the "Asexual Students" club. Person Y has endorsed this candidate. I guess it's a little less weird when it's not simply a list of everything my school acquaintances have done in the last 24 hours.

Re:Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049628)

I highly doubt it's "a list of everything my school acquaintances have done in the last 24 hours."

You need to go outside more.

facebook changes (4, Interesting)

FalconDelta (1000597) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049516)

The fact is it's too much information. I don't want to see what everyone is doing every five seconds and neither does anyone else. Assuming I had something like 500 friends I'd see a lot of information about people I rarely if ever talk to on a daily basis. Moreover, the system keeps track, for a time, of deleted information - prompting users of the change. While it's true that all the information on a persons profile is "public" to their friends at least, it takes the mystery out of poking around facebook to see what has changed etc. They should at least make an option to enable/disable your facebook digest in other peoples feeds. A good idea in principle, but in practice it's a dud in my opinion.

Re:facebook changes (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049605)

Assuming I had something like 500 friends I'd see a lot of information about people

Assuming you had something like 500 friends you wouldn't have an entry on Facebook. You'd be too busy maintaining real relationships, and not the HTML and PHP that passes for "relationships" in social networking sites.

What's so bad (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049520)

As a college student and a participant of facebook I am one of the surprisingly few people who LIKE that's right LIKE the new layout. It makes it feel more like my google homepage/thunderbird rss reader. While some of the information is extraneous I think a trimmed down version of this idea would be appropriate. Oh and most people don't realize this but there is a arrow at the top of the section like the one next to "sections" in the left column here on slashdot that allows you to collapse the information. Finally when you are using any social networking site you are distributing private information about you to the public and I think this serves as an excellent wake-up call to users who have been unaware of the consequences of doing so.

Re:What's so bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049576)

I am one of the surprisingly few people who LIKE that's right LIKE the new layout.
After reading the text here on slashdot, I was sure this was another gripe-fest about website design like the Yahoo forums redesign. "I don't like the layout... change is bad... wah-wah-wah."

But this isn't that--This is revealing in a way people never expected. It's bad enough when a site like Friendster arbitrarily decides to start letting people know exactly whom viewed their profile; this just goes the extra mile and adds what you've been doing to your own page. yikes.

Wake up call (1)

denisonbigred (611860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049602)

I agree with the parent post. Maybe it felt nice to have the illusion of some semblance of privacy on the facebook before, but the simple fact is that this is just making the consequences of your actions on the site much much more clearly visible (to yourself as well as others). Frankly I think its good that people might (hopefully) think twice about what they share online. (Plus, I am an avid facebook friend stalker. There, I admit it.)

Re:Wake up call (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049816)

Frankly I think its good that people might (hopefully) think twice about what they share online.

One can live in hope. However, you might have your work cut out to convince all those benighted souls who seem to believe their every bowel movement is utterly fascinating to others. The fact is, most of our lives are only really interesting to ourselves (if that), and the majority of these postings are just banal, redundant claptrap.

Wakeup call (1)

Thisfox (994296) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049735)

I meet so many people who don't realise how easy it is for their friends (and enemies) to get information of this sort from the net. Why do they think they're posting it if they don't want it available to the general public? This is a healthy wakeup call for the ignorant.

I almost failed a class today because of this (4, Funny)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049523)

I am in an oral communications class where we have to give How To speeches. My topic was "How to stalk people on facebook." I was going to cover the FBStalker firefox extension, as well as using the computer a person last logged in from to see who has been visiting your profile (using a link to a personal homepage with webstats). Then I woke up this morning and I see Facebook completely changed itself to obsolete the first half of my presentation and break the ability to do the second half. Thank god we ran out of time, or else I'd have been just standing there with nothing to say.

Friendster also does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049531)

They aggregated any and all changes in your friend's profiles (info changed, friends added, pictures added, etc...) on your homepage long before Facebook did.

difference between "not private" and "announced" (5, Insightful)

wibs (696528) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049534)

The feed isn't showing anything not already public, this is true.

However, it shows things that you might not really feel like broadcasting to the world, even if you don't feel like it needs to be a secret. For example, when a couple splits up, everyone in your network now gets a message saying "John Smith has changed his status from 'In a relationship' to 'Single'." Not really private information, and obviously having that on your profile at all means your comfortable with other people knowing your relationship status, but there's such a lack of respect or discretion for the real world situation that it's just incredibly dehumanizing.

Another example: my friend is vacationing in Europe right now, and she just posted a message to her boyfriend's wall about wishing he was there and related sappy whatnot. Sure the wall was already the most public way someone could post a message, but it was just a message on that person's page, not a message that gets broadcasted to everyone else in either person's network, front and center.

The point here is that there's a big difference between simply not hiding information and blasting that information through a loudspeaker.

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (1)

BenFranske (646563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049554)

The internet is meant to be searched and information wants to be free, no? Posting on the internet that someone is out of town is a bad idea. Especially if they don't want their house broken into. What, you think criminals don't use the internet? If you don't "feel like broadcasting it to the world" don't say it online. Better yet, don't say it at all. You are responsible for what you say.

difference between "privates" and not so... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049563)

"However, it shows things that you might not really feel like broadcasting to the world, even if you don't feel like it needs to be a secret."

I'm dating my left hand.

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (4, Interesting)

MankyD (567984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049575)

For example, when a couple splits up, everyone in your network now gets a message saying "John Smith has changed his status from 'In a relationship' to 'Single'."
This one's a real toughy but let me point out how to fix this: if you don't want people knowing about your relationship status DON'T PLASTER IT UP ON A PUBLIC WEBSITE. Seriously, this is not that hard of a concept. If you don't enter that you broke up into face book, the world will never know...

And furthermore, if you really have to tell people but don't want to tell people, you can delete "events" from showing up in the feed by clicking the little x. (Yes, that interjection I added there confuses me too.)

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (5, Insightful)

BusDriver (34906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049629)

I don't agree with you I'm sorry.

When you break up, you tell your friends, eventually. You might ring them and let them know, they might ring you and ask how things are and you tell them.

However, you don't get all your friends on a Telephone conference call and say "My girlfriend and I broke up, thanks!", or take out an ad in the local paper saying "Attn to all my friends: I broke up!"

That's the situation here. Yes, it's public info. People want it to be public (so I don't think your arguement stands up) They would just rather people find things out because they want to find out, not because it's flashed in front of them.

Seriously, this is not that hard of a concept. (Said only because you said it. See how much of it a dick it makes you sound?)

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (0, Troll)

MankyD (567984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049641)

However, you don't get all your friends on a Telephone conference call and say "My girlfriend and I broke up, thanks!", or take out an ad in the local paper saying "Attn to all my friends: I broke up!"
You see, you're getting confused again. You are exactly right - you don't hold a telecon. So why should you put it up on a public website? There is no difference. None. End of story. If you don't want to announce to the world that you broke up - don't.

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (1)

BusDriver (34906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049716)

Damnit. I have to admit, I see your point.

When I break up, I tell my friends privately on the phone. I don't take an ad out in the public notices for my friends to check on when they want to...

I was wrong!

Tim

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (2, Insightful)

Matteo522 (996602) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049782)

Don't give up so easily. You're right that there is still a fundamental difference between the old and new systems. They changed the system, pure and simple, and people are allowed to make a fuss about it if they don't like it. When you used to do X, Y would happen. Now when you do X, Y and Z both happen. Some people want just Y to happen without Z. You can say how similar Y and Z are all you want, but there is *still* a difference. Let's say that you have information you want people to find out but you don't want to tell them. I have plenty of friends who mark Gay on their Orientation. I'm sure they feel perfectly fine with people knowing they are gay if they look (just like they'd be okay letting people know they're gay if they ask.. this is essentially an automated Q&A), but they don't want to just go spam everyone with an update saying, "Hey guys, I'm gay! Just wanted to let you know!" There's simply a difference in the way the information is handled, and that means that people should and will behave differently knowing that. There's nothing wrong if people don't like it.

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (0)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049719)

When you break up, you tell your friends, eventually. You might ring them and let them know, they might ring you and ask how things are and you tell them.

However, you don't get all your friends on a Telephone conference call and say "My girlfriend and I broke up, thanks!", or take out an ad in the local paper saying "Attn to all my friends: I broke up!"


Exactly. Email your friends, tell them you've broken up. Don't post it on a public site.

Putting it in your profile - or posting about it on your blog, or announcing it on an IRC network - is taking out an ad, or putting a nice big notice on the bulletin board in the lobby. It's public - don't be surprised that the public finds out about it.

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049814)

I think a big point is being missed. The issue isn't the fact that the data is public, it's that the data being brodcast on everyone else's home page. If I change my status to "single", I am happy having that information public, but I do not want it on every facebook friend's homepage. They are welcome to the information, I am providing it, they can see my public relationship status. I just don't want it sent TO them, I want it posted on my profile. This is akin to telling people you have broken up when they ask, versus telling everyone you have ever met regardless of if they ask or not. Or wearing a wedding ring versus running around shouting you are maried. Most of us KNOW the information is public and are happy with that. And the idea of broadcasting information to people that want to see it is a good one, but people should have control.

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (4, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049745)

You tell your friends "eventually", but the first thing you do is rush to Facebook and update your status so all the freshmen can start hitting you up? If I was your friend, I might be a little offended to be relegated to "of lower importance than social networking website".

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (1)

BusDriver (34906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049750)

heh. Don't get me wrong, I hate these social networking sites myself. I'm not sticking up for them at all.

Anyway, I realise I was wrong, as already pointed out quite cleary by a couple of people.

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (1)

NoData (9132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049740)

Even for public information, there is a difference between announcing status and announcing changes in status. One is a snapshot of the state of the person's information, the other provides a temporal dimension where one can track or notice when changes in state occurred. Facebook users may have no problem announcing the former("yes, I'm single") vs. the latter ("..single as of last night when my gf dumped me").

In any case, Facebook should immediately make this an opt-in feature, with control over which "deltas" of state you are willing to disseminate. Good social networking is all about personal control.

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049679)

Saying that concern is misplaced because the information is already public is akin to supporting videotaping everyone in public and broadcasting it. Sure, the information is out there, but it's a question of accessibility. Like a few people see a guy leaving a HIV clinic. Is there a difference if we then send a letter to everyone he knows saying that he was seen leaving a HIV clinic?

This facebook kerfluffle will reach an equilibrium. People will either migrate to Myspace (eeew) or simply put less information out there about themselves, learning that just because there's a space for a response doesn't mean you have to fill it in. Or facebook may make the newsfeeds optional, or eliminate them totally. That's the free-market at work, dude.

Re:difference between "not private" and "announced (0)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049754)

The point here is that there's a big difference between simply not hiding information and blasting that information through a loudspeaker.

There WAS such a difference. Before the internet existed.

Not any more.

This reminds me of the uproar when dejanews first appeared on the scene. All these people who had made public posts to usenet under a mistaken belief that what they said would never go beyond the little "community" of that group were very unhappy to see all of there messages in a searchable database. Thing was - all of their messsages were already in searchable databases, deja was just the first time these people had access to a database themselves.

They were ignorant before and they highly resented their englightenment. Just like these facebook users. The information has always been there for the taking and even if no "private" aggregation/stalking tool existed before facebook rolled out their changes it is enough that such a tool could have existed.

Facebook's only crime here is speaking the truth.

At least now these people are aware of just how "stalkable" they have always been and can take steps to reduce their vulnerability. It's possible the result will be a mass exodus from Facebook. That's what I would consider the rational response because there is no way in hell *I* would have ever signed up in the first place since I already knew just how much such social-networking systems are the antithesis to personal privacy. For some reason, I don't think the end result here is going to be very rational, though.

Yes (2, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049541)

While I do agree this is a bad thing and it should be opt-in rather then opt-out, you can remove all of these notes so other can't see them from your profile page.

Re:Yes (3, Informative)

MadJoy (908843) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049658)

However, when you opt-out of a particular story, it takes it off your own mini-feed, but not the main feed on each person's homepage.

The new changes create a Big Brother-like record. (5, Insightful)

adf2006 (998737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049553)

I'm a new college student, I use Facebook, and I was browsing this morning when the new changes went into effect. I think it's stupid, the information is public but having a detailed log of every change you make to your profile publicly visible makes it a lot easier for people to figure things out. Example: I don't want a list of the people that I added to my friends list in the last few days. That's just a little unnerving. I also don't want a lot of the groups that I decided to leave available. I don't want links to all the forum posts I make or image comments I make right there on my main page. Like the post and article say, it's all public information, and of course I understand this when I sign up for Facebook. But publicly advertising it all on the main profile DOES make it a lot easier to find. There didn't used to be a way to track down all of my forum posts, and I don't like that record being available. It's creepy having this public list of everything you do. Facebook now even highlights in yellow all of the updates to your profile. Not only does this create unnecessary clutter, it blatantly advertises the changes in my life that I feel comfortable documenting, but do not want highlighted. A break up is a good example. It's a big brother thing. I know that there are property records listing my name and address, and that's okay. When my county posts an easily searchable database on the front of their main webpage, it makes me a little more uncomfortable. I know some friends who used these records to find a teacher's house to vandalize. It's a similar concept, people do not want to feel like they're being watched and monitored. It's human instinct, and while it might seem a little hypocritical because you're making the information public, no one wants someone watching their every move. Like AOL releasing the search records, you can learn a lot about someone from those records even though as separate entities they don't mean anything. It's all pieces of a puzzle that leaves me feeling just a little too exposed.

Re:The new changes create a Big Brother-like recor (2, Insightful)

MankyD (567984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049607)

But publicly advertising it all on the main profile DOES make it a lot easier to find.
Publicly advertising on a PUBLIC WEBSITE makes it easier to find. Seriously people - if you don't want people to find out, remove yourself from this public space.

Facebook's official response (1)

yoblin (692322) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049556)

"We understand that some people are unhappy or concerned about the recent changes to Facebook. Your feedback is welcome and appreciated because our goal is to make a website that is in line with our users' expectations. As we consider future changes and modifications, we will certainly keep everyone's opinions in mind. We think, however, that once you become familiar with the new layout and features, you will find these changes just as useful as past improvements such as Photos, Groups, and the Wall. We introduced News Feed and Mini-Feed because we wanted to make it easier than ever before to see interesting, relevant pieces of information from the world around you. News Feed automatically generates the most recent news stories about your friends so that you have a resource available to guide your movement throughout the site. Mini-Feed allows you to quickly and easily see the latest developments in the lives of people whose profiles you choose to visit. What is important to remember with all of these features is that we are not allowing anyone to see anything that they wouldn't normally be allowed to see. For example, if you join a secret group, any friends that are not members will not receive a News Feed story about this action. Similarly, when they look at your Mini-Feed, they will not be able to see a story about you joining the group. The settings that are established on the My Privacy page and the settings that apply to Photo albums, Notes, Groups, Events, etc. dictate the stories that are displayed in News Feed and Mini-Feed. Although there is no option to completely turn off Mini-Feed, all users have the option to hide individual stories. If you select the 'X' button to the right of any of your own stories, that content will no longer be visible to anyone viewing your Mini-Feed. Facebook prides itself in giving users complete control over the information that they share with others. Let us know if you have any questions about the privacy settings that we offer. Thanks for using Facebook!"

If you are not doing anything wrong, why .... (0)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049558)

... no wait That is only when the government is spying into your private life, not your friends.

If you're not doing anything wrong,why stay inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049757)

Close, but I was thinking about those surveillance cameras that the british use. Or what retailers do while you're shopping. Or when you're at the airport... Funny how arbitrary the lines really are.

Information Overload. (4, Interesting)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049561)

Personally, I don't have a problem with the information being there. I just have a problem with that HUGE amount of information in my face all the time. I don't care who added a new book to their favorites; if I wanted to know someone's favorite books, I read through their profile.

The site design of Facebook is getting closer and closer to being as ugly as myspace/youtube.

Just an update to the article: (4, Informative)

coastal984 (847795) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049562)

The referenced 10,000 member group now numbers over 47,000 (if you have a facebook login, you can view it at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2208288769 [facebook.com]). There is also an online petition now, with more than 3,700 signatures located at [petitiononline.com]http://www.petitiononline.com/faceb00k/petition.ht ml [petitiononline.com]

Re:Just an update to the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049621)

Ironically, people joining this group most likely saw that a friend joined the group in the new mini-feed.

Re:Just an update to the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049804)

Thats how I found out about it! It's up to 65,000 at the time I'm posting this. By the time I'm done typing this sentence, it'll probably be 65,500. I've never seen a group grow so fast

Re:Just an update to the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049689)

Oooh, an ONLINE PETITION! Serious business indeed. Give me a break.

Re:Just an update to the article: (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049761)

What's the point of the online petition, complete with crappy "faceb00k" name?

For the people who don't have a facebook user ID to protest services they can't use or even see and how they might affect people who voluntarily and constantly update their status in the belief that it's a surrogate social life?

`scuse me if I don't forward this petition to everyone in my address book.

They Took The Best Feature Of Imeem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049566)

Imeem at least has a neat granular privacy model and a load of options that lets you customize the feeds and updates, rather than the complete mess that facebooks half assed clone of the feature is offering.
But imeem is going through something similar, the latest version of their client software relies much more on the website so there's a small number of users who violently oppose the changes.

It's just that time of year that all the social networks revamp themselves for the college's returning I guess.

Re:They Took The Best Feature Of Imeem (1)

illectro (697914) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049614)

The whole of facebook is ripped off poorly from elsewhere, but the marketing has been nothing short of perfect.

Re:They Took The Best Feature Of Imeem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049699)

facebook has more complainers than there are members of imeem

jesus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049568)

man its froshweek im posting totally blasted with nothing to do and all you kids can talkj about is how your "rpriacyax" on on a public website is being affected. off the internet and into the booze dammnit

ps did i use ":affected" in the correct way or shold it be "effected" some granmmar nazis help me pout here

Past information shouldn't be logged... (1)

grev (974855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049585)

Instead of being a bulletin board for people to post their current information, Facebook now has created a convenient log of every little action a person does, giving an in-depth look at one's past as well as current public information.

Re:Past information shouldn't be logged... (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049780)

No, you're right. Facebook should continue doing this out of the good of their heart, providing all those servers. They should also tell their advertisers - you know, the ones that pay for you to have your social playtoy - that they're going to provide less demographic information on the grounds that Johnny and Mary might have an issue with being held accountable for things they record on someone else's website?

facebook's "new coke" (4, Insightful)

Valar (167606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049589)

For me, it isn't so much the new 'stalking' potential, it is the fact that the new layout is extremely visually offensive. Seriously, it was so ugly that I logged in and immediately considered cancelling my account. It is so insane busy that I can't seem to decipher any of the information presented. Right now I'm waiting to see if they come to their senses or otherwise I'll kiss facebook goodbye.

Re:facebook's "new coke" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049768)

never been to myspace have you?

What's the problem again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049598)

This has to be one of the silliest things I've ever heard. A large number of people are unwilling to be held accountable for their actions (leaving a "group", becoming single), and they're blaming the website for it. Even with the old site, someone could randomly choose your profile, and post all of the same information on the cover of the NY Times every single day. And what would your only option be? The same as it is now - don't publish that information on a public website if you don't intend for the world to know about it.
 
Remember, when you break up with someone, there's no requirement that you go update your profile on facebook. Some of these people make it sound like there's no other way around any of this..

Re:What's the problem again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049653)

You're missing the point. Just as another poster said, the issue isn't so much people being able to find out information about you, as that's really the whole point of the Facebook. It's the "in your face" nature of the mini-feed and news feed. If I change my relationship status, sure, I might be comfortable with people finding that out if they want to make a point of doing so -- checking my profile when they see it under the "updated profiles" list. Also, they'd have to know me reasonably well to know what my relationship status was in the past -- be a close friend or have made a point of checking my profile in the past to register that there was a change. This is all and good.

However, that doesn't mean I want such a fact to be broadcast to all my friends on their news feed and to anyone who looks at my profile via the mini-feed. To use the previous analogy, there's a difference between the old system of just knowing when people updated (not exactly what) and broadcasting exactly what they updated and when they did so, even giving people a glimpse at what was removed or changed in some cases. People enjoy using Facebook and putting their information on it because to some extent, they want others (their friends, their potential friends, etc.) to know that information -- in due time and in due fashion. The mini-feed and news feed take that way too far in encouraging people to microanalyze the lives of their friends and even people they don't know on the same network.

Bah! (1)

Foehg (48006) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049603)

I was totally waiting for something like this. If there's something on your personal feed you don't want there, you can totally delete it. Now what I want is so RSS that I can pump the newsfeed over to my customized Google homepage.

Personal, unrealized gripe... (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049609)

This one is a bit more subtle, but it annoys me more than the "feeds" and "stories" thing. I'm bothered by the fact that the "education" section used to be one of the first things you saw when you logged in. Now it requires scrolling. This echos the whole fact that facebook is moving towards a more general, myspace-like site. I only found the site useful because I could find people in my classes and ask them questions if need be. All this other stuff is starting to get superfluous, and clutter-like.

kids today (4, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049623)

In the words of one user, "Stalking is supposed to be hard."

So it's gotten to the point now where even stalking is automated. Kids today have it so easy. When I was their age, I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid for breakfast, work twenty-nine hours a day down at the mill, and pay the mill owner for permission to come to work. When we got home, our Dad would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.

Re:kids today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049693)

You had sulphuric acid? Sheesh, you had it easy.

Re:kids today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049772)

Hee. Obscure Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl reference for the win. ;)

Not so much the lack of "privacy"... (2, Interesting)

Admodieus (918728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049632)

...but the fact that your home page is constantly updated by every little thing each of your friends does. Add a new photo? Bingo, alert, plus a thumbnail of the photo to clutter the page. Write something on another person's wall? You'll get a copy of the message on your main page. Most of us, if we care about every little detail of a friend's life, will intentionally browse that person's profile ourselves, as we spend enough time aimlessly surfing the site anyway.

Solution Idea (1)

VeganBob (888165) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049640)

Perhaps if they setup a preferences page to allow the users to select what to display and what to hide, then there would be more acceptance among the users. Either way, I'd hate to be the feeds product manager right now. Eesh.

Re:Solution Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049739)

Perhaps if they setup a preferences page to allow the users to select what to display and what to hide,

If you don't want the world to know it, don't put it online. That is how you "select what to display."

Lame (1)

lotus_anima (862243) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049642)

I got back from work today, propped the dorm room door open, slid off my shoes, and logged into Facebook. I could hear the uproar all the way down the hall that the new Facebook was now stalker central. I looked around at the changes and realized why they were saying this... it's one thing to have an interaction with specific people, while it's another thing for all your friends to be notified that you're having that interaction. I'm not a Facebook creep, so it's really not that big of a deal, but anyone who spends too much time on Facebook like I do is quickly going to realize these changes are overkill. To notify everyone of every little change is a bit much... maybe when someone posts some new pictures... fine. Maybe for interactions between you and the person. But to see everything they do with everyone? It's going too far.

History (1)

l3prador (700532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049644)

One key difference in this new system is that it effectively serves as a history system. People are saying that all this information was available already, but there's a difference between current information being available and an entire history of changes being available... Just ask Wikipedia. If I had some information up before, and I wanted to remove it, I can't do it anymore... it's effectively permanently there.

and out come the wolves (1)

La Fourmi Nihiliste (906448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049645)

Capitalism + Community + Personnal Info... this new feature is just to make it easier for those marketing guys to gather the info on people.

Lets not be blind to the fact that those who run such sites are companies, which means they have bills to pay. ...oh! i almost forgot! ...this other thing, you know, profits to make.

ironic... (5, Funny)

ff3j (767130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049673)

from the feed...

6 of your friends joined the group This New Facebook Is Creepy. 9:49pm
6 of your friends joined the group the "news feed" on facebook is creepy and i hate it. 9:11pm
* joined the group People Against the Face Book News Feed. 6:38pm
* joined the group Facebook: Data Mining Since 2004. 5:14pm
* and * joined the group Facebook Sucks Now. 3:46pm

Irony? (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049694)

I wonder how many Facebook users compulsively follow the lives of celebrities in the tabloid media. Is turn-about fairplay? I wouldn't like to be subjected to that sort of scrutiny - I doubt many people would.

and for the next update.... (1)

Desolator144 (999643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049698)

and for the next update they're going to make all their users wear that dynamic LED jacket seen on slashdot a few days ago and it will scroll the newsfeed :-D

this would work... (1)

wired_LAIN (974675) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049715)

... if your 500 something facebook friends were all your real friends. However, they aren't, and I dont really care that so-and-so became friends with so-and-so. Whenever I go on facebook, I browse through maybe 5-6 pages, all of whom are my friends. I dont really care about what the rest of my class are up to.

The new futures rock! (1)

quakehead3 (988738) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049738)

hehe...those complaints seem to be a twisted use of language. I think that the new futures (especially the feed) are great! You can delete the feeds that you don't want others to see, so there's no problem with privacy.

This helps catch stalkers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049741)

If anything, this feature should reveal stalkers. It shows what other people do, not exclusively you; thus, go ahead and read your friends' wallposts and study his habits. It's not what you do; it's what other people do which really makes this feature so interesting.

Personally, I always suspected that one of my friend's was a Facebook troll. Now it's perfectly clear to all parties, not just the one guy who manually reads wall posts.

Ideally they would just make a security feature which enables you to disable your personal feed. But still, this is greater than it seems.

Facebook has to listen to its users. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16049762)

It's so easy to ridicule Facebook users for being ignorant about posting public information but Facebook has to listen to its users or risk losing them. Facebook has to eliminate the new features regardless of what the "responsible for all your actions" smarties out there say. It's a usability problem.

Also, there is an important difference between giving the public access to personal information and announcing it.

People are not interested in your personal information so why serve it as frontpage news? They should actively search for it. Let's not compare this to "security through obscurity". It's more like preferring not to live in a glass house.

The outraged users are used to a certain level of public disclosure and Facebook has changed its product so that level has shifted from some quasi-private state to a completely transparent one. If enough users don't like it then Facebook has to change it.

It's not like the Internet is being coerced to the demands of some ignorant users. It's Facebook. I don't use it and I don't care about it. But I understand the problems that some users have with it and I take issue with arrogant people who don't understand the issues some users have with it and are quick to judge them.

Could it be a financial move? (1)

ob1kenob (999346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049773)

Well, why would you add a feature if you were facebook?
They must want to either:
A) add more users
OR
B) make more money
OR
C) make existing users more happy

Sorry if the top two sound pessimistic, but
commericalization/monetization frequently happens
to even the best community-based sites.

These changes will not last (1)

seriv (698799) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049795)

When I saw these changes for the first time, I did not think about how my privacy or other's privacy would be harmed. All of the information was sort of public in the first place (users can adjust privacy settings, but by default only people in your network, like your school, and your friends can see your profile), so I did not think it mattered too much. I thought about how annoying the interface was. I liked facebook, because its interface was uncluttered, among other things. Regardless of my personal reaction, the overwhelming reaction made by everyone will mean that these changes will be reverted quickly. I don't consider this story news really. Facebook isn't trying to mess with people's rights here or anything like that. They tried a new system out, which has clearly failed, and they will have to rethink it. Facebook makes its money off of ads. If people are afraid to use the system, they won't have a business. Simple as that. Nothing to worry about here. Everything will be back to normal soon...

Yes. (1)

remembertomorrow (959064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049806)

I actually "ragequit" Facebook today.

These changes are stupid. They make the site's appearance less attractive, and announce information that really shouldn't be announced. Do I care that my friend removed "running" from his Interests? Not really.

To shit me even more, when I went to add other people as admins in groups I own, I kept getting an error stating that the group had more than 25 admins. Unfortunately, this was not correct, as I was the only admin in a large number of groups.

I thought Facebook was a great idea, but I will no longer use it.

its crazy (1)

edflyerssn007 (897318) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049808)

This is totally taking the psuedo-privacy away from facebook. Now I everyone is going to know who I'm flirting with because of the wall posts. Time to move to the facebook messages all the time, but I don't get the e-mails for those, so now I have to log-in to facebook even more. But yeah, THis feed is mad stalkerish. Though, I did find out from it that one of my friends got engaged. That was a shocker.

BTW Steve Irwin Rocks Hard!

-Ed

Screw your customers (2, Interesting)

sasdrtx (914842) | more than 7 years ago | (#16049817)

I don't use facebook, and therefore I have no personal opinion about the changes being good or bad. But I think the real issue is that thousands of users took to using facebook because they liked the way it looked and worked. Then overnight it's a lot different from what they expected, wanted, and signed up for. Because the owners are arrogant and stupid.

Maybe they'll learn something about running a business. We'll see. They'd better learn fast. I reckon facebook users can switch to myspace in about 15 minutes.

This reminds me of the 3 months I spent researching, trying, and evaluating online banks. I decided on E*Trade because I liked their interface the best. And sure enough, less than 6 months later, they did complete interface overhaul (New! Improved! Blecchh). To the worst I'd ever seen. It was obviously some web geeks's fun with the latest and greatest web bells and whistles. Fortunately, after two more overhauls (and several years), it is back into pretty decent shape. The difference was, it's harder to switch banks than social networking sites.
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