HEY EVERYBODY ON FACEBOOK, STOP AND READ THIS – YOU TOO, MR. JUST SCROLLIN BY!
All right, strap in boys and girls. Pause a moment and listen up, because sharing news links seems to have no effect, no matter how many time I’ve see this flit through my news feed lately. I wrote this on Facebook recently but it bears repeating:
POSTING A COPYRIGHT NOTICE DOES JACK SQUAT ABOUT YOUR ACTUAL ACCOUNT PRIVACY.
There’s a little things called Terms of Service (click the link to read the ToS), which you all agreed to when you created your Facebook account. No matter what you post on your wall, the ToS will always trump it in court. That little ‘Don’t take my stuff!‘ post by itself is legally useless.
In case you missed it, here’s that handy-dandy little link to the ToS right here:
“BUT GUISE FACEBOOK WILL HAVE ALL MY PICS AND POSTS AND INFO AND STUFF AND THEN THEY’RE GONNA GIVE IT TO EVERYBODY!!!”
This only works if your PRIVACY SETTINGS are set to PUBLIC.
So, click on that link I just put up there. The VERY FIRST SECTION is called Privacy – it’s like they’ve noticed we get concerned about that sometimes. In it is a link to their Data Use Policy (click that and read it, too).
In it is all the info on what they collect, and what they do with it. I HIGHLY recommend you go and read through the links on the Privacy page if you want to be an informed Facebook user.
The links explain (in order):
- What info they collect and what they do with it.
- How to keep your posts / timeline, private. How people can find you.
- How your info is used on the site, in pages, groups, and game apps.
- Advertising and how they use user info to customize it.
- Other Info and Security odds and ends that don’t fit anywhere, but still worth looking at.
This stuff isn’t even written in legalese. It’s pretty easy to understand. So take a few minutes, and go read it.
Looking further into the ToS, it gets even better:
“Section 2. Sharing Your Content and Information.”
The very first line clearly states that YOU OWN ALL CONTENT AND INFO YOU POST. And that YOU, yes you, Charlie Brown, control how it’s used. However, if it is set to Public, then Facebook gets to do whatever the heck it wants. (Do note, that Public is the default setting.) Go. Read. This.
TL;DR: FACEBOOK DOES NOT SHARE YOUR PROFILE INFORMATION IF THE SECURITY SETTING IS NOT SET TO PUBLIC. This includes your posts, pictures, and contact information unless you leave it that way. Everything else can be hidden/friends only/etc. Exception: Your name, profile pic, network, gender, and username will always public. This is the only thing you cannot change.
So go click on the CLOSED PADLOCK ICON to the right of the little World that notifies you whenever a fly sneezes, next click on SEE MORE SETTINGS. And then set WHATEVER YOU WANT TO PRIVATE and quit worrying already. Geeze.
(I also recommend clicking on “Timeline and Tagging” on the left hand side of that page and adjusting those settings too.)
Note: There have been times when Facebook will update something it ends up resetting all the security settings back to the default setting – Public. So check your settings once in a while, especially when FB updates how they work.