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Dec. 15 2009 - 10:08 am | 593 views | 0 recommendations | 9 comments

Mark Zuckerberg makes his profile more private (Further proof that Facebook’s CEO was confused by company’s privacy settings)

On Thursday, I discovered Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s profile had gotten dramatically de-privatized. It appeared to me that Zuck had gotten confused by Facebook’s new privacy transition and had accidentally made his profile more public than he intended. The blogosphere has been raining hate down on the company for its confusing — and some say, deceptive — new privacy settings for users.

After the story of Zuck’s suddenly-accessible profile made the rounds in the tech blogosphere, Zuckerberg put up a Facebook status update saying all we bloggers were wrong for alleging he was confused by the privacy transition. He said he “set more of his content to be open so people could see it.” Dan Frommer at Business Insider defended Zuckerberg, saying the CEO is no dummy and obviously did this to show he believes in a more open society.

Um, well, Zuckerberg has changed his settings once again. Apparently, he believes in a not-quite-that-open society. His friends list and events calendar are now hidden from “friends of friends” and non-friends. Here’s the side by side comparison of the changes Zuck has made since last week:

zuck comparison copy smaller

I am a “friend of a friend” so I can still see photos of Mark Zuckerberg. Perhaps he thought these changes were subtle enough that no one would notice he made them, as most of the media followed Gawker’s lead in focusing on Zuckerberg’s photos being accessible.

The fact that he has privatized his friends list is especially ironic as the company tried to eliminate that as an option in the first round of privacy changes.

The fact that he privatized his events calendar — showing where and when he would be at certain locations — makes sense to me. I saw that as a security risk. He is a billionaire after all. And after this round of privacy changes, he is hated by many, many Facebook users.


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  1. collapse expand

    Actually, I’m surprised he hasn’t unfriend-of-an-unfriended you yet! Another security model FB hasn’t quite considered yet, I’d think.
    I could’ve sworn they taught inductive logic at Harvard.

  2. collapse expand

    Funnily enough Zuckerberg is using a trick they told people about on the blog, to hide the friends list from the profile; it’s a “profile editing” setting which applies to everyone, rather than a privacy setting as such. So you could argue he’s done this to demonstrate there’s still a way, albeit a sort of hacky one, to hide your friend list.

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    About Me

    I am a writer, reporter, editor and blogger. I'm an editor at Above The Law, where I blog about lawyers, judges, law firms and the legal industry. Here at True/Slant, I write about our changing notions of privacy.

    If you have story ideas or tips, e-mail me at kashhill@trueslant.com. I've hung out in quite a few newsrooms over the last few years. Currently, I can be found in Breaking Media's Nolita office. In the past, I've been found in midtown Manhattan at The Week Magazine, in Hong Kong at the International Herald Tribune, and in D.C. at the National Press Foundation and the Washington Examiner.

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