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Thursday, May 29, 2014 marks another significant win for Facebook privacy advocates like West Virginian U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller who have long supported the idea that the user should be the one to determine just how much personal information s/he is willing to share in the public domain. Senator Rockefeller believes it is a good first step which strengthens the online privacy protection debate, and is asking more online companies to lend their full support.
According to yesterday’s Facebook post, “We want to do all we can to put power and control in people’s hands. This new tool is designed to help people make sure they are sharing with just the audience they want.”
This change was prompted by the enormous pressure of copious Facebook user complaints concerning the social platform’s privacy controls and default public settings which were highly convoluted and onerous for the average end user, resulting in unintentional distribution of private sensitive matters.
First-time Facebook users can start with the type audience they will for their posts. They will be required to select their audience type at the privacy settings point and if they do not, the system will automatically default to ‘Friends only’.
Existing Facebook users will be required to modify their account and privacy settings information upon logging in, although the Privacy Checkup features [love the blue dinosaur mascot], announced last month, are currently underway.
Facebook Newsroom, May 22, 2014 http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2014/05/making-it-easier-to-share-with-who-you-want/
Gross, D, Edition CNN, May 22, 2014, Social Media, http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/22/tech/social-media/facebook-privacy/