Facebook has always been criticized for its privacy policies. Users have been demanding major changes for a very long time. After the launch of Google+, with its groundbreaking features and privacy controls, Facebook too has revamped its privacy settings.
A few areas of major concerns for Facebook users were the loosely defined tagging and sharing controls. For example, earlier, anyone could tag you in a video, audio or picture without your permission. The only option available for you was to request the host or the tagger to remove the content or the tag. It also became a problem for celebrities who were often tagged in obscene and vulgar videos or pictures, which regularly put them through considerable ordeals. But now, Facebook has given its users significant control over their privacy settings in the form of inline profile control, as well as, tagging modifications and post their changes in status updates. These changes are not just ground breaking, but also, assist Facebook maintain its monopoly over the social networking market. The fact that Google + is moving in leaps and bounds and appears to be a threat for Facebook is actually a good news for Facebook users. Google + has given them the bargaining power which they had always been looking for. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the significant changes which Facebook has introduced this year.
Better Privacy Controls for Facebook Sharing and Tagging
1. Inline Profile Control
This is a simple change to reduce the number of clicks on your behalf. Instead of going into the privacy settings and then making changes, there is a drop-down option available next to every post on your home page. It is also in continuation with Facebook philosophy of keeping things simple and user-friendly. The inline profile control offers you a variety of options with regards to your privacy settings.
2. Tagging Modifications
This is one of the most fundamental and significant changes that Facebook has made in its privacy settings. Now, you can un-tag yourself from any post, video or picture. Only the tags approved by you will be visible on your Wall . It is important to note that those tags will still be visible to the other users in the original form. But, you can request the tagger to remove that post or block him from your profile forever.
3. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
If you have always wondered how your profile appears to your friend or visitors, this option is meant for you. These days, there is a button on top left with a ‘view profile’ option on your profile page. After making any change in your privacy settings, you can cross-check to see how your profile appears, by using this new function.
4. Tag the World Along
Earlier, you were only allowed to tag your friends in your posts. With the advent of the new privacy settings, you are allowed to tag anyone and everyone. But, as mentioned earlier, the people you tag also have the option of un-tagging themselves and blocking you from their profiles.
5. Status updates
Previously, after posting your status update, you were not allowed to make changes to privacy settings. These days, even after posting a status update or a photo upload, you can change the ‘view settings’ from ‘public’ to ‘friends’ or ‘friends only’. This allows you to filter the unwanted views or comments that were earlier unavoidable.
Facebook still has a long way to go, so as to, come up with a definitive privacy structure. A setup, where every individual will have absolute control over his or her privacy settings is urgently needed and the point-by-point approach that is currently practiced should be scrapped. But, the upcoming challenges from Twitter and Google+ have already stirred up the competition. What users really expect from Facebook is the ability to predict these shortcomings and work upon them.