Feeds

Facebook adding new privacy control tools for your 'stuff'

Voting's done, let's get on with it

The essential guide to IT transformation

Facebook has moved swiftly to introduce changes to its privacy controls and settings and it will roll out new tools to restrict access to posted material and edit past posts in the next week or so.

The privacy settings menu has been simplified to three topics: "Who can see my stuff?" "Who can contact me?" and "How do I stop someone from bothering me?"

When users post up new material they'll also be offered options on how far and wide to distribute that hilarious – and possibly career-ending – photo of the office Christmas party.

If this fails to stop people posting unwelcome information, Facebook is also making it easier to edit your "stuff" on the Timeline. It's adding multiple image removal, and users can send a message to the poster explaining why it was removed. That'll take "stuff" off your direct Timeline, but it'll still appear in some search results, though without tags to identify who's in the photos.

Speaking of search, Facebook has turned off the ability to hide your name from its search tool, and those who are using the feature will have it phased out. In a blog post explaining the changes, Sam Lessin, Facebook's director of product, said the tool was "very limited in scope, and didn't prevent people from finding others in many other ways across the site."

This, of course, opens up lots of exciting new revenue opportunities in the search area. Mark Zuckerberg said recently that Facebook's internal search engine was handling about a billion queries a month, which is chicken feed compared to Google and Bing, but (Zuck would argue) it's the quality, not the quantity, that counts.

Everyone's going to be getting a message about the new changes, and the company told El Reg that there would also be video tutorials posted online for those that need them. Based on the screenshots released on Wednesday, the changes do look like a good simplification of the notoriously-complex system in place today.

It's been just two days since its users failed to rustle up the 300 million or so votes required to block the changes Facebook proposed, and the company reported that less than one per cent of the user base voted against the changes – 589,141 out of 668,872 in the official audit. But while the voting system is gone, the company says it's is still listening.

"We understand that many of you feel strongly about maintaining the participatory nature of our site governance process. We do too," said Elliot Schrage, Facebook's VP of communications.

"We believe that having a meaningful dialogue with our community through our notice and comment process is core to that effort moving forward. We also plan to explore and implement new, innovative and effective ways to enhance this process in order to maximize user engagement."

The changes will be rolled out in the next week or so on a global basis, once the final code has been tested, so everyone should be updated in time to edit out the New Year's celebration pictures they'd rather forget. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.