The Sky is Falling! (And other Facebook privacy rumblings)

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Facebook Privacy

If you’re breathing, you’re probably also on Facebook – and thus, chances are you have noticed or will come across one of the latest Facebook privacy rumors. It reads like this:

For those of you who do not understand the reasoning behind this posting, Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version.

The erroneous post will go on to tell you that in order to get around all of these (also erroneous) Facebook privacy holes, you need to post a legal disclaimer on your profile prohibiting any use of your information. The driving force behind this recent viral rumor is Facebook’s new status as a publicly traded company. However, the trading status (public or private) of a company ultimately doesn’t affect the public nature of your information either way.

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And besides, just because you post a legal disclaimer to protect you from some action or reaction, doesn’t mean you’re actually protected under the law – if only it were that simple! So much of what goes viral in terms of “Doom and Gloom” tactics is really just myth playing upon a common fear – in this case, the fear of having your privacy violated. Ultimately, it’s pretty cut and dry. With Facebook, what you see is what you get – and that means if other people can see it, they can get it.

The solution? Be careful about who you take on as a “friend,” and be thoughtful and judicious about what you say, what you post, what you share, and what pictures you put out there. If you never put anything “out there” that can be used against you, then you won’t ever have to worry about the consequences of your sharing.

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