Facebook Changes Default Privacy Setting For New Users To Friends From Public, Announces Launch Of Privacy Checkup Tool

NewUserPrivacySettings650Users’ privacy is a perpetual hot-button issue for Facebook, and the social network announced several steps Thursday aimed at simplifying users’ efforts to control who sees their content, including changing the default privacy setting on new users’ posts to friends from public, and starting the rollout of a new, expanded privacy checkup tool to help users review their settings.

Facebook offered more details on the switch of the default setting to friends in a Newsroom post:

On Facebook, you can share whatever you want with whomever you want, from a one-to-one conversation, to friends, or to everyone.

While some people want to post to everyone, others have told us that they are more comfortable sharing with a smaller group, like just their friends. We recognize that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share just with friends, compared with the reverse.

So, going forward, when new people join Facebook, the default audience of their first post will be set to friends. Previously, for most people, it was set to public.

First-time posters will also see a reminder to choose an audience for their first post, and if they don’t make a choice, it will be set to friends. People can change who they are posting to at any time, and can also change the privacy of their past posts, too.

Some Facebook users began seeing privacy checkup popups as early as March, and the social network offered more details on the rollout of this feature:

Over the next few weeks, we’ll start rolling out a new and expanded privacy checkup tool, which will take people through a few steps to review things like who they’re posting to, which applications they use, and the privacy of key pieces of information on their profile.

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. Everything about how privacy works on Facebook remains the same.


Finally, Facebook summarized related privacy changes it has implemented over the past few months:

  • Public posting reminder: a quick reminder to people posting publicly to make sure they are sharing with the audience they want.


  • Simplified audience selectors: On Facebook for iPhone, the audience you’re sharing a post with is now at the top of the screen, and on Web, people will see a simplified audience selector. We’re testing and rolling out similar improvements in other places people use Facebook.


  • Anonymous Login and new controls for Facebook Login: Anonymous Login is a brand-new way to log into apps without sharing any personal information from Facebook. The new Facebook Login gives people the option to pick and choose what information apps get.


  • Redesigned app control panel: A new dashboard where people can see a list of apps they use, manage specific permissions, or remove apps entirely.


Readers: What do you think of Facebook’s latest steps to simplify the process of setting privacy parameters?

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