Everyone’s up in arms about Facebook’s default privacy settings, but that leaves me a little perplexed. Default settings are just an option, they’re not a requirement. Much the same way when you install software – there are default installations and custom installations. If you install the default you can rest assured that you’re going to get some bloatware, or erroneous copies installed in places you can never remove, or something that otherwise benefits the software creator, more than you, the consumer. So, why should Facebook be held to different standards?
In my opinion the real issue is the complexity of making the best custom setting decisions. For folks who aren’t addicted to the interwebz there’s a real danger that they’ll end up with profiles that are more open than they intended. I’ve seen my dad try to work the VCR–this is way more complicated and much less gratifying. I heard one commentator liken Facebook’s options to a airplane’s dashboard (apologies, I can’t remember who said it…) and it’s true. So many nobbies and options, it’s easy to get mixed up.
Perhaps the solution is to offer a few levels of default/customization, much like the Internet Options on Internet Explorer. You know, where you have a slidebar where you go from high security to lower, and then IE makes some assumptions based on your preferences (screenshot, below). Facebook could have the same – from super open, to super closed. (or the option of selecting manually).
- From AllFacebook.com 10 New Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know
What do you think?