22 September, 2011

Facebook privacy scenarios

Updated 16 Nov 11

I've always wondered about the privacy settings on Facebook. They're so complicated, are you sure they behave like you expect them to? Recently they changed something so that friends of people tagged in your photos can see that photo too, which may not be what you want. One of my friend's photos was set to "Friends", but the friend of someone tagged in the photo could see it too.

Here are some questions about their privacy settings. I realise they keep changing things, so the answers may not be up to date. It's like a cat and mouse game, or using a more nerdy term, a Red Queen situation.
  • Is visibility based on most restricted or most open? e.g. if I tag a "Friends" photo, can the tagged's friends see it too? If I tag a "Public" photo, and the tagged person's settings say do not let friends know when that person's tagged, will their friends be notified?
  • My friend had a "Friends" photo. I tagged myself in it. My friends, who originally couldn't see the photo, now can. So it looks like it overrode the setting. I think it's either 1) most open or 2) most recent.
  • If I make a comment on a post, and the owner hides that post, can I still see it?
  • Who exactly can see what I comment on and like in their ticker? All my friends? The set intersection of my friends and people who can see the root comment? - so far I think it's the latter, I haven't seen any updates about posts I shouldn't be able to see.
  • What exactly do people in a list see for the privacy settings of a post only visible to that list?

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