Facebook changes default post setting to friends only

22 May 2014

Facebook is introducing new measures aimed at reducing the number of embarrassing instances of posts going public on the social network by making them viewable by friends only by default.

Facebook has been experimenting and changing its status posting options in recent months in response to criticism over the levels of privacy on the site. Now, the company is reducing the number of posting options to two – friends and public – as well as introducing a new policy of messaging users on a pre-determined basis to alert them if their post setting is set to public.

As of 23 May, new Facebook members will need to change their settings if they wish to make their Facebook posts public from the get-go.

In an official statement, Facebook explained the dinosaur character it debuted last month will pop up for a new user’s first message to let him or her decide which option they wish to take.

For existing users, a new and expanded privacy checkup tool will take users through a few steps to review things, such as who they’re posting to, which apps they use, and the privacy of key pieces of information on their profile.

The social network has also introduced an anonymous log-in feature for its mobile apps, which gives the user the ability to select which apps receive data from Facebook, an issue which has been raised a number of times by privacy awareness groups who feared companies were using their most personal data for marketing.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic