Facebook responds to member revolt by instituting new privacy controls
Social networking websites are all about sharing information, but is it possible to share too much? That's the question some Facebook.com members are asking after the website added new features that let members track their friends. More than 700,000 members have voiced the opposition to the new features and some have called them "stalkerish". Facebook now has implemented privacy controls to block user information from other members.
Earlier this week, Facebook added "News Feeds" and "Mini News Feeds" which relayed member changes to anyone in the member's friend list. The news feed contained any changes to a member's pictures, relationships and other information; the Mini News Feed contained changes to a member's profile. The feeds also included time stamps of when the changes were made.
While the whole point of social networking is to share information and to grow your friends list, many Facebook members protested the new features and some called them "stalker-ish" and "TMI - too much information". Members have even formed the "Students Against Facebook News Feed" group within Facebook. So far more than 700,000 members have joined.
Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, posted a message to the Facebook blog titled "Calm Down, Breath." just after members started complaining. Today, Zuckerberg acknowledged that the changes may have been ill-advised, adding in a post, "We really messed this one up." He says new privacy features have been added and users can now block information and timestamps from hitting the feeds.
Facebook has more than nine million members, most of them in college and high-school, and is one of the largest social networking websites on the Internet.