Facebook beefs up security: Some good, some stuff needs work

Facebook is undergoing some pretty interesting and I think beneficial changes to its Facebook security and privacy settings. My friend and colleague Anne Collier summarizes them quite well in her Net Family News blog (if you do not get her weekly newsletter, you REALLY should!). Here are some highlights:

  • Users will have the ability to approve a post or photo right before it’s visible to others.
  • Users will be able to choose a setting in which they can approve or not approve a tag someone else makes before it goes live.

Why are these changes so great? Because it provides a moment of pause before something goes public. A user can think for that one more second as to whether what they are about to broadcast is a good idea or not. In other words, it’s a concrete and immediate reminder as to what is about to happen.

The bonus will be if we can somehow communicate that point directly to the youth and young adults who might benefit from it most.

And speaking of youth, Facebook has also just published Own Your Space: A Guide to Facebook Security. Supposedly, its audience is “Young Adults, Parents, and Educators,” but I would be shocked if they consulted any youth before putting that document online: 14 pages of text and graphically sparse, it falls far short of being youth friendly. If Facebook truly wants to reach out to those younger users, it’s going to have to revise that manual into something that will actually be read.