Facebook moves to assuage growing privacy fears

By John Glenday | Reporter

May 23, 2014 | 1 min read

Social networking giant Facebook has moved to assuage the growing privacy concerns of its 1.3bn users by changing the default visibility of posts to friends only – as opposed to everyone as now.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg described the move to give people greater say in how and when their posts appear as an ‘important cultural shift’ for the firm, which has come in for stick for prioritising the needs of its advertisers above its own members.

Describing the rationale behind the decision in a blog post the company said: “We recognise that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share just with friends, compared with the reverse.”

Sceptics contend that the turnaround may be as much to do with growing competition from messaging services such as Snapchat.

Nevertheless Facebook has been introducing a succession of privacy-friendly policies; notably an anonymous log-in service that doesn’t share information with other apps, together with a reminder whenever someone tries to make a public post.

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