Facebook: What are your friend ethics? And is FB really public–or private?

So, I’ve been mulling over an interesting question about Facebook: If the people you accept or invite into your network are your *friends*, what level of confidentiality or privacy does that imply?
In other words, if you mention something in your Facebook feed that a friend sees, is that fair game for someone in your network to blog, without checking with you?
Or to put it another way, do all of you reading this consider your FB info to be public? private? Or something inbetween?
I ask because my FB network is fairly loose and I just had the experience of someone who asked to be linked as a friend taking something I posted and blogging about it without even checking with me. I suspected this person might have this motive when I accepted their request, and decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, but when they picked up what I considered a closed-network message–in that space between public and private–and posted it on the web without even checking with me (!) I concluded a) this person has very different notions about privacy and courtsey than I do, and b) this person is not really someone I feel safe having in my friend network, so I removed’em.
What’s everyone else think? Any opinions on what the right behaviors and ettiquette are for you in how you a) share info on FB and b) expect those in your network will handle what you share?

Latest Comments

  1. Michael Clarke says:

    I regard it as a public space, same as anything where I use my real name, and I’m similarly cautious about what I say. Rather like work email – I don’t write anything I wouldn’t want your (deeply metaphorical) mother to read.

  2. Andrew Weissman says:

    With any of my own Internet postings — public blog, message board, semi-private closed -garden Facebook, I have always taken the same attitude that Jerry Garcia had, referring to the Grateful Dead’s concept taping policy:
    “Once we’re done with it, it’s theirs.”
    One those digital words have been sent, they are out there, living a life of their own.
    Maybe this is just a defense mechanism for the very situation you describe, but at least it orients me.

Latest Comments

Comments are closed.