PsychBook Research

Collecting and analysing psychological research on the most popular social networking site in the world today.

More privacy issues: this almost encourages bitchiness

From Steven O’Hear at TechCrunch Europe, my eyes popped out of my head when I read this – and it’s a feature, not a flaw.

As an example, a privacy quirk on Facebook appears to produce the following scenario: User A sends a friend-request to user B but they choose not to accept, at least not yet (it’s a pending request, so they haven’t declined either).

However, just by issuing that request, some of user B’s activity begins showing up in user A’s Facebook News Feed under ‘Most Recent’. This could be complete status updates if user B has chosen or inadvertently made those public (again, remember, this is a feature not a bug, a bit like following somebody on Twitter).

That’s probably OK, assuming user B knows what they are doing. But, more bizarrely, the feed could also show who user B has recently befriended.

In other words, while user A is being shunned, they get to see that other friend-requests are being accepted.

Ouch. (O’Hear, May 10, 2010, n.p., emphasis in original)

Read the rest of it here: Facebook’s byzantine privacy controls produce more confusion

Will have my own review paper on Facebook’s privacy policy coming soon in the next few days.

Categories: Media
AAAAND ya can’t recall your friend request. So person B can shun person A for AGES. eh… I presume, ahem.
10 May 10 at 21:48
Happily, you can actually recall a friend request, but it’s not very easy. You have to go to your profile, right-click on your number of friends and view your complete list of friends. That’s the only way I know that will all you to see friend requests that you have made that are still pending, and you can then cancel any that are outstanding. But I’m sure this is something you only need to know for academic purposes, eh Bren? :)
11 May 10 at 00:50