The public search listing contains less information than someone could find right after signing up anyway, so we’re not exposing any new information, and you have complete control over your public search listing.
In a few weeks, we will allow these Public Search listings (depending on users’ individual privacy settings) to be found by search engines like Google, MSN Live, Yahoo, etc. We think this will help more people connect and find value from Facebook without exposing any actual profile information or data.
Translation: If you’re a FaceBook member, your ass is now online.
Yes, you can opt out:
As always, if you do not want your public search listing to be visible to people searching from outside of Facebook, you can control that from the Search Privacy page. Please note that you will only appear in searches outside Facebook when your search settings are set to “Everyone”.
But this is a significant shift. The walled garden called Facebook is declaring itself a public space where suddenly all its members have name badges visible by default to the world.
Seems to me this is not what its members bargained for when they joined up. But I’m 60. The bargain at 18 or 35 might be very different.
Yet, I submit, the bargains we make with commercially-based social silos like FaceBook are by nature Faustian, whether or not it’s cool with us that FaceBook creates fresh exposures of our identity data to search engine users — including, of course, countless marketing data harvesters and spammers who will soon be sending us crap with subject lines containing bait from FaceBook profiles (even if they’re minimized).
Anonymity should be the default in the way we face the open world — the one where search engines crawl public sites and data. When we become members of organizations, we by default should assume that data about us will be made available on a selectively permitted basis arrived at by mutual discretion, between the member and the organization. That isn’t happening here. FaceBook is unilaterally deciding to expose its members to who-knows-what, in addition to friends looking for friends. Giving members opt-out is lame, retro and and a breach of faith.
What we call “online social networks” mostly are not. They are private walled gardens that exist for reasons that are far more commercial than social. We need to remember that.
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