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|Oops. Mark Zuckerberg's Sister Has A Private Facebook Photo Go Public. by Nobody: 8:03am On Dec 27, 2012|
Being a member of the Facebook founder’s family won’t protect you from having your privacy breached on the social network. On Tuesday night, Randi Zuckerberg — older sister to Facebook’s CEO — posted a photo from a family gathering to Facebook (of course), showing her sisters using Facebook’s new Snapchat-esque ’Poke’ app on their phones, with Mark Zuckerberg watching with a confused look on his face. It popped up on the Facebook newsfeed of mediaite Callie Schweitzer who subscribes to Zuckerberg. Assuming the photo was a public one, Schweitzer tweeted it to her nearly 40,000 Twitter followers.
Zuckerberg was not pleased.
“Not sure where you got this photo,” she tweeted at Schweitzer. “I posted it to friends only on FB. You reposting it to Twitter is way uncool.”
“I would hate for a private photo of mine to be public and would never want to do same to others,” replied Schweitzer, deleting the photo. While she was nice, others preferred to be on Santa’s naughty list. Buzzfeed nabbed the endearing photo and posted it. The fact that the photo captured the Zuckerberg family using a Facebook app that exists to undermine the permanence of photos is just the start of the irony here…
Schweitzer explained that the photo had popped up in her newsfeed. Zuckerberg then realized that she had fallen prey to Facebook’s complicated privacy setting machinations. Perhaps with the help of the Facebook expert at hand, Zuckerberg figured out what had happened: Schweitzer is friends with one of the people in the photo, and so was able to see the otherwise private photo because a friend was tagged in it.
Zuckerberg pulled back on her Internet road rage, and accepted Schweitzer's apology she has since deleted:
By this point, of course, it was too late for the photo not to become news. Zuckerberg can at least comfort herself by remembering that she is not the first Zuckerberg to be flummoxed by Facebook’s privacy settings. Back in 2009, Mark Zuckerberg had his whole profile — including photos and his events calendar — go suddenly and dramatically public after a Facebook privacy setting overhaul that seemed to take him by surprise.
This is the difficulty of Facebook. Despite simplifications and “shortcuts,” the privacy settings are not always easily navigated. Sensitive information can unexpectedly leak. Even if you manage to master Facebook’s settings, your friends’ selections as to who can see their content may wind up undermining your privacy decisions.
Rather than faulting the social network, Randi Zuckerberg preferred pointing the finger elsewhere.
After deleting her exchange with Schweitzer, older sister Zuckerberg — who previously worked at Facebook and specializes in marketing – spun the privacy breach as Schweitzer’s fault. She offered a lesson in digital etiquette on Twitter: “Always ask permission before posting a friend’s photo publicly. It’s not about privacy settings. It’s about human decency.”
That’s richer than the egg nog many of us were drinking yesterday.
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