Facebook Promises "Simplistic" Privacy Choices

Illustration for article titled Facebook Promises "Simplistic" Privacy Choices

Facebook seems to know they've stepped over a line—first came the internal privacy powows and second-guesses. Now Facebook's public policy honcho says that the site will be introducing "simplistic" privacy choices. Oh good! Now what's that mean, exactly?

The short answer is, we don't know. Facebook's Tim Sparapani made the pledge yesterday on Kojo Nnamdi's public radio show, but didn't provide any sort of significant detail:

"We are going to be providing options for users who want simplistic bands of privacy that they can choose from and I think we will see that in the next couple of weeks."


So it sounds as though a user will be able to indicate a general degree of privacy they'd be happy with instead of mucking about with the 170+ privacy options that make it incredibly difficult to know who can access your information, and how much.

That seems like a fine start, but it also could create even more problems for those who want to keep some information (photos, employment) private but don't mind sharing other (relationship, interests) details.

And it also doesn't really address the root of the problem: currently, Facebook's privacy policy requires you almost exclusively to opt out of sharing information. Unless the "simplistic" choice defaults to keeping your personal life personal, it's still too complicated. [Wired]


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Come on, really? We've reached this point of inability to manipulate our own language?

Simple and simplistic are very similar in meaning, but not identical. The difference can even be said to be nothing more than connotative, but regardless: a difference exists.

Simple means easy to understand, not artificially elaborate, able to be easily dealt with.

Simplistic means overly simplified, dumbed down to a point where utility is diminished. (It is a bad thing, or at best neutral.)

I realize this is just a slip of the tongue, or more likely, an attempt to make himself sound better by using a slightly longer word he simply doesn't realize is incorrect. Given what's happened of late, I don't think Facebook is intentionally coming out and saying, "you're all dumb fucks, so here are some privacy options a monkey could comprehend."

Edited by: Department of Redundancy Department