I just finished updating my Facebook profile to the new Timeline. What a nerve-racking experience….because with Facebook, you never know what privacy settings have been changed without your permission, what new options and features are turned on by default, and so forth.
Facebook doesn’t exactly have a good history of protecting its users, especially when it involves things (i.e., data) that benefits its advertisers. Because, as the saying goes, when a service is free, the users aren’t the customers — they’re the product being sold.
Anyhoo, when it comes to Facebook and any social networking site, I try to be very protective of my location. I don’t accept Foursquare requests from people I’ve never met, and even from some whom I have met. On Facebook, I’ve only used the check-in feature once, to test it when it first launched. And I don’t let friends check me in to places they visit, either.
So you can imagine my surprise and frustration when I switched over to Timeline and saw this:
Somehow I’ve checked-in or been checked-in 35 times on Facebook. Say what??!! How does that happen? I just don’t get it, and I don’t like it.
Luckily, I was able to remove that maps thing from my profile. At least I think I did. You never really know with Facebook.
And then there was this: While I was reviewing my history of liking pages, Facebook decided to list MapQuest in my Likes, even though — as the button suggests — I never really did Like them on Facebook.
What’s that all about?
Is Facebook more annoying than mysterious? Or vice versa? I can’t decide.
You are so right to be vigilant about your profile and wary of FB. I make a point to periodically go in and review all my privacy settings because when FB makes changes, sometimes things get reset back to “default” (usually less private) without any notification. I disabled the “allow friends to check me in function” a long time ago, but I’m sure most people on FB don’t even realize it’s there. I also discovered a “community page” about me FB created a few months ago. I have no control over its content and haven’t figured out how FB determines specifically which of my friends posts that I’m tagged in to display there.