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OK, I give up; I now have a Facebook profile

Ali Kuru in facebook, Me, Web, social media, privacy

Although I had an account at Facebook for quite some time, using it never really interested me before.

Dere Tepe FacebookNow, I’m about to permanently leave the town which I’m living for 14 years and the university which I’m working for nearly 9 years, thought that I would probably need something more efficient than email and IM for keeping connections with my friends and colleagues. Since all of them are using Facebook (just like the rest of the world must I say, if we consider the network is dwarfing any other alternative with its 400 million users!), using it seems inevitable. So, I decided to came out of the rock I’m hiding under for years, and created myself a profile.

Since every once in a while I read about privacy concerns of Facebook users on the net, I was skeptical about how it handles the privacy, and this was on top of my list of reasons for not using Facebook. However, I found their way of handling privacy more robust than I imagened. It looks like Facebook listens their users voice (“scream” could be more appropriate here), and evolves with their needs, which is good know.

I still have few annoyances about the service though;

  • Joining a network shouldn’t automatically change your privacy settings
    There are a lot of options that lets you fine tune your privacy at the privacy settings section, but you probably know that already :) Anyway, I tuned everything, than I joined the network of my university and – almost – every setting on that page automatically changed to allow the members of my university network to see everything on my profile! Approximately 1000 people are working in my university and more than 20000 students are having education. There is obviously no chance I’m knowing them all :) Also, since anyone can join the network even if they are not affiliated with my university in any way, anyone can see my full profile, wall etc., regardless what I set on the privacy section. What is the point of “friending” then? I don’t know.
  • There should be a way to moderate wall posts before they get published
    I know, this may be a stupid wish for a network like Facebook, but I really would like to have more moderation rights on my wall. We all know that not everybody in our friend list is really our “friend” (who has 500+ “friends” in real life, right?). We sometimes add people we see on the corridor to our office or people in our neighborhood just to be polite, who we just say “hello” or “good morning” once in a while. Can he/she turn into a jackass one day? You can’t be sure. Also, you may have bad times with your real friends, who can post things you may not want to see on your wall after your argument. It’s possible to think more scenarios here. What I’m trying to tell is just being able to remove posts from my wall is not enough, I should also be able to approve posts before they show themselves up on my wall. Being able to customize the group of people allowed to post on my wall with lists (rather than all my “friends”) could also work, I guess.
  • Navigating through pages are difficult than I thought
    I don’t know what it’s like before, but I found the new design difficult to navigate. I think clicking on the “Facebook” on the header should take me to the home page (or refresh the homepage, if I’m already there) rather than just refreshing my news feed. Also, I didn’t like pop-up boxes and I’d love to see a direct link to my friend list somewhere on the top navigation menu.
  • Applications are not descriptive enough
    There usually are very limited information on the application pages about their functionality and how they are handling privacy.

I’m looking for a useful Greasemonkey script for Facebook, like to hear your suggestions. Also, I’d like to hear which applications you are using. Couldn’t find anything interesting by myself. Looks like there are tons of alternatives if you are MMORPG gamer, but there is nothing really interesting if you are not :)

PhD in Microbiology, head of digital at Kapital Media. Interested in geekery, gadgets and ever-evolving web.

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