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Facebook privacy revised: Default audience now “Friends,” new privacy checkup tool en route

By April Taylor , May 23, 2014 09:16 AM EDT
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Facebook has taken more steps toward protecting its users' privacy, setting the default audience to "Friends" and announcing a new privacy checkup tool.

Privacy has been a hotly-debated topic in regards to social networking, yet many still continue to overshare, with or without their knowledge. For new users, Facebook wants to prevent oversharing by setting the default audience to "Friends" rather than "Public," as it used to be until now.

For existing users, meanwhile, Facebook will offer "a new and expanded privacy checkup tool," designed to allow them to easily check and alter their previous posts' audience.

"While some people want to post to everyone, others have told us that they are more comfortable sharing with a smaller group, like just their friends. We recognize that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share with just friends, compared with the reverse," explains Facebook.

"First time posters will also see a reminder to choose an audience for their first post, and if they don't make a choice, it will be set to Friends. People can change who they are posting to at any time, and can also change the privacy of their past posts too."

Facebook's latest moves come in response to user feedback, and users reportedly expressed concerns about sharing something with the wrong audience, or sharing something by accident. The new privacy checkup tool aims to come in handy in such situations, allowing users to easily manage and change their posts.

"Over the next few weeks, we'll start rolling out a new and expanded privacy checkup tool, which will take people through a few steps to review things like who they're posting to, which apps they use, and the privacy of key pieces of information on their profile."

Truth be told, some users on Facebook will share anything and everything with everyone. From their breakfast to their daily routine, their workout at the gym, their drunken night out, and so on, they will fill their Timelines with all sorts of info.

While these new features will likely make no difference if users willingly choose to share too much on Facebook, they will offer cautious users more control over how their updates appear and who is able to see them.

Other than these recently-announced changes, everything about how Facebook privacy settings work will remain unchanged. On their part, users are advised to carefully select their desired audience before proceeding to unfold their lives onto the social network. 

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