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Facebook Fixes: Your privacy settings will be overridden if a friend shares your post

October 10, 2011

I just discovered a flaw with the privacy settings for photos and status updates on Facebook.

The other day I posted a photo of my dog Ruby wearing her pink tutu.  You will notice that in the photo at left, the Share with setting is Friends.  This should mean that the only people who can see this photo are listed as my Friends.

My friend Janet liked the photo so much, she clicked the Share link which posted the photo to her wall.   One would have thought that the only people who could see the photo on Janet’s wall would be mutual friends;  People who are listed as my friends who Janet also knows.

Turns out, this is not the case.   When Janet posted it to her wall, she used the Public setting (the globe indicates the post is publicly viewable).

Using one of my other Facebook accounts in which I am not friends with Janet, I went to her profile page.  I was able to see the photo of Ruby in her tutu.

Bottom line:  Just because you have set your photos and status updates to be viewed by specific people, you still need to be aware that if the post is shared, there is the potential for anyone to view it.

Use this basic rule of thumb: If you would not shout it in the middle of Times Square, you may not want to post it on Facebook.

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