Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

When the Most Personal Secrets Get Outed on Facebook
Wall Street Journal ^ | October 12, 2012 | Geoffrey A. Fowler

Posted on 10/13/2012 8:11:08 AM PDT by billorites

AUSTIN, Texas—Bobbi Duncan desperately wanted her father not to know she is lesbian. Facebook told him anyway.

One evening last fall, the president of the Queer Chorus, a choir group she had recently joined, inadvertently exposed Ms. Duncan's sexuality to her nearly 200 Facebook friends, including her father, by adding her to a Facebook Inc. discussion group. That night, Ms. Duncan's father left vitriolic messages on her phone, demanding she renounce same-sex relationships, she says, and threatening to sever family ties.

The 22-year-old cried all night on a friend's couch. "I felt like someone had hit me in the stomach with a bat," she says.

Soon, she learned that another choir member, Taylor McCormick, had been outed the very same way, upsetting his world as well.

The president of the chorus, a student organization at the University of Texas campus here, had added Ms. Duncan and Mr. McCormick to the choir's Facebook group. The president didn't know the software would automatically tell their Facebook friends that they were now members of the chorus.

The two students were casualties of a privacy loophole on Facebook—the fact that anyone can be added to a group by a friend without their approval. As a result, the two lost control over their secrets, even though both were sophisticated users who had attempted to use Facebook's privacy settings to shield some of their activities from their parents.

"Our hearts go out to these young people," says Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes. "Their unfortunate experience reminds us that we must continue our work to empower and educate users about our robust privacy controls."

In the era of social networks like Facebook and Google Inc.'s Google+, companies that catalog people's activities for a profit routinely share, store and broadcast everyday details of people's lives. This creates a challenge...

(Excerpt) Read more at professional.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-63 next last

1 posted on 10/13/2012 8:11:10 AM PDT by billorites
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: billorites

ever hear of don’t do anything you don’t want printed in the paper?

why do people think they have a right to secrecy?


2 posted on 10/13/2012 8:12:38 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites
When you make a deal with the devil....


3 posted on 10/13/2012 8:14:00 AM PDT by darkwing104 (Let's get dangerous)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: yldstrk

Exactly so. Don’t want your parents to know - don’t post it on facebook ffs. This isn’t exactly hard.


4 posted on 10/13/2012 8:15:29 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas, Texas, Whisky)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: billorites
A benign and trivial example:

I'm a long-term, but infrequent, user of FaceBook. Last summer I bought a lightweight travel backpack on line.

Later, I see that purchase broadcast over FB. I must have OK'd sharing that, but don't remember doing so and normally wouldn't.

Must check my privacy settings to make sure I'm not sharing what's kept in the back of my sock drawer...

5 posted on 10/13/2012 8:18:12 AM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites
Sorry. I never think ‘outing’ is unintentional. There are a significant number of Gays/Lesbians who are angry that anyone is still in the closet. They do not care if they compromise those who wish for privacy. This generation is so naive. I have told my son ‘don't put anything on Facebook that you wouldn't want the whole world to know’.
6 posted on 10/13/2012 8:18:29 AM PDT by originalbuckeye
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

What, she isn’t homosexual proud?


7 posted on 10/13/2012 8:19:34 AM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

WELCOME TO FACEBOOK - it’s about social networking and sharing anything and everything about your life instantly!

This is why the US Intel Community strongly suggests that people delete their FB account and stop using such invasion of personal life events network platforms!

Facebook is such a HUGE waste of time and commitment!

Unlike F/R....


8 posted on 10/13/2012 8:20:28 AM PDT by BCW (http://babylonscovertwar.com/index.html)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: yldstrk

There’s secrecy and then there’s privacy.


9 posted on 10/13/2012 8:21:14 AM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: billorites
Anyone that joins a group called “Queer” anything is not keeping it personal. That's exposing sexual activities to the public.
10 posted on 10/13/2012 8:22:04 AM PDT by Varda
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

if you are living a life you are ashamed of, change it to one you aren’t ashamed of


11 posted on 10/13/2012 8:23:11 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: billorites

I’ve never had ‘social sir accounts’, but here’s the long and short way to get-off Face-Butt:

http://www.wikihow.com/Permanently-Delete-a-Facebook-Account


12 posted on 10/13/2012 8:24:14 AM PDT by carriage_hill (The 0bummer Penguin: I played this country like a harp from hell.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

I’ve never had ‘social site accounts’, but here’s the long and short way to get-off Face-Butt:

http://www.wikihow.com/Permanently-Delete-a-Facebook-Account


13 posted on 10/13/2012 8:24:33 AM PDT by carriage_hill (The 0bummer Penguin: I played this country like a harp from hell.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

I spent an entire day in a seminar devoted to stalking people on the Internet. We had a whole section on Facebook. If you have your privacy settings totally locked down but one of your friends “likes” or comments on a post you make, and their settings are not totally locked down, then it can be found with a simple search. I sort of have assumed this so don’t post private things on my page. I mainly use it to check up on my kids and my niece and nephews whom I dearly love. So far none of them have unfriended me but I’m pretty sure that they don’t allow all of my postings on their wall. I’m not sure how to do that but I’ve been assured by one of my sons that its possible.


14 posted on 10/13/2012 8:26:22 AM PDT by Mercat (He was playing Words with Friends.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

FaceBook did not out her, her own stupidity on how to set her privacy, notifications outed her.


15 posted on 10/13/2012 8:30:16 AM PDT by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites
Later, I see that purchase broadcast over FB.

Facebook has entered ecommerce.

Call centers are now linking Facebook to customers when they call in to place an order or place the order on-line. The agent can have access to your Facebook account and see what your likes and dislikes are to help you with your purchase.

We are all living in glass houses now.

16 posted on 10/13/2012 8:30:20 AM PDT by Solar Wind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: billorites
Ms. Duncan's father left vitriolic messages on her phone, demanding she renounce same-sex relationships, she says, and threatening to sever family ties.

I have four children ... all straight ... but if any had turned out to be gay I certainly would not react in this way.

17 posted on 10/13/2012 8:30:51 AM PDT by layman (Card Carrying Infidel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.


18 posted on 10/13/2012 8:32:26 AM PDT by glorgau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites
I despise Facebook. I got lured into making an account so I could share pics with my sister and the girls. Now I'm getting friend requests and email updates hourly from every Tom, Dick and Harry. Seriously, This morning I have a friend request from a High School girl that is dating my very distant cousin, that I met at a funeral for the first (and only) time 4 years ago. Also, because of Facebook a girl my husband dated 22 years ago (When we were 18) showed up at the Hospital during family visitation when my mother-in-law was in ICU. Apparently she's been “occasionally” checking in on our family via my sister-in-law’s Facebook page for years, and when she saw we were going through a really difficult time, she sped to the hospital... to show off her new boob job. Facebook stinks.
19 posted on 10/13/2012 8:33:29 AM PDT by Casie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

What’s really sad is that this young woman has gotten drawn into this lifestyle. I’m 64 and I remember when I was in college that culture was hitting on me and there was a concerted effort to bring me into it. I cannot imagine what it’s like now. Sad.


20 posted on 10/13/2012 8:36:38 AM PDT by Mercat (He was playing Words with Friends.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mercat
I spent an entire day in a seminar devoted to stalking people on the Internet.

Hmmm. two ways to read that...

1... A seminar devoted an entire day to the stalking issue, and you attended.

2... You spent the entire day stalking people, while at a seminar.

21 posted on 10/13/2012 8:36:54 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Casie

“she sped to the hospital... to show off her new boob job. Facebook stinks.”

Oy vey!


22 posted on 10/13/2012 8:37:11 AM PDT by vladimir998
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: billorites
It's amazing what can easily be found via Facebook and other internet means; it's not limited just to lifestyle 'secrets'.

Video: Amazing mind reader reveals his 'gift'

23 posted on 10/13/2012 8:39:09 AM PDT by GCC Catholic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Casie
I despise Facebook. I got lured into making an account so I could share pics with my sister and the girls.

So you used it to communicate with family. Horrible site.

Now I'm getting friend requests and email updates hourly from every Tom, Dick and Harry. Seriously, This morning I have a friend request from a High School girl that is dating my very distant cousin, that I met at a funeral for the first (and only) time 4 years ago.

Decline the request. That was hard.

Also, because of Facebook a girl my husband dated 22 years ago (When we were 18) showed up at the Hospital during family visitation when my mother-in-law was in ICU. Apparently she's been “occasionally” checking in on our family via my sister-in-law’s Facebook page for years, and when she saw we were going through a really difficult time, she sped to the hospital... to show off her new boob job.

Facebook made her a shallow idiot? Weird.

Facebook stinks.

Facebook is a communication tool.

24 posted on 10/13/2012 8:40:29 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Mercat
I'm pretty guarded too about how I use FB. I signed up originally because students wanted a way to be in touch after they graduated and had lost university email.

Plus, if some acquaintance has a baby, meets the Dalai Lama, etc. it's fun to know.

On the other hand, people seem to be a little too disclosing. This being an election year yields way too many examples of folks saying more than necessary about their political views. I don't need to know that the lunch lady at school is a screaming leftist pro-choice maniac.

It's curious how I've lost respect for people as a result of their FB postings, but I can't point to an example of where it has worked in the other direction.

I'd rather just hide behind the thin veil of anonymity on FR.

25 posted on 10/13/2012 8:41:29 AM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: layman
Ms. Duncan's father left vitriolic messages on her phone, demanding she renounce same-sex relationships, she says, and threatening to sever family ties..... I have four children ... all straight ... but if any had turned out to be gay I certainly would not react in this way.

Agreed. There is a larger problem here. And FB merely picked at a scab that was going to be opened eventually anyway.

26 posted on 10/13/2012 8:44:13 AM PDT by Mygirlsmom (Obama will fight for Big Bird with one hand and flip the bird to America with the other.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: billorites

This is a hit piece on her dad. We just have to believe the author’s word who is likely a militant homosexual. Likely mostly fabricated and most dad’s would be outraged she would do something so public since he may have found out from other family members.

Good for him for taking a stand.

Pray for America


27 posted on 10/13/2012 8:45:21 AM PDT by bray (Islam- A billion medieval savages can't be wrong!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Solar Wind
"We are all living in glass houses now."

Let's soap our windows.

28 posted on 10/13/2012 8:45:45 AM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: billorites
In the book The Facebook Effect it says this in one of the intentions of founder Mark Zuckerberg, for people to live life as an open book with no secrets.
29 posted on 10/13/2012 8:47:07 AM PDT by socal_parrot (I hate to say I told you so, but...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

30 posted on 10/13/2012 8:49:03 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

Why so glum, Bobbi? From their incessant news coverage, it appears every UT student is homosexual now.


31 posted on 10/13/2012 8:51:03 AM PDT by txrefugee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: svcw
FaceBook did not out her, her own stupidity on how to set her privacy, notifications outed her.

The article explains that she most likely had her privacy settings well enough to protect herself.

Mr. Acosta had chosen open. "I was so gung-ho about the chorus being unashamedly loud and proud," he says.

But there was a trade-off he says he didn't know about. When he added Ms. Duncan, which didn't require her prior online consent, Facebook posted a note to her all friends, including her father, telling them that she had joined the Queer Chorus.

When Mr. Acosta pushed the button, Facebook allowed him to override the intent of the individual privacy settings Ms. Duncan and Mr. McCormick had used to hide posts from their fathers. Facebook's online help center explains that open groups, as well as closed groups, are visible to the public and will publish notification to users' friends. But Facebook doesn't allow users to approve before a friend adds them to a group, or to hide their addition from friends.

FB's settings aren't ironclad in such a way that a FB friend who is careless, stupid, or malicious can't reveal something secret. Mr. Acosta didn't grasp how FB works:

"I was figuring out the rules by trial and error," says Mr. Acosta.


The way that people can be tagged in photos and added to groups says that we ALL live in glass houses, to whatever degree we know people who use FB... whether or not we use it ourselves.

It's not worth having a destructive secret anymore... too hard to conceal it.

32 posted on 10/13/2012 8:53:03 AM PDT by GCC Catholic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: billorites

Her father isn’t as stupid as she thought.

She made her choice to be a pervert - now live with it.


33 posted on 10/13/2012 8:53:29 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Psalm 109:8 "Let his days be few, and let another take his office.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: yldstrk

It is a person’s business what their secrets are. Only Big Brother demands a right to anyone’s secrets.


34 posted on 10/13/2012 8:57:39 AM PDT by healy61
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: billorites

Welcome to the adult world where people have to live with the decisions they make.


35 posted on 10/13/2012 8:58:52 AM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites
My Facebook account is for a person of the opposite gender who is 10+ years older than I really am.

I only use it to check on other Facebook accounts. Anyone who wants to "invade my privacy" on Facebook is wasting their time.

36 posted on 10/13/2012 9:00:30 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: JoeProBono
... everyone knows you're a dog!

My former dog, Spot, now has 1192 friends on FaceBook! I gave him up to move to the AFRH. I really miss him, but his new family keeps me UTD!

the image

37 posted on 10/13/2012 9:01:15 AM PDT by WVKayaker (I'm more than happy to be Obama's "enemy of the week" - Sarah Palin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: healy61

You know what? the nature of a secret means it will get revealed at some point. so don’t do or have things you are ashamed of. sure, keep the numbers of your life close to the vest, but count on anything scandalous getting revealed somehow somewhere. that is how the world works.


38 posted on 10/13/2012 9:06:33 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: layman

well I hope you would have made it clear it is not a good lifestyle but hung with them til they worked it out or not


39 posted on 10/13/2012 9:09:04 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: billorites
the fact that anyone can be added to a group by a friend without their approval.

No WAY!!!

I'm going to start a "Friends of Jerry Sandusky" group and add selected people to watch the fireworks!

40 posted on 10/13/2012 9:11:43 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my dear Friend Henry Lee II)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites
In the book The Facebook Effect it says this in one of the intentions of founder Mark Zuckerberg, for people to live life as an open book with no secrets.
41 posted on 10/13/2012 9:15:59 AM PDT by socal_parrot (I hate to say I told you so, but...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

So are we supposed to be mad at Facebook or sad that you are ashamed before your family of what you have become?


42 posted on 10/13/2012 9:21:04 AM PDT by Ramonne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites

That’s happened to me, too. Fortunately it wasn’t anything embarrassing. A friend added me to a group of people who live in a certain city, even though I don’t live in that city, just near it. Facebook alerted all my friends, who started posting to me, “Oh, when did you move?!” This is an annoying glitch Facebook really needs to take care of.


43 posted on 10/13/2012 9:24:48 AM PDT by Nea Wood (When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro
Her father isn’t as stupid as she thought.

She made her choice to be a pervert - now live with it.

At one time humility was considered godly. I see now it falls easily to the thrill of feeling morally superior to another.

44 posted on 10/13/2012 9:25:25 AM PDT by conservative sympathizer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Irenic

maybe she thinks that what she does in the bed room isn’t something she wants to share with her parents....not an unreasonable stance regardless of your desires


45 posted on 10/13/2012 9:50:17 AM PDT by Nifster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Casie

Yep; Facebook stinks. - A few years ago, I got snared into it when I clicked on there to write someone a note of support (Sarah Palin). IMMEDIATELY, certain relatives and acquaintances latched on and “friended” me. - Long story short, at that time, I could find no way to escape. A friends DIL would post photos of her redecorating projects, tell when they were leaving the house on her “status”, and when they were returning. - They finally got robbed one day. - Others in the family and acquaintances would post cute, even sort of “sexy” photos of their children and grandchildren on Facebook. - Then, because I’m old and didn’t refuse anyone who requested “friending” because I thought they were probably people I’d met in the past that I didn’t remember, I got propositioned by some woman on there. - “Facebutt” is right!


46 posted on 10/13/2012 9:53:59 AM PDT by Twinkie (Live and let live.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: GCC Catholic

You can set your privacy, so that you can not be tagged i a photo or added to a group without your permission.


47 posted on 10/13/2012 9:54:28 AM PDT by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Future Snake Eater
"Facebook is a communication tool."

Email is a communication tool. Facebook is an invasion of privacy and a cookie tracking advertising scheme. :p

But to each, his own! Haha.

48 posted on 10/13/2012 10:17:16 AM PDT by Casie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: txrefugee
From their incessant news coverage, it appears every UT student is homosexual now.

I had a doctor tell me that UT was the worst place she'd ever seen for STDs. Driving past there makes me want to spray the car with Lysol.

I don't have FB. I don't want FB. If I want someONE to know something, I'll tell them in person or on the phone. If they want to see pictures, I'll email them or they can come see them in person. The world doesn't need to be privy to my entire life. I don't care what flavor everyone's Starbucks is and whether I'm having a good or bad hair day is not even remotely earth shattering.

49 posted on 10/13/2012 10:21:15 AM PDT by bgill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: billorites
queer but NOT so proud i guess... feh
50 posted on 10/13/2012 10:22:04 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-63 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson