Skip to comments.When the Most Personal Secrets Get Outed on Facebook
Posted on 10/13/2012 8:11:08 AM PDT by billorites
AUSTIN, TexasBobbi 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 Facebookthe 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 ...
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.
“she sped to the hospital... to show off her new boob job. Facebook stinks.”
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-laws 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 is a communication tool.
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.
Agreed. There is a larger problem here. And FB merely picked at a scab that was going to be opened eventually anyway.
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
Let's soap our windows.
Why so glum, Bobbi? From their incessant news coverage, it appears every UT student is homosexual now.
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.
It's not worth having a destructive secret anymore... too hard to conceal it.
Her father isn’t as stupid as she thought.
She made her choice to be a pervert - now live with it.
It is a person’s business what their secrets are. Only Big Brother demands a right to anyone’s secrets.
Welcome to the adult world where people have to live with the decisions they make.
I only use it to check on other Facebook accounts. Anyone who wants to "invade my privacy" on Facebook is wasting their time.
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!
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.
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
I'm going to start a "Friends of Jerry Sandusky" group and add selected people to watch the fireworks!