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Facebook accidentally outed users to their parents through group permissions loophole

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  1. This is unacceptable. Facebook has had a long time to fix this problem – it’s not new. Get with it, Facebook. Remember – privacy.

    1. You know, it’s the opposite – about a year ago, one could only be suggested to join a group but one had to join on his/her own. But because facebook wants to be as much social as possible, he had to make everything more open, and changing group to simple invitation was one of the steps.
      Therefore, in their statement, there’s nothing about changing it, as you can see. They only mention a need to educate the users. :-/

    2. Facebook’s entire business model is based on ending privacy and making money from the information. It started by taking girls’ college ID pictures without permission and making a hot or not site around them. Time and again Facebook execs have pushed the idea that privacy is ending. Well, privacy is a human right.

      Anyone who values or needs privacy is a fool to be on Facebook.

      And any group of company whose members or customers might need privacy should not be doing anything to encourage them to be on Facebook.

  2. Oh dear here we go again with Facebook and privacy. Did you know as well that when someone adds you as a friend they can see what you post, you don’t even have to accept them? And that’s even if you have you profile set to private.

    Ms Duncan’s father is a muppet and I’m so pleased mine isn’t like him.

    And to be honest as I’m not queer but I am gay I wouldn’t even join a group called ‘Queer Chorus’

    1. vversatile 16 Oct 2012, 2:55pm

      “Did you know as well that when someone adds you as a friend they can see what you post, you don’t even have to accept them?”

      Nonsense – if someone sends you friend request they can’t see anything set to “friends only” until you accept that request.

      But the way facebook allows you to be added to groups without asking your permission has long been a problem.

      1. facebook have now added a “restricted” list possibly in response to this where you can have someone on your friends list but they can only see what you choose to make “public” anything set to “friends only” they cannot see.

  3. I’ve also had my problems with Facebook before. I am transgender and once I tried to make a secret discrete profile with the female name I have adopted as my female identity on suggestion of a transgender friend I made on another site who said she would introduce me to other transgender girls to help on my transition, but then I used my MSN e-mail as the address and after concluding the sign up the Facebook automatically asked if I wanted to add as friends all the people who ever had at some point of their lives my MSN address, including all my family, my friends and even my former high school classmates. At the time I thought Facebook had automatically outed me to all of them and I got so frightened and desperate as I wasn’t read to come out yet, but then I learned it wasn’t that what happened, specially because my mother and sister never commented anything with me and never knew I had made that profile…

  4. ….Some days later I cancelled that account and made another equal with the same name but with a safer e-mail address that few people know, the profile I had currently on Facebook. I am still trying to learn how to navigate on Facebook and it’s not being easy, if it wasn’t for this transgender friend I would have never joined Facebook.

    1. No one who encourages anyone intending to transition to join Facebook is a friend. No one.

      If you want to transition, do it in reality, and steer clear of the armchair TGs who only do it online.

  5. GingerlyColors 16 Oct 2012, 7:31am

    If you publish your profile on a social networking site such as Facebook then it is up to you to decide which information you wish to disclose about yourself. Unless you are prepared to let the whole world know you’re gay then it is a good idea not to say so in your profile. Even if there are safeguards on the site, there are always hackers who will breach security.

    1. Did you read this? Someone else linked them to the Queer Chorus. Anyone can set up any open group and link any friend to it without them agreeing to it. Duh

  6. I am not at Facebook. I do not have that problem. Duh

    1. Dave North 16 Oct 2012, 8:21am

      I cancelled mine and had it deleted.

      The novelty wore off after about a week.

  7. About time people got back into some old-fashioned interaction with the real world.

    Have you noticed your friends lost to FB, Twitter and their smartphones becoming increasingly square and ADHD-like, and extremely agitated and anxious in normal social settings, constantly itching to reach for their iPhones?

    At least if you are with a sex addict you get to derive some benefit being in their company!

    1. Agreed. I hate Facebook for a number of reasons (I won’t bore you by listing them all!) and Twitter is just that – largely inane twitterings about what people had for lunch.

      As a more serious aside, I’m always shocked by what personal information people put online (especially young people). They seem to forget that it’s there for the whole world to see, in theory. Facebook seems particularly addictive to them and can become an obession, where they’re updating it and checking it every few minutes.

    2. Spanner1960 16 Oct 2012, 4:29pm

      I much prefer the distance of Facebook. That way I don’t have to spend hours with vague acquaintances and their boring friends.
      Personally I much prefer the solitary life and keep everyone else at arms length, and to that end, Facebook is the perfect choice.

  8. Stand strong, stand tall Ms. Duncan. Your father is a bully and bigot. Do not let him bring you down!

    1. The lesson here isn’t so much that people should be wary of what they do on Facebook, but that organisations shouldn’t be using Facebook as a primary means of communication. I don’t necessarily want to be outed, so I don’t have a Facebook account. Simple. But that means that I’m excluded from groups (not just LGBT ones) that insist on using it as a primary organisation/communications channel. LGBT organisations really ought to know better than to force people to use a third-party website that risks outing them. Hopefully this story will raise awareness of this issue.

      1. I do so agree. It really is astounding how many LGBT associations do use the site for all their organising. And then there are the LGBT Websites that use it exclusively for their comments; such as Bilerico. Simply, breathtakingly stupid.

  9. Facebook’s privacy settings are a small problem compared to the scale of homophobia that exists.

    1. Given the size of Facebook, and how it adversely affects so many, You are probably wrong about that.

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