EFF Explains New Facebook Jargon (Serious Alert)

Despite the voluminous buzz, many commentators have missed the most confusing announcement of all — new Facebook jargon. So, in the interests of helping users understand what’s going on, we’ve put together a rough Facebook-to-English translator. Think of it as a handy phrase-book that could help you navigate through the more common situations you’ll find yourself in.

Important to note: Facebook makes frequent changes to its features. We believe this post is to be accurate at the time of publishing, but please understand that Facebook may change some or all of these definitions beyond recognition before long. In addition, be aware that Facebook operates differently in Europe than it does in the USA, because European nations tend to have stronger privacy-protection laws.

I knew that this was bad (I blogged about it last week) but I truly had no idea just how bad this is.

For example, “Instant Personalization” is really that — instant. When it’s enabled (pilot program right now), if you have a FB account (and haven’t opted out, remember that all defaults are to make things public) and visit a participating site, that site has IMMEDIATE access to all info that FB considers public.

At this writing, Facebook considers the following things public, even if you’ve changed your privacy settings:

  • Your name, profile picture, current city, gender, networks
  • Your complete list of friends
  • Your complete list of connections. This includes profile information like your hometown, education, work, activities, likes and interests; in some cases, it includes your likes and recommendations from non-Facebook pages around the web. AND it includes pages that you have “liked” (formerly the pages that you were a “fan” of).
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