Home > Contemplations > UPDATE With New Info – “Changes Facebook MUST MAKE To Photo Tag Options & Privacy Settings”

UPDATE With New Info – “Changes Facebook MUST MAKE To Photo Tag Options & Privacy Settings”


In my Post-A-Day Challenge post for January 18, 2011 – “Changes Facebook MUST MAKE To Photo Tag Options & Privacy Settings” I gave my opinion about wanting Facebook to give us more control over our photo/video tags. I’ve pasted an image of that post’s thoughts below to refresh your memories.

Clicking this image above will take you to the older post from January 18, 2011. But this is the specific aspect of that post I will be discussing in this post.

A bunch of people between Twitter and in the Comments of the original post agreed with me on the issue and my solutions. However, I personally had no way of trying to get this implemented or even making Facebook aware of our feelings on the issue until this week. This week in Toronto, and around the world is Social Media Week and all week in multiple cities there have been talks and panels and workshops about social media and the use of it from all different aspects – there’s also been a bunch of parties one of which organized by the group #GenYTO I will be heading to shortly after finishing this post.

At an event Wednesday morning called “How to be “LIKEABLE”” on Facebook” which I was hosted by Matchstick Inc. as part of their Forum Series and who generously invited me and a friend. The event was described as a couple of presentations which “explore the topics of how to garner a brand following and generate meaningful content for your online community” on Facebook and social media in general included a talk from Alfredo Tan of Facebook Canada. The whole thing was extremely interesting and I learned a lot from it but at the end I got to have a little face to face with a Facebook Canada employee. This was my chance to mention my concerns as laid out in the January 18 post directly ‘to Facebook’ and I did.

The answer I received was honestly somewhat disappointing. I don’t blame Alfredo for the answer he gave me, he is a very nice and personable guy and he was probably just quoting Facebook’s stance on the issue (I guess they have already given this thought). Basically he said it is very low on their list of things to do for a number of reasons:

  • Allowing this would ruin the ‘real time’ aspect of Facebook photo tagging and that goes against what Facebook – and social media in general – is aspiring to do. They want to give users a real time experience as well as they can.
  • If you are so worried about the wrong people seeing the wrong pictures of you, you can set it so no one can see photos you are tagged in.
  • You can set up a list of people who can see photos of you and people who cannot.

While I understand Facebook’s position on the matter from a business perspective – especially the desire to give users a real time experience. I completely agree that I do also want a ‘real time experience’ as well. However, I don’t personally care if it is real time when I am not around to be a custodian of my online identity because I am asleep but, hey, nothing is perfect. Nevertheless, it is what it is and I thought people would be interested to hear the follow up.

I think the only way to achieve the stopgap without Facebook giving us the option – and this sounds ridiculously insane, I know – would be to “Deactivate” your Facebook account when you aren’t around to watch over it. The reason why it would work is that even when you “Deactivate” your Facebook account it doesn’t actually get deleted it just sits there until you “reactivate” it. Your whole profile including pictures and friends and posts and messages is still saved in Facebook’s servers waiting for you to come back and reactivate (although it supposedly will not be able to bring everything back immediately). The reason this is completely an insane solution is because it also means that people will not be able to send you Facebook Messages (and I know A LOT of people who don’t email their friends and prefer to communicate with them solely through Facebook Messages), look at your photos, comment on your photos, tag you in posts, invite you to events, make you a Facebook Friend (if it is someone you just recently met or just joined Facebook), or do any of the other interactive things Facebook allows you to do with your friends.

The above ‘solution’ is obviously a terrible one and that’s why I put the word solution in quotes. The only reason I’m just proposing it is if you REALLY don’t want to make huge lists of people who can & can’t see your tagged photos or turn off the ability of being able to be tagged in photos entirely while still maintaining a Facebook presence that seems to be the only one right now.

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  1. February 12, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I think there’s two sides to the tagging issue and while you touched on the first, I think the other lies within the person taking the photo. I don’t know of any of my friends who don’t respect the concept of “don’t photograph me.”

    I’m the primary photographer for my social circle. I’ve only come across two people that don’t want their photos taken and I’ve always respected that. Also, there’s something to be said for exercising discretion in what gets uploaded. If people can’t take a few minutes to skim through an album that involved say alcohol and the effects that come with it, then they’re an inherent problem in the formula. I might taken 50 photos in a given night but I also look through them and likely end up posting 2/3 of them.

    I think it’s important that the site itself isn’t always to be held up as the devil in these spots. People have been taking awful/compromising photos as far back as developed film. Don’t be put in that spot and it isn’t an issue.

    • February 12, 2011 at 3:50 am

      A very good point. I totally agree and never thought of it from that perspective. Thanks for making me look at it a different way.

      However, it doesn’t address the point I made in my first post about this issue about club/party promoters tagging you on a promotional event poster posted as a picture (and you’re not in it) just so they can have their event show up in your feed.

      Similarly if someone without any thought and thinking it would be funny decided to post a lewd/rude/vulgar/offensive/non-PC (but not pornographic) picture or image file with wording on it that was the aforementioned and then tag you in it would you want people to see you associated with that? (Even though it wasn’t you who posted it in the first place and realistically you SHOULDN’T be held accountable/blamed for it).

  2. sharlene
    February 12, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Please go back to the format you had before when you would click on a picture or article that someone tagged or posted, don’t like that you cannot enlarge the photo, especially when you have a small laptop or cell phone….change it back , please.

    • February 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      @Sharlene – Was that comment directed at Facebook or at me? I assume Facebook. What do you mean by not being able to enlarge it? Are you talking about the new way Facebook is displaying pictures? I haven’t personally noticed any change in the way they’re displayed on my cell phone.
      Also…now you can download a higher definition version of the picture if a persona uploaded it in higher definition.

  1. February 11, 2011 at 10:39 pm
  2. November 14, 2011 at 11:48 pm

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