Facebook changes privacy settings

Facebook screen shotFacebook is making some changes to privacy settings, allowing users to control visibility of every piece of posted information.

In a letter to all users, founder Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook will end regional networks because the social Web site’s community has grown to more than 350 million people.

“As Facebook has grown, some of these regional networks now have millions of members and we’ve concluded that this is no longer the best way for you to control your privacy,” Zuckerberg said in the letter.

The new plan will have a simpler model for privacy control so users can make content available to friends, friends of friends or everyone. While Facebook will get rid of all regional networks, other networks, such as universities, will not be affected.

St. Thomas senior Sat Jumanar said he believes the problem with Facebook privacy lies in the expansion of users beyond the college students for whom it was created.

“It lost the community of college students just like you,” he said. “I appreciate that Mark Zuckerberg is concerned about our privacy.”

Jumanar said users can do things to keep themselves safe on Facebook.

“We should probably update our friends lists, too,” he said, noting he has Facebook friends to whom he hasn’t talked in years. “They are kind of strangers to me.”

Other students, such as freshman Ashley Stewart, said they already feel safe on Facebook without these changes.

“I have [my profile] set to private so people can only see me if they’re my friend,” Stewart said. “I’m kind of curious to find out why Facebook is making these changes.”

Junior Laura Zimmerman agreed with Jumanar that still other things should be changed.

“I want to be able to approve what pictures people tag me in,” Zimmerman said.

Jumanar said he has seen spam on Facebook, and he believes that is a problem.

“They need to get control of that somehow,” he said.