Social Media Rule #1: Everything posted online is public
It seems that even Mark Zuckerberg’s older sister, Randi, has become a victim of Facebook’s totalitarian privacy settings. Forbes “30 under 30? media honoree Callie Schweitzer tweeted the above photo of the Zuckerberg family, writing “@randizuckerberg demonstrates her family’s response to Poke #GAH.”
Zuckerberg responded, saying, “Not sure where you got this photo. I posted it only to friends on FB. You reposting it on Twitter is way uncool.”
I enjoyed the irony that the man who created Facebook got bit by Facebook on Christmas day.
He broke social media rule #1: Everything posted online is public.
The only privacy online is perceived privacy as you ultimately can’t control what others can/will see. If you post something online, even on a private account or using an account name which isn’t your real name, or even with all the privacy settings set so only your friends can see it… it’s still online and 100% public.
You can’t delete it. You can’t hide it forever. You can’t assume no one will find it.
Instead, you have to assume it’ll always be out there, found over and over again whether you like it or not.
Yes, it is in the best interest of a social media site to create and honor privacy settings. But all of that is just perceived privacy as they can’t truly control what others will do or they will do accidentally.
At any time you need to know that anything you post on a social media site… even in direct message, with Facebook messenger or chat, or another private messaging system… has the potential to become public.
You have to always use social media with the understanding that it’s all public.
Want another example?
In the ever-emerging saga of Steubenville High School’s alleged “rape crew” social media is providing the most damning evidence. Images posted to Instagram and Twitter (including who liked and commented on them) as well as video from YouTube has been threaded together to create a horrific timeline of events for the world to see.
The kicker? Once students (and their parents and parents lawyers) realized what was online most of it got deleted. And then the hacker group Anonymous undeleted it all, setting up their own website to draw attention to it.
Wait what? How did they do that? Things posted online can’t ever be deleted, just hidden from regular users view. Those people thought they deleted it but stuff on the internet never goes away.