Tag Suggestions – Facebook is Playing Games with their Users

FacebookAlthough over 100 million labels are tagged to photos daily on Facebook, the company felt it was not fast enough, so they claim. They built and rolled out their Tag Suggestions feature to suggest to your friends that they might want to tag you in one of their photos, because they have found someone who looks a lot like you.

Facebook, failed to notify anyone of the new feature, which would not have been so bad had they not enabled it by default and buried the on/off switch in the security section. They had hoped there would not have been so much backlash over yet another underhanded tactic against their own users. This is not the first and it certainly will not be the last.

The more photos of yourself you upload, the better Tag Suggestions will be able to recognize you in other people’s photos. This implicitly means that it might mistakenly suggestion someone else’ face in a photo for your name. Although the program will not actually tag anyone in a photo, it will try to convince others to. Tagging is still left up to people who post the photos and Facebook swears that Tag Suggestions will only be made to people who are listed as your friends.

Some people have different levels of so-called friends, though. For example, you might have set up a list to put acquaintances in and a list for family, plus one for true friends. Maybe you do not want acquaintances to be given suggestions, but you do for family and real friends. Most other features on Facebook allow the customizing, but not this one. Hopefully, Facebook will get their act together someday.

If you are worried about this feature taking control of your identity, you can disable it in the security section of your profile. First, go to Account–>Privacy Settings. Choose Customize Settings (the blue text). Go to the second section down the page (Things Others Share) and choose Edit Settings, next to Suggest photos of me to friends. You will see a window with photos of your friends come up. At the bottom you can find Suggest photos of me to friends, where you will click the button that says Enabled. This will drop down a box, where you will choose Disable. Click the OK button and you are finished. The feature is now disabled.

Zuckerberg misunderstands what being social means. He throws it around like its just a jargon, but privacy is the critical element in being social. You choose what you want to share and that sharing process is what builds the social part of social networking. Zuckerberg seems to think that social networking is built simply by information being interconnected, apart from the sharing process. The way this process is conducted determines the quality of the community, which he seems to miss. That explains why he keeps making these same mistakes about privacy and identity.

In 2009 Facebook’s privacy policy had more words than the United States Constitution. There were strong complaints then that the privacy policy needed simplification so people could actually read it, let alone understand it.

Photo Source: Facebook

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