Facebook Strikes Again!
It seems every few months or so there is a new sequel in the long running series of Facebook privacy fiascoes. This time around Facebook is targeting anyone in a current or past relationship.
The new, loosely labeled, feature is a new page created for anyone tagged in a relationship on Facebook. It combines users profiles to portray a single unified couples page. In a nutshell it means John Doe and Jane Doe now have a JohnDoeandJaneDoe page along with their own personal Facebook pages.
The new couples page displays numerous details about those in the relationship. As an example, couples pages might include anniversary date, photos they’re both tagged in, mutual friends, mutual likes and all posts involving each other.
As of now, there is no way to delete the pages or control the content displayed on couples pages.
As usual, this new ‘feature‘ raises a lot of privacy concerns for users. First and foremost, there is absolutely no way to control couples pages. Neither partner in the relationship has ownership (which if they did would raise another problem) and there are no controls in personal account settings to manage couples pages and information.
Now to be fair, married couples in a long stable relationship may not have a problem with this feature. We can also see the benefit in having a couples page for newly engaged users who want to have a unified page to share the news with the world. However, in most cases we’re talking about young adults or even teenagers who flip the relationship tag off and on like a light switch. That kind sharing isn’t what anyone wants.
Additionally, anyone can view relationship information by navigating to a couples page. If you’re familiar with friendship pages, then you won’t be surprised by the setup and information available on couples pages.
What Can You Do
In short, not a whole lot. As we mentioned, control settings don’t exist and there is no way to opt out of couples pages. However, there are a few long, uncomfortable things you can do to limit the information on those pages.
- Eliminate Mutual Friendship Listing: Nothing short of un-friending common friends will fix this.
- Eliminate Posts: Don’t post on each other’s walls or about each other to keep posts to a minimum on your couples page. Delete old posts if you want to remove existing information.
- Eliminate Common Likes: Don’t both like the same things.
- Eliminate Relationship Status and Location: You’ll have to hide those bits of information from everyone in your privacy settings. That will keep the ‘complicated’ and other statuses as well as where you live hidden from viewers.
Aside from those rather drastic steps, you can complain to Facebook and ask them to get rid of couples pages. Although, we have zero belief that Facebook will remove them no matter how much outrage there is.
Something To Consider
Facebook is still the giant among giants in terms of social gathering and interaction. There’s no denying that Facebook still brings us together like never before and even with the backhanded slaps to privacy, people continue to use it because there is no other source quite like it.
For those who are serious about moving on from Facebook there is an option. Create your own page where you, your friends and family can stay in contact. There are so many website creation services available now, that anyone can get started quickly. Many are free and offer plenty of detail for making a space of your own.
If games are your primary Facebook activity, then that option may be difficult to swallow but games come and go and you may find the idea of your own personal space – managed by you – a worthwhile project.
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