Farhad Manjoo, writing for Slate:
The only sure way to keep something private on Facebook is not to post it to Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg would never acknowledge this, but I think it will ultimately benefit both his site and its users if we adjusted our expectations about “privacy” there. You should approach Facebook as cautiously as you would approach your open bedroom window. However restrictive your privacy controls, you should imagine that everything that you post on Facebook will be available for public consumption forever. If you follow this simple rule, you’ll never be blindsided.
The article’s sub-head is a bit unfair, though:
You’re as much to blame for the site’s privacy woes as Mark Zuckerberg.
People are confused about Facebook privacy settings because Facebook wants them to be confused. It’s deliberate. That’s all on Facebook.
(Via Daring Fireball)
I’ve long suspected this. By making security a moving target, Facebook has made your potential control over privacy is ever improved but vastly outstrips your actual ability to implement that control. The sagest advice is thus: “You should approach Facebook as cautiously as you would approach your open bedroom window.” It’s all public folks.