December 19th, 2011

Who are these people posting in my timeline?

In which I swear I have never chugged beer from a vesuvala even if Facebook says otherwise.

One of the big reasons why LJ is better than Facebook has always been that LJ is, more or less, permanent. With relative ease you can go back and see what you were doing on this date five or ten years ago. It really is a journal -- you're writing your own history. With Facebook it's more like you're standing on your front porch shouting something -- if people aren't walking past at that moment they'll never hear you.

Facebook has tried to fix that by adding "the Timeline" -- which crams all your posts together into a crowded ... timeline ... that lets you go back and see all the times you Rickrolled your friends and every time you bashed a snake on Farmville.

This has freaked out a lot of people because they THOUGHT they were writing impermanantly and now they don't want people going back and seeing that they totally trashed their future brother in law when he started dating their sister. So they give people seven days to go through their timeline and pick out the drunk photos before it goes public. I flipped through mine this morning and found that a) it's really really slow now but more disturbingly, b) there are posts in my timeline from people who aren't me. When people tag "Kyle Cassidy" chugging beer from a vesuvala they may tag one of the 20 or so other Kyle Cassidy's on Facebook (who are chugging beer from a vesuvala) or they may tag me. And if they tag me, it's now buried there in my Timeline for everybody I'm friends with, or will ever become friends with, to see.

So it's not just YOUR vesuvala swilling drunken party photos you have to pull from the timeline, it's the vesuvala swilling drunken party photos of (potentially) anybody with your name that you have to worry about.

Rock on Facebook.

EDIT: Quickfix from Michael Berman - Go to Privacy Settings (drop down menu from the little arrow next to Home) and you can tell Facebook to not add tagged photos to your Timeline until you review them. Of course, the default settings are permissive as is the custom in Facebook.

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