Facebook is Trying to Save Us From Ourselves with Privacy Warnings

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In an uncharacteristic effort to help people stop doing stupid things on the Internet, Facebook is testing a new feature that alerts users when they’re posting publicly. “Hi [your name] — Sorry to interrupt,” Facebook says cheerfully. “You haven’t changed who can see your posts lately, so we just wanted to make sure you’re sharing this post with the right audience. (Your current setting is Public, though you can change this whenever you post.)” The message then gives you a list of privacy options, offering the opportunity to easily and quickly remember that you are still friends with your ex-boyfriend’s mother and maybe you don’t really want to share your boudoir photo series after all.

Of course, Facebook can only do so much. The reminder, the Daily Dot points out, is just that: a reminder. You can still post publicly. The site’s privacy policies haven’t actually changed. Also, the messages are still in testing — they haven’t been rolled out to everyone yet. Facebook could still decide it’s up to you to determine your own fate/navigate their Byzantine privacy settings.

For now, though, this is one of Facebook’s nicer gestures, and we offer our sincere thanks. No doubt our exes’ parents do, too.