Via Laura at Apt 11d, I read Henry Farrell’s post on why he’s leaving Facebook. Of the various things I’ve read lately about Facebook, it comes the closest to capturing my reasons for being unhappy with FB. I’m not a privacy purist –for one thing, I’m well aware that the corporate databases have far more info about me than I’ve ever posted online. I’m willing to give up some privacy about my shopping for a few bucks off of groceries (e.g. store loyalty cards), and the ability to stay in loose connection with friends and relatives is worth more to me than a few dollars. I don’t post anything that I’d be horrified to read repeated in a public forum. And I’ve never been unhappy with the ads that google shows alongside my gmail account (although I’m not sure I’ve ever clicked through either).
But a couple of weeks ago, a colleague reported to me that Xobni is showing her my facebook profile picture when she gets a work email from me. Even though 1) my privacy settings on Facebook say it should only be available to friends of friends; 2) I haven’t friended any of my colleagues (I’m happy to connect on LinkedIn); and 3) I don’t have my work email connected to my Facebook account.
So, this pisses me off on general principles (because it appears that Xobni is not honoring the FB privacy settings and each company seems to think it’s the other’s fault). And also because even though my profile pic is totally innocuous, it’s not “professional” — I’m in casual clothes, and laughing. If I wanted to associate a picture with my work email (and I don’t), it would be the boring one of me in a suit that’s on my organization’s website. I reject Zuckerberg’s idea that having different images for work and for personal life is out of date. I like reading Penelope Trunk, but dear god, I don’t want to be her.