Facebook's CEO has urged his users to carefully review the new "privacy" settings pushed on them by his social network. He should have taken his own advice: He's apparently locked down his photos since we rifled through them last night.
Under Facebook's highly suspicious new "privacy" system, users are typically encouraged to share their photos widely, a move that helps Facebook become more like its fast-growing frenemy Twitter. In what seemed like a savvy PR move, CEO Mark Zuckerberg opened his own photos to the public last night. But after we ran some of the more interesting shots, he appears to have partially yanked them back.
Friends of friends can still see the photos. But one tipster and one Gawker staffer who share no friends in common with the Facebook CEO were able to see his photo cache last night and are no longer able to as of this afternoon; the pictures are definitely now shielded from such strangers. You can check for yourself by clicking here.
It's a dumb move, PR-wise: On the one hand, Facebook' own chief executive is illustrating that his privacy settings are so baffling that even he himself doesn't grasp their full implications. And, on the other, we already published the most embarrassing stuff! Sigh.
We can't think of what else Zuckerberg is trying to shield from public view; maybe it's one of these pictures we haven't run yet, but we doubt it. Oh, and the last two aren't of Zuckerberg, but of two different flacks for the social network, Brandee Barker ("you have a choice") and Barry Schnitt ("Facebook is changing, and so is the world changing and we are going to innovate to meet user requests"). We figure, if they didn't want these candid personal shots published to the world, they would have configured their oh-so-simple privacy settings accordingly.
UPDATE: Zuckerberg has updated his wall with the following message about an hour ago:
For those wondering, I set most of my content to be open so people could see it. I set some of my content to be more private, but I didn't see a need to limit visibility of pics with my friends, family or my teddy bear :)
This is baffling, since most of the strangers who can read this wall messageabout how the CEO "didn't see a need to limit visibility of pics with my... teddy bear" now cannot see said pics, with his teddy bear.
UPDATE 2: Spokesman Schnitt tells True/Slant, "[Zuckerberg] went through the transition tool like other users, evaluated the recommendations, and ended up accepting them."
"Now girls, only the most special ladies at Facebook get this t-shirt with my face on it... remember that it is a sacred honor and if I see so much as a single wine stain on there, you're out of Zuck's Angels for good..."
"Priscilla, I swear to God, I agreed to pose for a picture and a split-second later she was somehow under my arm..."
You might call this "the Twitter shirt," accompanied by the "Twitter money" cheer.
There are thousands and thousands of reasons Brandee Barker loves being Facebook's spokeswoman.
Barry Schnitt, meanwhile, can't even afford a proper t-shirt. On the bright side, he was the only one at his brother's bachelor party in Austin, Texas with a proper cowboy hat (that's Schnitt on the far left). Maybe it was the money he saved by using those company-issued shorts.