The Cost of Liking: I’m sorry, but I’m not going to “like” your posts any more

I’m sorry, but I’m not going to “like” your posts any more. Here’s why:

I am not FB friends with mom, yet I found that she was getting updates of all of my friends’ content that I was liking, in her news feed. So I put her in my ‘restricted’ list to see if that would change things- it didn’t. After some digging, I found that the privacy settings I have on “Likes” do not pertain to likes on others’ posts. Restrictions only block people from seeing things I actively post- because others’ posts are based on the other person’s privacy settings.

I would like to argue, however, that publicizing my Like to someone’s news feed is a violation of my privacy. It’s one thing for my “like” to be visible on someone else’s public post, but it is a completely different thing for that information to be conveyed to a third party- especially one that was designated as “restricted”! I was especially upset because in my profile, I specifically edited the section for “likes” so that “likes” can only be seen by me. My suspicion is that those “likes” only pertain to pages- so it is very misleading.

It is no wonder people are moving beyond Facebook and creating different social media accounts. Once people start finding out about these unintentional privacy leaks, I foresee a few scenarios: people will only post superficial, promotional, or generic content that is okay for public viewing (seems like the case for most of my US friends), pare down their network to only close contacts and use it to rant (mostly my Asian friends), or opt to migrate to a platform that has easier and more secure privacy settings (most of my younger contacts).

Apparently, I am not the only one who feels this way. Look what I found on a Facebook help board:




Thank goodness my mother pointed this out to me or I would have never known. I’m a pretty generous “like”-r because I think “Likes” are a great way to convey social support and acknowledgment (although there are occasional Likes that are driven by social norms). Now, I think I will inevitably be more careful in how I allocate my Likes.


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