Mark Zuckerberg's Sister Should Just Admit She Doesn't Understand Facebook's Privacy Rules Either

from the bad-responses dept

There’s been some buzz today over the news that former Facebooker, Randi Zuckerberg, who’s also the older sister to Mark Zuckerberg, is among the many people who don’t understand Facebook’s privacy policies, as she got upset at someone for tweeting a photo that she thought she had shared in a more limited way than she really had.

There is, of course, the basic irony / schadenfreude of watching a Zuckerberg get confused about the privacy policies, but what I find even more ridiculous is the way that Zuckerberg responded to the whole thing. After getting the person who tweeted the photo to take it down (though lots of other sites have since published it) she basically pretended that the snafu had nothing to do with misunderstanding the way privacy controls work on Facebook:
If you can’t read that, it says:

Digital etiquette: always ask permission before posting a friend’s photo publicly. It’s not about privacy settings, it’s about human decency.

No matter what you think of Facebook’s privacy settings and the controversy they create, it seems that this response is particularly silly, and seems completely bogus. Danny Sullivan’s response to her statement makes the point clear:

If you can’t read that, it says:

Sure Randy Zuckerberg asked all in her family if she could share that pic before posting. That’s just human decency

I think that’s the bigger point in this story. Yes, Facebook’s privacy settings are complex and confusing and people get tripped up by them all the time. And, if Randi Zuckerberg were being honest, and not trying to brush this situation under the rug, she’d just admit that. Making a silly claim like it’s about “human decency” to ask permission from every single person whose photo you share just seems silly. Hell, if it were true, then wouldn’t Facebook change its setting so instead of an easy one-click “share” button on pretty much every photo, it would instead alert those associated with the photo and ask for permission first?

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: facebook

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Mark Zuckerberg's Sister Should Just Admit She Doesn't Understand Facebook's Privacy Rules Either”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Rikuo (profile) says:

I’ll toss this under the heading “High Profile People Don’t bother applying logic before opening their mouths”.

Sure, it makes a nice emotive argument to say “ask for permission before sharing a friend’s photo”, but once I ask Mr. Logic to take a look at that statement, you end up advocating that Facebook have the details of every person on the planet, match their face to every photo they’re in (which I believe is optional at the moment), and then force you to ask every single person in each of your photos for permission before you can post, which is of course a curtailment of free speech.

There’s a few people on this site I wish would use logic before they hammer away at their keyboards…

out_of_the_blue says:

If you don't pay for the product, YOU are the product.

Oddly, I haven’t agreed to your demand last week to stop using that phrase. But so far as you go here, I do agree.

But your ingenue pose seems to not understand that IF Facebook were in any degree an opt-in system, it’d collapse. Same with Google’s tracking of you. Soon as sufficient of the pubic really grasps that those corporations are ruthlessly monetizing one’s content and habits, there’ll be a second dotcom bust.

bobby green says:


Are you guys dummies? What does this have to do with celebrity? If I share a picture on facebook, I know it’s now public, but I don’t expect people to take it and post it around the internet. I’d be pissed too. Lol it’s clear she didn’t mean “you hacked my account and took locked pictures”. It was a matter of courtesy. The fact that you guys misunderstood it the first time and then continued to project your odd impression onto her even when she clarified just shows you concoct weird scenarios in your head.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: seriously?

I didn’t see the correction. What did she say?

As to misinterpreting, perhaps you are right. But I’ve read that comment a dozen times now, and it’s not the obvious interpretation of what she’s saying.

Nonetheless, one part of her comment is wrong: it is indeed about the privacy settings. She could have used privacy settings to prevent this from happening. Based on her reaction, I assume that she thought she did, but failed. That’s unsurprising, as FB privacy settings are byzantine and always changing.

That is the essential point of the post.

blue skies (profile) says:

I have to admit this article makes me think of my mother and grandmother, who taught me that it was _very_ impolite and intrusive to share one’s telephone number without asking permission first. Despite the telephone number being listed in the yellow pages (or whatever colour your telephone book pages are).

I’m not really sure she’s wrong. I guess I really need to think about this one. Which is a plus-one to techdirt of course. Making people think.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Better headline…
Randi Zuckerberg admits her family is not human.

Its just human decency to not bury requests to profit from others pictures and data so deep you need a mining helmet and a decoder ring to find them.

She truly is at worst a liar and at best deluded. It is perfectly okay for her to get rich doing it to you, but when she gets the same treatment it is an affront to human decency. Tell that to the guy who ended up as the face for the 50 gallon barrel of lube Randi…

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Don't understand what's so confusing

Am I the only person who’s not had any issues with FB’s privacy settings? What’s so hard to understand about Friends, Friends of Friends, Public?

The problem here is that this is actually a subsetting. Randi set the post to go to “friends” but she didn’t realize that there’s ALSO a setting (buried deeper) that says that if you *tag* someone else, the image ALSO shows up for all of THEIR friends. So it went to a wider circle than she expected.

Details here:

harbingerofdoom (profile) says:

Re: Re: Don't understand what's so confusing

i disagree.
the problem here is that if you dont want stuff getting into the hands of others/being seen on the big bad interwebs, then dont put it there to begin with.

all rules, settings and subsettings aside, the moment you put it up there, there is a chance it will be seen by people other than who you intended.

Mike P (profile) says:

Re: Re: Don't understand what's so confusing

I guess I can see that if I didn’t know the setting existed. I tend to “read the manual” so to speak. EULAs and ToS on the otherhand…

I still don’t have a problem understanding the settings though, though I suppose its also about how available the settings are. Even if FB left the settings basically alone, but organized the interface so it’s more or less one page rather than a bunch of different sections it would be more intuitive.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Don't understand what's so confusing

I suppose its also about how available the settings are

If you mean how visible, then I agree. But the other problem is that the privacy settings aren’t stable. In the end, this (and the timeline) is why I cancelled my facebook account. It was too much error-prone work to browse through all the privacy settings, some hidden away in weird corners, regularly to make sure nothing’s changed.

Guy says:

Re: Re: Don't understand what's so confusing

Seems to make sense to me… Although can’t we just accept that privacy is dead and move on? Anything you do/say/whatever can be (and probably will be) captured in picture/video form and posted online.

Not that I think we should stop anonymous systems like Tor. We should have ways to surf the internet without having to say who we are. Just that our person is always fair game.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Don't understand what's so confusing

Although can’t we just accept that privacy is dead and move on?

Nope. Privacy is critically important and to simply accept that it’s dead guarantees that no progress can be made in this fight.

This same argument was made regarding all kinds of things in history (slavery, civil rights, consumer rights, etc.) when those causes seemed utterly lost. Progress in them only came about because nobody gave up.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If you put it out in public you can’t really cry about it.
Because she herself can’t work FB’s privacy settings she shared a picture much wider than she intended and had the gall to yell at someone daring to share a picture.

Ranting about human decency when SHE is actually the one at fault in the situation is pretty funny.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Regardless of rights or legalities, it’s very well known that any picture that you post that is publically visible will be harvested and used elsewhere on the net. It’s just the reality.

The issue is that Facebook provides a mechanism to limit or prevent this, but that Zuckerberg’s sister did not use them properly. That’s where the privacy settings come in. Then she made the situation worse by claiming that the problem was etiquette, not privacy settings.

That may be technically true, but to expect etiquette from the internet at large either betrays a shocking level of idiocy or a complete lack of experience with the internet.

Anonymous Coward says:

Facebook never has and never will give a flying toss about anyones privacy unless they are going to be sued. even then, if they can manage to worm out of it, they will. however, in situations like this, where it is a member of Zuckerberg’s family that has the controversy, it’s bound to be different, isn’t it! i would like to know how many pics she has put up and how many times she has gotten permission first or even given a crap to bother!

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...