The Washington Post

Facebook rolling out new privacy layout

Facebook users in the United States and across the globe are starting to see changes the company made to the way it shows privacy settings. The company began rolling out the changes late Thursday night.

The social network detailed the changes last week in a company blog post. Users will now see a “privacy shortcut” menu at the top of every Facebook page that give answers to three basic questions: who can see users’ posts, who can contact a specific user and information on how to block individual users on the site.

Other new features in the update include a sortable activity log that lets users choose to see their actions on the site by type. For example, a user who is particularly concerned about photos they’ve recently uploaded to the site can choose to only look at those updates. In the case of photos in particular, users can also choose to remove tags associated with their names from multiple photos at once.

Reminders about the differences between removing something from a user’s news feed and a user’s timeline profile are also sprinkled throughout the site. One of Facebook’s aims in pushing out the redesign was to make those distinctions more clear.

The social network continues to make changes in an effort to provide users with clear, easy-to-use ways of managing their data and allaying fears about what Facebook does with data, Facebook officials said.

In a recent vote, over half a million people voted against new Facebook privacy policies that — among other changes — eliminated the voting mechanism. That still wasn’t enough for Facebook to take the suggestions of its users, as the site used to require 30 percent of its billion users to weigh in before agreeing to make changes based on a vote.

(Washington Post Co. chairman and chief executive Donald E. Graham is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)

Related stories:

Facebook redesigns privacy settings

Facebook starts paid messages, may consider video ads

Reacting to users’ outcry, Instagram reverts to prior policy on advertising

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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