Social media & privacy: Facebook's "basic" is not my basic

Facebook and I have very different definitions of the word “basic.” To me basic means simple, quick, not too detailed. To Facebook, I think basic means more – a lot more.

I’m pretty promiscuous on social networks like Twitter and Flickr … I’ll follow and add just about anyone as a contact or friend. But Facebook is for friends and family, so I’m quite a bit more selective about who I friend.

And I’m also pretty particular about connecting apps on Facebook … especially when they want to access my “basic” information and it includes:

  • my name
  • my profile picture
  • my gender (I think they mean sex but gender sounds more polite)
  • my networks
  • my user ID
  • my list of friends
  • any any other information I’ve shared with everyone

Realistically, much of this is available by simple web searching and scraping. Practically, however, it’s non-trivial to assemble all of this in an actionable, usable, constantly updated manner … unless I connect to an app or brand on Facebook and allow it.

But is this really “basic?”

To me, basic might mean my name, my gender, things I’ve “liked” on Facebook … and maybe a few others. But does it really include ALL my friends, ALL my status updates, and ALL my other information that I’ve shared to my private, personal network on Facebook?

I don’t think so.