Is Facebook’s New “Not Now” Killing Your Privacy?

facebook not now friend request killing privacyFacebook has changed the way that we reject friend requests with the new “Not Now” feature. Previously, unwanted friend requests were confirmed or ignored and while the ignore may have not always given us the warm and fuzzies, we knew that we definitely did not want to befriend this person. The Not Now option does relieve some of the guilt with not accepting the request but, it comes at a price depending upon your settings. As we learned last year via TechCrunch where friend requests were privy to your status updates without them being accepted as a friend when your settings are set to “Everyone.” The “Not Now” follows suit.

Our Love of Facebook vs Our Need for Privacy

We love Facebook. There is no denying that as the time that is spent on Facebook far surpasses any other social site but do we love Facebook more than we need our privacy on Facebook? Privacy on Facebook is a big deal. We feel a sense of responsibility on the part of Facebook to honor their word and maintain the standards of privacy that made the site the social media giant that it is. However, Facebook seems to be trying to ease us into opening the doors to public profiles in a back door manner with the default settings for instant personalization, the like and link feature as well as real time updates for Google and Bing Social. They provided us a platform with the promise that our privacy would not be compromised however repeatedly they have seemed to make numerous attempts to challenge our love for Facebook vs our need for privacy.

Our Facebook Inner Circle

Facebook can almost be considered the have all and be all. Think about it. Users play games, catch up with old friends, share photos, thoughts, articles, etc.  on our profile with our “inner circle.” An inner circle that we control through accepting or denying friends based upon our own personal preferences. We did wonder about that old friend from elementary and high school, our “gang” from college that we lost touch with and Facebook gave us them back. They made it easy for us to find people and reach out as we know that Ma Bell was definitely not going to search State by State, City by City or even outside of the Country for our long lost friends. Facebook broke through the barriers and allowed us to spend countless hours searching for people that we wanted to reconnect with and be a part of our inner circle.

Not Now Killing Our Privacy?

Is the replacement of the Ignore with the Not Now killing our privacy? In some ways yes and some ways no. Once you denied someone, they were not notified of the denial but did not receive your status updates anymore (again if your profile was sent to Everyone) as is the same with Not Now. However, with Not Now, they are sent to “special place” where they can still receive our updates. Oh? Yes. Hmh. Facebook does prompt you once you click Not Now to block them which does not allow them to try and friend you again (so very Twitter like) but this seems a bit extreme. Ignoring does not seem so bad anymore does it? You still can ignore someone without blocking them by clicking the icon at the top of friends requests, then “See All Friend Requests”, then “See X Hidden Requests” where are prompted to either confirm or delete the request.

facebook deny friendsDo We Own Our Profiles or Does Facebook Own Us?

Our profiles are our identity and our photos, shares and thoughts but at the same time it is on their platform. Can they dictate to us how private or public our profiles will be? In certain ways yes and others no. If they suddenly said all profiles are public, and, you as a user have no control would we all accept it or leave? How much does privacy matter? Does privacy matter more than the need to be connected? In a way we both own each other as they need profiles to be public and we need them for the platform to connect.

What do you think? Is Facebook slowly moving to a public profile?

Would you opt in if Facebook did a beta run of public profiles?

photo credit: jcortell

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  • Great insight I did not know they could still see your feed if you simply ignored them. The other day I bumped into a @stevebaker tweet and blog post “Please take my privacy poll” ( I think that @stevebaker’s 3 options on his survey where very simple but complete.

    Here are the three options (posted on “Please take my privacy poll” |

    1) Privacy advocates are exaggerating the dangers. Some of them are real, but the industry will get a grip on them.

    2) Personal privacy is under siege, and the industry is not paying enough attention to the issue.

    3) Privacy as we once knew it is finished. People and companies will have to come up with new definitions of it for the data age.

    At the end of the day I believe their is no real privacy online. My core business is in IT Governance and IT Security. So I do believe we don’t own our profiles anyone who has access or can get access really does.

    My biggest recommendation is not to keep anything that is private anywhere on the web.

    Have a great week!

    Thanks for the great insight once again.

  • Erinlale

    Facebook, myspace, twitter, ning, yahoo groups, the old msn groups if you remember that– don’t post anything on a public website you don’t want everyone to see. If you only want to send your info and pics to your personal friends, email them or text them or gasp how about tell them your news in person. Facebook and myspace are publicity machines, that’s why you see lots of bands and political campaigns and independent filmmakers on them.

    • I tend to agree that if you do not want it posted everywhere then do not write it but at the same time, facebook did promise a level of privacy which got them to be the giant they are today. I do not necessarily think they are publicity machines. I think that they are tools for connecting and reaching an audience that otherwise you would not have.

  • Facebook
    users on your site can comment on your content, post those comments to their
    profiles, and share them with their friends on Facebook. The Comments Box
    allows non-Facebook users to make comments on your site as well. And via our
    APIs, you can access related comments made on Facebook as well to bring the
    conversation together. this is my profile plz check it .