Would you want your employer seeing this? (Click for larger.)
Do you smoke weed? Does God exist? How do you feel about fat people?
And most importantly, how do you feel about your family members, potential employers and the entire world, for that matter, having access to your answers to these questions?
Last month, the planet’s largest social-networking site launched “Facebook Questions,” a tool that allows users to post questions and answers as easily as a status message. The feature is advertised to users as a way to “get answers from the people [they] trust.” Notably, access to this data gives companies an incentive to advertise via the site, which in turn is fiscally beneficial to CEO Mark Zuckerberg and crew.
The problem is that unlike every other feature Facebook has rolled out, this one comes with no privacy settings. And why would it? Your answers mean nothing to companies if you won’t share them.
According to the FAQ:
As with other Facebook applications like Photos and Events, there is no way to turn off Questions. … You should only ask and answer questions that you are comfortable sharing with everyone on Facebook as the questions you have participated in are visible to everyone.
So, that’s it. Your cousin asks you, “What do you think about those gosh-darn hippie vegans?” and you jokingly respond with an answer that, if acted out, would land you in prison. Soon, the world will know what a jerk you are. There goes that amazing job you applied for—and that second date with the cute girl who thought you were just so sweet and sensitive.
But don’t rush to delete your Facebook account just yet. There is one solution that might not save you from Google Cached for awhile, but it will clean up your profile and make you the presentable Mr. Charming you once were. From the FAQ;
You cannot edit the text of your questions or posts, but you can delete any of your questions or posts as follows:
If you have asked a question:
- To delete your question, go to the question box and click the “Delete” button which is located in the lower right of the box.
- To delete question options that people voted on, go to the question box and click the “Edit options” button which is located in the lower right of the box. Then, you can delete individual options by clicking the X beside them. Please note that deleting a question option will also delete any associated votes for that option.
If you have provided an answer:
- To delete a post you provided as an answer, go to the question box and find your post within the “Posts” section. Then, click the X to the upper right of your post to remove it.
- To remove your vote from a poll, go to the question box and click the “Unvote” button which is located in the lower right of the box. If you voted for multiple options, just uncheck each of your votes to remove them.
The lesson: There is no such thing as privacy on the internet. If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, you’re better off just not posting it.