Facebook has opened up the site even more. In an attempt to build networks and increase the connectivity (and therefore advertising power) of the site, Facebook is now allowing non-friends to tag people in posts. Previously users could tag current friends and pages they “liked” in posts. But until now, the site had limited most communications to between friends. Now users can add names of strangers or ex-friends to comments.
Borrowed from Twitter, @ tagging allows users to mention a friend in a post and create a hyperlink to their profile where their name is mentioned. The post will then also show up on the tagged friend’s wall. This feature is also available for pages that a user is connected to. But now, you can tag any person or page on Facebook, even if you aren’t connected on Facebook.
Useful? Maybe. But it also opens up pages for more negative comments and spam, and users to incorrect postings. Remember when Facebook launched Places and the default was to allow friends to check you in with them? The default setting for tagging is to allow all tags to post automatically, without any moderation.
Users can protect themselves by updating their Privacy Settings on Facebook. Login to Facebook.com and click “Privacy Settings” from the top right drop-down menu arrow next to the “Home” button. Click “Edit Settings” next to “How Tags Work” on the list of options and check your settings for the top two options, “Profile Review” and “Tag Review.” This will allow you to turn on moderation and provide a safeguard against unwanted tagging.
Pages can protect their Wall from competitor spam by clicking “Edit Page” and then selecting “Manage Permissions.” Here you can determine whether or not fans can tag you, and what type of content is displayed on your Wall.
Whether you use Facebook for personal or professional use, as a Page Admin or just an average user, remember that with Facebook’s default settings you will be able to be tagged by anyone in a post, and that post will show up on your Wall. It will not show up in your Newsfeed to all your friends or fans, the way a status update from you would, but they could still see it.
As with any new Facebook feature, don’t get caught up int eh excitement of something new to play with. Think about what this really means for you and update your settings to keep your profile or page within your control.
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