Dec 262009
 December 26, 2009  Posted by  Featured News, Online

The social networking site,, with its reported 350 million users, has presented itself as being an important tool for activists to safely organize and fight for their freedom from governmental tyranny. Late on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, asserting an intent to protect its users’ privacy, Facebook rolled out its new “Privacy Settings.”

However, the unilaterally altered settings publicly exposed the very-private lives of pro-polygamists organizing for their freedom from tyrannical government. That mass public exposure breached the online agreement with users who had trusted and acted on both, Facebook’s online past-promises that users could protect their privacy, and Facebook’s marketing that it is a safe tool for activists. For the national polygamy rights movement for consenting adults, these new “Privacy Settings” instantly became identified as “Facebook’s Anti-Privacy Settings.”


…. Henkel reportedly logged in to the said Facebook account. Like many of the users that day, he was confronted with Facebook’s new “Privacy Settings” being imposed. Although the new changes offered many more controls for selecting individual privacy-levels throughout an account, Facebook had also re-categorized a new subset of the account’s information as “Publicly Available Information” – labeled as, PAI.


To the horror of the national polygamy rights movement for consenting adults, Facebook had made Mark Henkel’s “Friends List” public. Making the matter worse, Facebook’s new changes even prevented any possibility of hiding that “Friends List” from the general public.

Consequently, Mr. Henkel immediately notified and deleted the private “friends” on his “Friends List.” For the safety and privacy of the polygamists, activists, and media contacts on the list, there was no other available solution. Facebook had clearly become dangerous for many activists trusting it for use in the struggle for their freedom from governmental tyranny.


  One Response to ““Facebook’s Anti-Privacy Settings” Exposed Polygamy Activists”

  1. Whilst it is nice to use “tools” like Facebook (and others) for furthering certain causes, the fact is you are putting your personal information in the hands of a 3rd party.

    Facebook has made many, many changes to its so-called privacy features and settings. Almost with certainty, each of these changes has seen someone’s previously personal material made available to the world at large.

    I guess the lesson is, if you want to keep your information private, keep ownership of it. Polygamists, or others with common interests, would be best off maintaining their own lists in a proper, secure environment – not entrusting this to Facebook.

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