Ah Facebook, your complicated privacy settings can confuse even the best of us — apparently even the sister of your esteemed creator. Randi Zuckerberg fell prey to the “I-have-no-idea-what-is-public-and-what-is-private” trap when she posted a cute photo of the Zuckerberg family Christmas to her private Facebook account and someone who wasn’t supposed to be able to see it posted the image publicly to Twitter.
In the image in question, Zuckerberg and her family — yes, including Mark — can be seen checking out the new Facebook Poke app, which allows you to send images and videos to your friends that delete shortly afterwards. If that’s as confusing for you as it is for us, then you’re in luck, because the family photo shows Mark looking on in bewilderment as his siblings jokingly stare in shock at their smartphone screens.
All fine, right? Wrong, because Zuckerberg posted the image to Facebook, and then tagged her family in it. If you didn’t already know this — and apparently Zuckerberg didn’t — you don’t have to be friends with the person posting a picture in some situations to be able to see it. Director of Marketing & Projects at Vox Media, Callie Schweitzer, saw the photo pop up in her newsfeed because she’s friends with a different Zuckerberg sister tagged in it, thought it was public and then tweeted it for the world to see. Zuckerberg was not too pleased about it, claiming her privacy had been violated.
“@cschweitz not sure where you got this photo. I posted it to friends only on FB. You reposting it to Twitter is way uncool,” she tweeted, as shown by Buzzfeed.
Schweitz, who initially thought she had seen the image because she subscribes to Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, immediately apologized and deleted the picture, but not before it had already made the Internet rounds. Zuckerberg is far from the first person to be confused by Facebook’s privacy settings, but it’s ironic that the situation struck literally so close to home. For her part, Zuckerberg blamed Schweitz’s bad etiquette for the leak, not her brother’s social media website.
“Digital etiquette: always ask permission before posting a friend’s photo publicly. It’s not about privacy settings, it’s about human decency,” she tweeted, later adding, “Took me a few days to download FB’s Poke App, but one thing’s for sure. I no longer need to be convinced of the value of ephemeral posts! ;)”