Facebook began allowing public Facebook posts to be embedded on third-party websites this week, a move that has big privacy implications for users who either accidentally posted something they didn’t mean to or who say something regrettable and wish to take it back later. As many Twitter and Instagram users have found out, once sites allow an embedding feature, embarrassing or accidentally posted private content can live forever.
Though the new embedding feature so far only works with five websites – Bleacher Report, CNN, Huffington Post, Mashable and People – the plan is to soon allow Facebook posts to be embedded in any blog or content manager site. Facebook made it very clear that only public posts will be able to be embedded, though many users don’t know their own privacy controls and who can see their content, effectively rendering their posts public.
With its move into embedding, Facebook is making it clear that it wants to be a force in news sharing and social trends in a role similar to what Twitter has accomplished. (Facebook’s recent addition of hashtags also bears out that ambition.) Still, as it continues to roll out features like Graph Search, hash tags and now embedding posts, Facebook’s educational efforts on privacy have lagged behind. It’s important for users to realize the full implications of their data with these new features and what steps they need to take to protect themselves.
Image Credit: Facebook