Do You Want Non-Friends to See Your Comments?

Facebook, as we all know, allows us to set up the visibility options of certain posts–if we only want a particular group of friends to see the posts, we can conditionally make them private to that group of friends. At the same time, however, we can see all the comments that people, whether they are our friends or not, make to a post that our mutual friends write. While you may feel fine to see others’ comments, as they are friends of your friend’s as well, do you always want others, or “strangers in Facebook,” to see your comments?

%e5%b1%8f%e5%b9%95%e5%bf%ab%e7%85%a7-2017-01-20-%e4%b8%8b%e5%8d%8810-46-37This is not about your comments and likes popping up in strangers’ news feeds; this is simply about whether strange people who are viewing a specific post can see your comments or not. This, to me, seems just proper for social media such as Tweeter, where you can follow famous “strangers,” and write about anything you would like because privacy might not be the first priority there. But Facebook is more of a friends-based social media to me, where I would like to have the power of control of my own comments, having the right to decide if I want them to be private to that one friend or purely public.

For example, when I see a friend’s post, I might like to write down a quite close or extremely emotional comment solely to my friend, and I would not be comfortable if others could see it as well. But based on the current circumstance, I would rather skip the commenting and maybe “privately message (pm)” my friend later about the post. More often than not, nonetheless, I tend to forget to “pm” he/she, as the momentary feelings usually are transient. Thus, the sense of interaction of that post might get deducted.



Admittedly, as a user of WeChat–a Chinese messaging, calling, and sharing application, I might have been “biasedly” used to the way that people make comments there. In WeChat, people have to be mutual friends to see each other’s comments and likes, or you can only see the comments from you and the post owners, which would have to be your friends as well.

Since we have been highly immersed in social media, then I would like to see unconditional privacy to protect us from getting lost in social media. Or is it too much to ask for?

Modern Keyboard With Colored Social Network Buttons.

This entry was posted in Facebook, Privacy, Social Media & Psychology, social media and systems design, UX. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Do You Want Non-Friends to See Your Comments?

  1. sydhavely says:

    Totally agree, Yiru. You make strong points about the differences in platform audiences and purpose of Twitter and FB and in turn the difference with WeChat. Great post.

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