Facebook Privacy & the Little Blue Dino

September 26, 2014

Blog | Culture | Facebook Privacy & the Little Blue Dino
Facebook Privacy & the Little Blue Dino

This past Spring, Facebook began quietly rolling out a new tool designed to make it easier for users to check and update their privacy settings. Dressed as a blue and benign cartoon dinosaur, nicknamed “Zuckersaurus Rex,” Facebook nudged a small group of folks to reconsider before posting anything publicly. Now, nearly six months in, the company is pushing the tool out to the 1 billion+ users who are signed up for the platform.

If the little dino hasn’t popped up on your screen, you can either wait out his arrival, or click the padlock on the top right corner of your page to access the Privacy Checkup.  This feature isn’t yet available on mobile apps, so you’ll need a desktop to make adjustments.

The process is painless, albeit a bit juvenile. Considering more than 25% of Facebook’s teen users have abandoned the platform, this might be an attempt by the company to coddle its aging (and perhaps tech jittery) populace.

After clicking the Privacy Checkup, users are guided through a three-step process that covers future post audience, third-party app settings, and personal contact information. The options for each of these areas are the same as they were before Zuckersaurus came along, so it’s a bit of curious push for something that doesn’t give users more control.

So, why are The Big Blue Overlords being so strident? It may have something to do with the fallout from the company’s psychological experiment on users’ feeds, or the class action privacy lawsuit Austrian law student, Max Schrems, is helming  – and so far – winning.

While we wait to see what’s next, you can check out Facebook’s video walk-through on the checkup.


Heather Waters

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