Another day, another privacy feature erased on Facebook. Once again, Facebook is claiming a lack of interest means that nobody really cares if any idiot can find your profile, right? Right. So now your profile is searchable by anyone, except users you’ve blocked.
But not for long! This policy decision is going to bite Facebook right on the Zuckertuchus, and hard.
Why? Pretty simple, really; it hands stalkers and other assorted scary people a golden opportunity to violate those no-contact and restraining orders!
Facebook is fairly nakedly making this about ensuring that you’re a search result in its “Google of People”, but it’s also fairly clear they haven’t thought through the implications of just flicking on the searchlight and walking away. You probably know somebody with an insane ex who they had to call the cops on to get them off their front lawn; how do you think this is going to play out, once people like that can find Facebook profiles, and just make a new one to get around that pesky blocklist?
So one of two things will happen, probably within a year: Facebook will be dragged into court over this, and have to somehow argue that its profit margins are more important than user safety. Somehow, we don’t think that’ll play in court. Or they will see a mass exodus of users who would really rather not have social media kill them, or at least sit outside their house with binoculars. Neither scenario will be particularly enjoyable, or do much for their stock price, so don’t worry too much; you won’t be searchable sooner rather than later.